Dr Anna Foss

MMath PhD

Associate Professor
in Public Health Education and Mathematical Epidemiology

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7927 2891

I joined LSHTM in July 2001 after graduating with a Masters of Mathematics Honours Degree (First Class) from the University of Manchester. 

Alongside my work at LSHTM, I completed a part-time staff-PhD (awarded June 2007), titled: 'Mathematical modelling of HIV/STI transmission and prevention: methodological issues when dealing with uncertainty'.

In June 2010, I was awarded a Distinction for my Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Full Certificate - Modules 1 and 2). 

I am a Fellow Member of The Higher Education Academy.


Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Evaluation
Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases
Statistical Methodology
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


Received a Director’s Award 2018 (jointly with Rebecca French) in September 2018 for Excellence and Innovation in Developing Students as Researchers. 

A Director of LEARN – the Learning and Educational Advances Research Network - promoting best practice in learning and teaching through educational research (since November 2015). 

Partnering with alumni and students on a project (2018-2020) to develop a virtual peer mentorship scheme for Public Health MSc students undertaking a research project via distance learning.

Undertaking public engagement activities in primary and secondary schools (since September 2017), including talking about PhDs, research/science careers and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, with some children (aged 8-11) building a compartmental model in Excel and others using doubling methods to make predictions.

Educational Supervisor for the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (PGCILT) and conducted PGCILT Summative Teaching Observations (2010 - 2012, and again since November 2015). 

Distance Learning Tutor - Assessor for:

  • EPM105 Writing and Reviewing Epidemiological Papers (September-October 2018)
  • EPM302 Modelling and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (since June 2013)
  • PHM202 Communicable Disease Control (Feb 2014 - April 2016)
  • PHM101 Basic Epidemiology (June 2016)

PHM305 Project Module Organiser and Project Supervisor for the Public Health PGDip/MSc by Distance Learning (since Oct 2008).

PhD Advisor on Advisory Committees (since Sept 2008).

PhD Supervisor (Sept 2008 - Sept 2015).

Educational Developer coordinating the academic side of identifying suitable groups of DL MSc modules to form standalone short courses, including developing promotional and supporting materials, canvassing opinions of senior teaching staff, and working with the Head of Registry on a marketing strategy (Oct 2010 - Sept 2011).

Educational Developer using e-Learning technologies to produce an induction package of study skills materials for Distance Learning and London-based MSc students - leading on the Basic Maths component while also coordinating and contributing to the development of the other components, e.g. Statistics and Epidemiology, English for Academic Purposes, and guidance from the Library (Oct 2010 - Sept 2011).

Course Director for the Faculty of Public Health & Policy contribution to the Control of Infectious Diseases MSc and Public Health in Developing Countries MSc (summing to over 4 years within period 2007 - 2012).

Basic Maths Support Coordinator / Module Organiser (2007 - 2012) and Seminar Leader in the Basic Maths Support Sessions (2002 - 2012).


I am a senior modeller in the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology (SaME) Research Group with over sixteen years of experience working on mathematical modelling of HIV/STI transmission, and the impact of prevention interventions in different Asian, African and South American settings, commonly working in close collaboration with overseas partners.

My methodological specialism is in handling uncertainty in mathematical modelling and using mathematics to explore epidemiological questions. I have built up a large body of work in this area, developing mathematical methods of different levels of complexity to address specific HIV/STI transmission questions, with explicit consideration of the structural and parametric uncertainties in model projections. This work has included analyses reflecting the biological uncertainty associated with herpes-HIV interactions, the epidemiological and delivery uncertainties associated with introducing new HIV prevention technologies, such as microbicides, and the behavioural uncertainties associated with trying to make projections about marginalised and hidden groups, such as men who have sex with men in southern India. My methodological specialism also forms the basis of my involvement with colleagues in the Department of Social and Environmental Health Research (SEHR) on handling behavioural uncertainty when modelling health in the urban environment. My work has included developing approaches to model simplification, exploring parametric uncertainty and using model fitting techniques to infer improved estimates for key uncertain parameters.

My current research interests have also recently expanded to educational/pedagogical research to explore various issues in learning and teaching. For example, I have posted a comment (fourth in the list) in response to an article in the Times Higher Education. I also facilitated a workshop exploring the concepts of creativity and innovation at the 2016 annual conference of the Staff and Educational Development Association. Alongside this, I wrote a review of a book about learners struggling with mathematics.

Research Area
Decision analysis
Sexual health
Social and structural determinants of health
Environmental Health
Impact evaluation
Mathematical modelling
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Sexually transmitted disease
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Sexually transmitted infection
United Kingdom
South Africa
Euro area
European Union
Latin America & Caribbean (developing only)
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Can mother-to-child transmission of HIV be eliminated without addressing the issue of stigma? Modeling the case for a setting in South Africa.
Prudden, H.J. ; Hamilton, M. ; Foss, A.M. ; Adams, N.D. ; Stockton, M. ; Black, V. ; Nyblade, L. ;
PLoS One
Cost-effectiveness of tenofovir gel in urban South Africa: model projections of HIV impact and threshold product prices.
Terris-Prestholt, F. ; Foss, A.M. ; Cox, A.P. ; Heise, L. ; Meyer-Rath, G. ; Delany-Moretlwe, S. ; Mertenskoetter, T. ; Rees, H. ; Vickerman, P. ; Watts, C.H. ;
BMC Infect Dis
Who mixes with whom among men who have sex with men? Implications for modelling the HIV epidemic in southern India.
Mitchell, K.M.; Foss, A.M.; Prudden, H.J.; Mukandavire, Z.; Pickles, M.; Williams, J.R.; Johnson, H.C.; Ramesh, B.M.; Washington, R.; Isac, S.; Rajaram, S.; Phillips, A.E.; Bradley, J.; Alary, M.; Moses, S.; Lowndes, C.M.; Watts, C.H.; Boily, M.C.; Vickerman, P.;
J Theor Biol
Can the UNAIDS modes of transmission model be improved?: a comparison of the original and revised model projections using data from a setting in west Africa.
Prudden, H.J.; Watts, C.H.; Vickerman, P.; Bobrova, N.; Heise, L.; Ogungbemi, M.K.; Momah, A.; Blanchard, J.F.; Foss, A.M.;
Modelling the interactions between herpes simplex virus type 2 and HIV: implications for the HIV epidemic in southern India.
Foss, A.M.; Vickerman, P.T.; Mayaud, P.; Weiss, H.A.; Ramesh, B.M.; Reza-Paul, S.; Washington, R.; Blanchard, J.; Moses, S.; Lowndes, C.M.; Alary, M.; Watts, C.H.;
Sex Transm Infect
Dynamic Modeling of Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 (HSV-2) Transmission: Issues in Structural Uncertainty.
Foss, A.M.; Vickerman, P.T.; Chalabi, Z.; Mayaud, P.; Alary, M.; Watts, C.H.;
Bull Math Biol
Shifts in condom use following microbicide introduction: should we be concerned?
Foss, A. M.; Vickerman, P. T.; Heise, L.; Watts, C. H.
See all Dr Anna Foss's Publications