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Dr Anna Foss

MMath PhD

Associate Professor
in Public Health Education and Mathematical Epidemiology

LSHTM
15-17 Tavistock Place
London
WC1H 9SH
United Kingdom

Tel.
+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) and became a Fellow Member of The Higher Education Academy.

My portfolio of work is now diverse, spanning teaching management roles, educational research, mathematical modelling of HIV/HPV, and mathematical research relating to climate change (sustainability and intergenerational equity).

Affiliations

Department of Global Health and Development

Centres

Centre for Evaluation
Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases
Statistical Methodology
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre
Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health

Teaching

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 (September 2017-July 2018), 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)
  • PHM101 Basic Epidemiology (June 2016)
  • PHM202 Communicable Disease Control (Feb 2014 - April 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).

Research

I am a senior modeller in the Evaluation of Social and Public Health Interventions (ESPHI) Research Group with over eighteen 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, working in close collaboration with overseas partners.

My methodological specialism is in handling uncertainty in mathematical modelling and using mathematics to explore epidemiological questions relating to public health. I have developed 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 formed the basis of my involvement with colleagues in the Department of Public Health, Environments and Society (PHES) on handling behavioural uncertainty when modelling health in the urban environment. This has recently led to me collaborating with UCL, LSE and Imperial College on a project using mathematics to explore health issues associated with climate change, sustainability and intergenerational equity.

My current research interests have also 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
Climate change
Decision analysis
Environment
Sexual health
Social and structural determinants of health
Alcohol
Environmental Health
Evaluation
Gender
Impact evaluation
Violence
Modelling
Education
Discipline
Epidemiology
Mathematics
Mathematical modelling
Disease and Health Conditions
Herpesviruses
HIV/AIDS
Infectious disease
Sexually transmitted disease
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Sexually transmitted infection
Country
Benin
Bangladesh
United Kingdom
India
Cambodia
Nigeria
Peru
Uganda
South Africa
Region
Euro area
European Union
Latin America & Caribbean (developing only)
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)
World

Selected Publications

Who mixes with whom among men who have sex with men? Implications for modelling the HIV epidemic in southern India.
Mitchell KM; Foss AM; Prudden HJ; Mukandavire Z; Pickles M; Williams JR; Johnson HC; Ramesh BM; Washington R; Isac S
2014
Journal of theoretical biology
Cost-effectiveness of tenofovir gel in urban South Africa: model projections of HIV impact and threshold product prices.
Terris-Prestholt F; Foss AM; Cox AP; Heise L; Meyer-Rath G; Delany-Moretlwe S; Mertenskoetter T; Rees H; Vickerman P; Watts CH
2014
BMC infectious diseases
Relationship between exposure to the Avahan intervention and levels of reported condom use among men who have sex with men in southern India.
Mitchell KM; Foss AM; Ramesh BM; Washington R; Isac S; Prudden HJ; Deering KN; Blanchard JF; Moses S; Lowndes CM
2014
BMC public health
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 HJ; Watts CH; Vickerman P; Bobrova N; Heise L; Ogungbemi MK; Momah A; Blanchard JF; Foss AM
2013
AIDS (London, England)
Sexual violence and conflict in Africa: prevalence and potential impact on HIV incidence.
Watts CH; Foss AM; Hossain M; Zimmerman C; von Simson R; Klot J
2010
Sexually transmitted infections
To what extent is the HIV epidemic in southern India driven by commercial sex? A modelling analysis.
Vickerman P; Foss AM; Pickles M; Deering K; Verma S; Demers E; Lowndes CM; Moses S; Alary M; Boily MC
2010
AIDS (London, England)
Modelling the interactions between herpes simplex virus type 2 and HIV: implications for the HIV epidemic in southern India.
Foss AM; Vickerman PT; Mayaud P; Weiss HA; Ramesh BM; Reza-Paul S; Washington R; Blanchard J; Moses S; Lowndes CM
2010
Sexually transmitted infections
Dynamic Modeling of Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 (HSV-2) Transmission: Issues in Structural Uncertainty.
Foss AM; Vickerman PT; Chalabi Z; Mayaud P; Alary M; Watts CH
2009
Bulletin of mathematical biology
A systematic review of published evidence on intervention impact on condom use in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Foss AM; Hossain M; Vickerman PT; Watts CH
2007
Sexually transmitted infections
Shifts in condom use following microbicide introduction: should we be concerned?
Foss AM; Vickerman PT; Heise L; Watts CH
2003
AIDS (London, England)
Is modelling complexity always needed? Insights from modelling PrEP introduction in South Africa.
Grant H; Foss AM; Watts C; Medley GF; Mukandavire Z
Journal of Public Health
See more Publications