Professor Wendy Graham
She trained at Oxford University, and first joined LSHTM in 1985 where she set-up the School’s first research group dedicated to maternal health. From 1995 to 2015 she was based in the University of Aberdeen’s Medical School and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, where she remains an Emeritus Professor. Wendy returned to LSHTM in March 2016 and holds a part-time position as Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology.
Wendy contributes to teaching and learning on Maternal and Perinatal Health across the School, at masters and PhD levels, including the recent Lancet online course on maternal health. She has a long-standing involvement with medical student societies through IFMSA, and continues to teach global health and supervise medical elective projects at the University of Aberdeen Medical School.
The main focus of my academic research over the past 30 years has been on maternal health, particularly in low-income settings. My early work was predominantly focused on improving methods for measuring levels, trends and causes of maternal mortality, including the creation of the Sisterhood Method. This interest in methods has remained throughout my career, progressing to look at the challenges of measuring maternal morbidity, evaluating complex interventions to reduce the burden of poor maternal and perinatal health, and - most recently, capturing the profiles, transmission pathways, and broader determinants of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) in women and babies delivered in maternity units. Alongside this methodological focus, I have maintained a strong interest in improving the communication and uptake of research evidence into policy and practice, and was a Senior Research Fellow at the UK Department for International Development for four years – where I learnt many relevant lessons. My research portfolio has always involved a mixture of direct field activities on measurement and interventions (particularly in maternity care settings); research synthesis and communication; and engagement with policy stakeholders at national and international levels. The current focus of my work falls broadly into the field of quality improvement, with a particular target of HCAIs and the role of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), including antimicrobial resistance. In 2012, I was instrumental in establishing an evidence-based charitable trust – The Soapbox Collaborative – which conducts research and action to prevent HCAIs at birth in maternity units in low-income countries. The majority of the research by Soapbox is conducting through LSHTM, with projects currently in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi, and Zanzibar.