Professor Magdalena Harris

BA(hons) MA PhD

of Inclusion Health Sociology


15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom


Magdalena Harris is a sociologist working with qualitative methods in the social science of drug use, health and harm reduction. She works in partnership with community organisations, and through peer research, in the fields of hepatitis C, opioid and crack use, and opioid substitution treatment service delivery. Magdalena is Professor of Inclusion Health Sociology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and holds an honorary Inclusion Health Consultant position at University College London Hospital NHS Trust. She is PI for two NIHR-funded research projects: iHOST (Improving Hospital OST) and SIPP (Safe Inhalation Pipe Provision), both commencing in 2022. In 2020 she received the Society for Study of Addiction Impact Prize "in recognition of her high-quality, innovative research and its positive, practical impact for people who inject drugs" and in 2022 was elected an Membership through Distinction of the Faculty of Public Health.

Some background about how she came to work in the harm reduction field can be found in this brief video:


Department of Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Magdalena is Module Co-Organiser, with Tim Rhodes, for the Qualitative Methodologies (1700) MSc Module. She leads the Introduction to Qualitative Interviewing and Qualitative Analysis workshops for the Transferable Skills Programme and is a guest lecturer for the LSHTM Sociology of Health Module and 4th year pharmacy students at the University of Bath. 


Magdalena is Principle Investigator for two NIHR funded research projects, both commencing in 2022: Improving Hospital Opiate Substitution Therapy (iHOST): implementation and assessment of an intervention to reduce late presentations, discharges against medical advice and repeat admissions among people who use opiates  and Safe Inhallation Pipe Provision (SIPP): A mixed method evaluation of an intervention to reduce health harms and enhance service engagement among people who use crack cocaine in England.

She has previously held an NIHR Post Doctoral Fellowship ('the Hepatitis C Treatment Journey') and the recently completed NIHR Career Development Fellowship: "Promoting skin & soft tissue infection care and preventing AA amyloidosis among people who inject drugs in the UK: A mixed methods study."  

Her  research interests include: the social relations of harm reduction; community participation and mobilisation; stigma and discrimination; embodiment; autoethnography and qualitative methodologies.

Here she talks about her work on the Staying Safe project:

Research Area
Complex interventions
Health inequalities
Health policy
Mixed methods
Qualitative methods
Substance use
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Kidney disease
Skin disease
United Kingdom
Myanmar (Burma)
New Zealand
Euro area

Selected Publications

Social and structural determinants of injection drug use-associated bacterial and fungal infections: a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis
Brothers TD; Bonn M; Lewer D; Comeau E; Kim I; Webster D; Hayward A; Harris M
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
\"It's too hard\" - the management of latent TB in under-served populations in the UK: a qualitative study.
Gray AT; Surey J; Esmail H; Story A; Harris M
BMC Health Services Research
Barriers to management of opioid withdrawal in hospitals in England: a document analysis of hospital policies on the management of substance dependence.
Harris M; Holland A; Lewer D; Brown M; Eastwood N; Sutton G; Sansom B; Cruickshank G; Bradbury M; Guest I
BMC medicine
Overdose prevention centres in the UK.
Holland A; Harris M; Hickman M; Lewer D; Shorter GW; Horsley J; Powell M; Rae M
Lancet Public Health
Analysis of the UK Government's 10-Year Drugs Strategy-a resource for practitioners and policymakers.
Holland A; Stevens A; Harris M; Lewer D; Sumnall H; Stewart D; Gilvarry E; Wiseman A; Howkins J; McManus J
J Public Health (Oxf)
The United Kingdom's first unsanctioned overdose prevention site; A proof-of-concept evaluation.
Shorter GW; Harris M; McAuley A; Trayner KM; Stevens A
International Journal of Drug Policy
See more Publications