Professor David Heymann




Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 791 962 6171

David Heymann holds a BA in general science from Penn State University, an M.D from Wake Forest School of Medicine, and a DTM&H from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).  He is currently Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM and Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, London. From 2012 to March 2017 he was chairman of Public Health England

For 22 years Heymann was based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva on secondment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during which time he rose from Chief of Research of the Global Programme on AIDS to Founding Director of the Programme on Emerging and other Communicable Diseases.  He then was named Executive Director of the Communicable Diseases Cluster, a position from which he headed the global response to SARS, and finally was named Assistant Director for Health Security and the Director General’s Representative for Polio Eradication.

Before joining WHO Heymann was based for 13 years in sub-Saharan Africa on assignment from CDC where he worked Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC and Malawi.  During this period he participated in the response to the first, second and third outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in DRC, investigated human monkeypox outbreaks throughout central and western Africa, and supported ministries of health in field research aimed at better control of malaria, measles, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Prior to joining CDC Heymann worked in India for two years as a medical epidemiologist in the WHO smallpox eradication programme.

Heymann is an elected fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (US) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK), and has received seven different public health awards, including the Heinz Award on the Human Condition, that have provided funding for the establishment of an on-going mentorship programme at the International Association of Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).   

Heymann has published over 200 peer reviewed articles, commentaries and book chapters, and is the editor of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, a major global reference for public health and health protection. In 2009 he was appointed an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for service to global public health.


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


Teaching responsibilities at LSHTM range from the epidemiology and control of communicable diseases to the evaluation/use of vaccines and global health/policy. Heymann also participates in various lecture series and the executive leadership programmes.


Research Area
Infectious disease policy
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

COVID-19: towards controlling of a pandemic.
Bedford J; Enria D; Giesecke J; Heymann DL; Ihekweazu C; Kobinger G; Lane HC; Memish Z; Oh M-D; Sall AA
Lancet (London, England)
Q&A: The novel coronavirus outbreak causing COVID-19.
Fisher D; Heymann D
BMC medicine
National UK programme of community health workers for COVID-19 response.
Haines A; de Barros EF; Berlin A; Heymann DL; Harris MJ
Lancet (London, England)
COVID-19: what is next for public health?
Heymann DL; Shindo N
Successful smallpox eradication: what can we learn to control COVID-19?
Heymann DL; Wilder-Smith A
Journal of travel medicine
Epidemic preparedness in urban settings: new challenges and opportunities.
Lee VJ; Ho M; Kai CW; Aguilera X; Heymann D; Wilder-Smith A
The Lancet Infectious Diseases
Are high-performing health systems resilient against the COVID-19 epidemic?
Legido-Quigley H; Asgari N; Teo YY; Leung GM; Oshitani H; Fukuda K; Cook AR; Hsu LY; Shibuya K; Heymann D
Lancet (London, England)
SARS to novel coronavirus - old lessons and new lessons.
McCloskey B; Heymann DL
See more Publications