Dr Sharif Ismail

Clinical Research Fellow Clinical Train

United Kingdom

I am a Clinical Research Fellow at LSHTM and a medical doctor by training. Previously, I worked in the National Health Service (NHS), as a Health Adviser at the then UK Department for International Development (DFID) from 2018-19, and with the National Infection Service at Public Health England (PHE) on the UK COVID-19 response in 2020-21. Before qualifying in medicine, I worked in policy analysis for RAND Europe, the Institute for Government, and the Nuffield Trust.


Department of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Vaccine Centre
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


I help to deliver the Issues in Public Health and Principles and Practice of Public Health modules as part of the MSc in Public Health at the School, and also contribute to the distance learning MSc modules, Control of Infectious Diseases (IDM104) and Health Systems (GHM201).


My work spans communicable disease epidemiology, health services research, and health policy and systems research. I use mixed-methods approaches drawing mainly on systems thinking.

I have two main areas of research interest:

1. Improving understanding of health system resilience and responses to shocks (humanitarian, conflict-related, climatic etc) - including how we think about these concepts, ways in which resilience can be assessed and/or measured, and approaches to strengthening it; and

2. Applications of methods from systems science to optimise the delivery, and uptake of, essential health services across populations.

My PhD, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust, looked at health system resilience to compound shocks in Lebanon, through an analysis of childhood vaccination delivery using System Dynamics Modelling (SDM).
Research Area
Health systems
Child health
Maternal health
Health services research
Infectious disease policy
United Kingdom
Middle East & North Africa (all income levels)
European Union

Selected Publications

Strengthening vaccination delivery system resilience in the context of protracted humanitarian crisis: a realist-informed systematic review.
ISMAIL, SA; Lam, ST; BELL, S; Fouad, FM; Blanchet, K; BORGHI, J;
BMC health services research
Conceptualising and assessing health system resilience to shocks: a cross-disciplinary view
ISMAIL, SA; Bell, S; Chalabi, Z; Fouad, FM; Mechler, R; Tomoaia-Cotisel, A; Blanchet, K; BORGHI, J;
Wellcome open research
Addressing challenges for clinical research responses to emerging epidemics and pandemics: a scoping review.
Sigfrid, L; Maskell, K; Bannister, PG; ISMAIL, SA; Collinson, S; Regmi, S; Blackmore, C; Harriss, E; Longuere, K-S; Gobat, N; Horby, P; Clarke, M; Carson, G;
BMC Medicine
Informal healthcare provision in Lebanon: an adaptive mechanism among displaced Syrian health professionals in a protracted crisis.
Honein-AbouHaidar, G; Noubani, A; El Arnaout, N; ISMAIL, S; Nimer, H; Menassa, M; Coutts, AP; Rayes, D; Jomaa, L; Saleh, S; Fouad, FM;
Conflict and Health
Refugees, healthcare and crises: informal Syrian health workers in Lebanon
ISMAIL, S; Coutts, AP; Rayes, D; Roborgh, S; Abbara, A; Orcutt, M; Fouad, FM; Honein, G; El Arnout, N; Noubani, A; Nimer, H; Rutherford, S;
Communicable disease surveillance and control in the context of conflict and mass displacement in Syria.
ISMAIL, SA; Abbara, A; Collin, SM; Orcutt, M; Coutts, AP; Maziak, W; Sahloul, Z; DAR, O; Corrah, T; Fouad, FM;
Health Perceptions of Adverse Weather in Older Adults in England: Analysis of 2019/20 Survey Data
Turner, G; Moreira de Sousa, A; O’Connell, E; KOVATS, S; Brooks, K; Landeg, O; ISMAIL, S; Rajamani, A; Hajat, S;
Resilience in childhood vaccination: analysing delivery system responses to shocks in Lebanon.
ISMAIL, SA; Tomoaia-Cotisel, A; Noubani, A; Fouad, FM; BELL, S; BORGHI, J; Blanchet, K;
BMJ global health
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