Ms Tomoka Nakamura
Research Student - MPhil/PhD - Epidemiology & Population Health (Nagasaki)
I am an epidemiologist trained in infectious disease epidemiology and vaccine preventable disease surveillance. My interests are in emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and vaccine preventable diseases among children, particularly rotavirus, pneumococcal and meningococcal infections. I am keen on incorporating a mixture of methods including mathematical modelling, epidemiology, and sociological studies.
Prior to joining LSHTM, I was a Technical Officer at the World Health Organisation in Geneva coordinating the global surveillance networks of invasive bacterial diseases and paediatric diarrhoea. Additionally, with my background in biochemistry and molecular biology, I have trained laboratories and sentinel surveillance sites located in countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, and the Western Pacific on diagnostic and surveillance methodologies. Through this work, I have contributed to evidence-based policies on vaccine introduction and sustaining surveillance of infectious diseases that are prioritized at the national level.
My current research focuses on understanding the impact of behaviour and COVID-19 control measures on contact rates and disease transmission in Japan and the United Kingdom. I work closely with my supervisors that include Kathleen O’Reilly, Koya Ariyoshi (Nagasaki University), and Motoi Suzuki (National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan). I am also an active member of the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID).
My research is funded by the joint PhD programme at LSHTM and Nagasaki University. My primary focus is to understand how social contacts and various non-pharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. In addition to using quantitative methods, I have also evaluated the public’s perceptions in Japan and the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic on risk, governmental regulations and COVID-19 vaccination using qualitative methods. I collaborated with University of Roehampton and Nagasaki University as a co-investigator of this project titled, “Adapting to the ‘New Normal’: Implications for Post-COVID-19 Health Communication and Education” funded by the British Academy.