Dr Elizabeth Pisani
I came to epidemiology in a round-about way. Last century, while working as a foreign correspondent, I became aware that politics is among the most important determinants of health status. Persuading politicians to support policies based on scientific and economic evidence as well as on opinion polls seemed like an interesting challenge, so I quit reporting and signed up for a Masters in Medical Demography at LSHTM (quite a change from my first degree, which was in Classical Chinese, from Oxford).
I became entranced by epidemiology, and went on to work in what was at the time the most politically messy field in public health: HIV. My work with ministries of health in India, China, East Timor the Philippines and elsewhere on tracking and preventing HIV became the subject of a PhD, as well as of my first book, The Wisdom of Whores, which opens in an armchair in the LSHTM library.
Current research interests include the political economy of substandard and falsified medicial products. I've been working together with the SF Meds team at WHO, and am now leading a study on the subject (kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust) with researchers based at Erasmus and VU universities in the Netherlands and at LSHTM.
I also do quite a bit of work to try and find workable ways to incentivise researchers to get more out of their data, including by sharing more widely.