Rachel Pullan

MSci MSc PhD

Associate Professor
of Epidemiology

Room 401

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7927 2702

I am an infectious disease epidemiologist, interested in the epidemiology and control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on spatial epidemiology and operational research. I am particularly interested in the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions for prevention, control and potential elimination of helminthic NTDs.

I have a first degree in biochemistry from Imperial College London, and an MSc (Demography and Health) and PhD (Epidemiology) from LSHTM. I have been based at LSHTM since 2005, and lead a group of epidemiologists specialising in GIS, spatial analysis, and field-based research including large cluster randomised trials of public health interventions. We work closely with national control programmes and international agencies, and place a strong emphasis on developing an evidence base that can be used to inform policy and practice.

I am the Deputy Director of the London Centre for NTD Research (, Associate Editor with PLOS NTDs ( and a member of the STH Advisory Committee.


Department of Disease Control


Centre for Evaluation


I am a Research Degree Coordinator for the Disease Control Department. I am also the course organiser for the study unit Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health and contribute to a number of other teaching modules including Parasitology and Entomology and Applying Public Health Principles. In addition, my research group has developed a short training course in GIS tailored for NTD programme managers (

I currently supervise three PhD students: Rebecca Flueckiger (spatial epidemiology of trachoma), Simon Kogozi (spatial analysis of routine malaria data); Stefan Witek-McManus (community health workers and the delivery fo NTD programmes).


Our research focuses on two areas:

Spatial epidemiology of NTDs: I lead the Global Atlas of Helminth Infection (, an open-access global information platform on the distribution of soil-transmitted helminths (STH), schistosomes and lymphatic filariasis (LF). We are increasingly interested in the spatio-temporal distribution of NTDs, the degree to which changes can be related to the scaling up of interventions or other factors, and a spatially-considered approach to M&E and surveillance for ongoing programmes.

Evaluating intervention strategies: We are currently implementing the TUMIKIA Project in Kenya, which aims to determine whether community-based deworming is more effective at controlling and eliminating soil-transmitted helminths than school-based deworming. This is a community-based randomised controlled trial intended to strengthen the evidence base surrounding STH control and elimination. In addition to addressing the impact of treatment strategies on transmission of STH, we are investigating the cost and cost-effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability and equity of alternative strategies and delivery mechanisms.

Our research is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joint Global Health Trials Scheme (DFID, MRC and Wellcome Trust).

Research Area
Complex interventions
Disease control
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Global Health
Impact evaluation
Implementation research
GIS/Spatial analysis
Operational research
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Lymphatic filariasis
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Tropical diseases
Buruli Ulcer
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Individual adherence to mass drug administration in neglected tropical disease control: A probability model conditional on past behaviour.
Hardwick RJ; Truscott JE; Oswald WE; Werkman M; Halliday KE; Pullan RL; Anderson RM
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Patterns and Drivers of Household Sanitation Access and Sustainability in Kwale County, Kenya.
Legge H; Halliday KE; Kepha S; Mcharo C; Witek-McManus SS; El-Busaidy H; Muendo R; Safari T; Mwandawiro CS; Matendechero SH
Environmental science & technology
Prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminth infections of children in sub-Saharan Africa, 2000-18: a geospatial analysis.
Sartorius B; Cano J; Simpson H; Tusting LS; Marczak LB; Miller-Petrie MK; Kinvi B; Zoure H; Mwinzi P; Hay SI
Lancet Glob Health
Mapping suitability for Buruli ulcer at fine spatial scales across Africa: A modelling study.
Simpson H; Tabah EN; Phillips RO; Frimpong M; Maman I; Ampadu E; Timothy J; Saunderson P; Pullan RL; Cano J
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Epidemiologic and Genomic Reidentification of Yaws, Liberia
Timothy J; Beale MA; Rogers E; Zaizay Z; Halliday KE; Mulbah T; Giddings RK; Walker SL; Thomson NR; Kollie KK
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Methods and approaches for Buruli ulcer surveillance in Africa: Lessons learnt and future directions
Timothy J; Pullan R; Yotsu RR
Methods in Molecular Biology
Spatial-temporal patterns of malaria incidence in Uganda using HMIS data from 2015 to 2019.
Kigozi SP; Kigozi RN; Sebuguzi CM; Cano J; Rutazaana D; Opigo J; Bousema T; Yeka A; Gasasira A; Sartorius B
See more Publications