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

Epidemiology of soil transmitted helminths and risk analysis of hookworm infections in the community: Results from the DeWorm3 Trial in southern India.
Ajjampur SSR; Kaliappan SP; Halliday KE; Palanisamy G; Farzana J; Manuel M; Abraham D; Laxmanan S; Aruldas K; Rose A
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Improving stool sample processing and pyrosequencing for quantifying benzimidazole resistance alleles in Trichuris trichiura and Necator americanus pooled eggs
Gandasegui J; Grau-Pujol B; Cambra-Pelleja M; Escola V; Demontis MA; Cossa A; Jamine JC; Balaña-Fouce R; van Lieshout L; Muñoz J
Parasites & Vectors
Sustainable Surveillance of Neglected Tropical Diseases for the Post-Elimination Era.
Hatherell H-A; Simpson H; Baggaley RF; Hollingsworth TD; Pullan RL
Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
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
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
Epidemiology of soil-transmitted helminths following sustained implementation of routine preventive chemotherapy: Demographics and baseline results of a cluster randomised trial in southern Malawi.
Witek-McManus S; Simwanza J; Chisambi AB; Kepha S; Kamwendo Z; Mbwinja A; Samikwa L; Oswald WE; Kennedy DS; Timothy JWS
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
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