Prof Jim Todd
Professor of Applied Biostatistics
My life has encompassed many false starts, and wrong turns, and all are incorporated in my current work, and life. I dropped out of school, and it will remain my greatest achievement. I became a teacher, and that is in my blood. I have spent 35 years living in Africa, and almost as long working for LSHTM, and both provide some inspiration for my work and life. Applied statistics provides the thread which enables me to pull these diverse components together. I have no responsibilities, only privileges. I recognize those privileges and use them to help others achieve their potential.
I studied Medical Statistics and have endeavored to apply that knowledge in my work, and in my teaching. An understanding of data, and how to present results, is important in so many different areas. An understanding of people and how they work together, is probably more important, and a more reliable way to achieve results.
In my previous existence at the School, I taught and organized several face-to-face courses. I have organized many short courses (some in the School, and some for collaborative institutions). Within the Distance Learning program in the School, I have been the module organizer for EP202, and for two demography module DEM101 and DEM205. In both the Epidemiology and the Demography MSc I have supervised masters projects. Within the School I have supervised ten PhD students to completion, and currently supervising three PhD students. Outside of the School I have co-supervised 15 PhD students to completion, and currently co-supervise five students in three countries.
Outside of the School, under the THRiVE consortium, in 2010 I developed, set up and organized the Masters in Epidemiology and Applied Biostatistics in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Tanzania, which I still teach on. Under the auspices of SSACAB, since 2015, I have worked with several other institutions in Africa, to develop similar masters programs in Applied Biostatistics. I consider it a privilege to continue teaching at these institutions. I am working with colleagues in CUHAS in Mwanza, Tanzania to implement a new Applied Biostatistics course. I am thankful to the projects, grants and consortium that have made all of these programs possible.
I am fortunate to have collaborated with colleagues from many institutions in East Africa over the last 25 years. As one of the original co-investigators in the ALPHA network (from 2005) I am proud of the collaborative analysis workshops that have been developed. I have been influenced by the intense and practical Alpha workshops, which have influenced the way I think about the teaching of statistics.
Many of the researchers and students I have worked with have gone on to have stellar careers of their own. To any colleague, I am always willing to give mentorship, or advice, some of which may actually be useful.