series event

Women in Health 2018 Lecture - How a virus works: a journey

Polly Roy, MSc PhD FMedSci, Professor of Virology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Polly Roy, MSc PhD FMedSci, Professor of Virology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

As part of International Women’s Day, Professor Polly Roy will be delivering LSHTM’s annual Women in Health Lecture, on 'How A Virus Works: A Journey'.

The lecture will focus on the progress of Professor Roy’s career, from basic biology to novel applied outcomes to improve treatment, alongside how being a woman has influenced her decisions and direction, and the obstacles she has encountered and overcome.

It will be followed by an informal discussion with Professor Dame Anne Mills, Provost & Deputy Director.

The lecture will be streamed live here

Professor Polly Roy is a leading virologist who has made significant contributions to the complete understanding of orbiviruses – a distinct group of viruses of serious health and economic impact.

Brought up in Calcutta, Professor Roy moved to the USA to pursue her postgraduate study. She stayed in the US during her early professional career before accompanying her family to the UK.

Among Prof Roy’s accomplishments is the full characterisation of the Bluetongue virus, which is now one of the most well understood viruses thanks to her work. She accomplished the first synthesis of the infectious Bluetongue virus solely from synthetic genes in cells as well as in a cell-free system, a major achievement in the field of virology.

Prof Roy’s interests revolve around RNA viruses which, although small, display surprisingly complicated structures and life cycles. She is guided by the view that a thorough understanding of such infectious agents offers the most rational approach to their prevention and control.

Prof Roy received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014, was elected Fellow of the Society of Biology in 2014, and received a Senior Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust in 2012. The Indian Prime Minister presented Prof Roy with one of India's most prestigious academic awards in 2012, the Indian Science Congress General President's Gold Medal. She was also an Innovator of the Year' Finalist for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in 2012.

Our prestigious annual Women in Health lecture highlights the work of leading women in health, research and policy worldwide. The lecture is held in March to coincide with International Women’s Day, and is given by women who have made a significant contribution to global health research and policy during their careers.

In 2018, we mark two major anniversaries: 150 years since women were first admitted to higher education in Britain, and the centenary of UK women's suffrage. Throughout 2018, LSHTM is celebrating and supporting women in global and public health. We look forward to welcoming you to the Women in Health 2018 Lecture as part of these celebrations. 

Previous Women in Health Lectures:


Free and open to all. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.