Historical research is of central relevance to an understanding of public health in the present. Current developments cannot be understood without a knowledge of the past.

The Centre for History in Public Health (CHiPH) was established in 2003, with its origins in the AIDS Social History Programme at LSHTM in the late 1980s.

Our location within a multidisciplinary public health institution is unique and keeps us firmly in the forefront of historical research into public health and health services.

Our research has covered both public health and health services in high, middle and low income settings. Key programmes currently underway include Professor Martin Gorsky’s four year study ‘Border crossings: charity and voluntarism in Britain's mixed economy of health care since 1948,’ Dr Janet Weston’s five year study on values, morals, and ethics in public health since 1920, and Dr Hannah Elizabeth’s research fellowship ‘What's love got to do with it? Building and maintaining HIV-affected families through love, care and activism in Edinburgh 1981-2016.’

Our MSc teaching is both to face-to-face  and via distance learning. We also run a free online course (MOOC) on the history of public health in post-war Britain.

Our public engagement includes the creation of film and audio; conferences; and seminars available to staff, students, and the general public.

Our policy engagement is key to our Centre and on the basis of our role within a leading school of public health we interact with policy and decision-makers to inform the evidence base.

We are also developing networks and activities across the broader public health humanities.

Our team

CHiPH has a core team of engaged researchers including PhD students, as well as advisors, honorary staff, and members from within LSHTM and beyond. 

Advisory Committee

Stuart Anderson (PHP)
Virginia Berridge (PHP)
David Bradley (ITD)
Linda Bryder (University of Auckland)
Karl Byrne (AAS)
Clare Chandler (PHP/ITD)
Victoria Cranna (AAS)
Simon Croft (ITD)
Oliver Cumming (ITD)
Matt Egan (PHP)
Martin Gorsky (PHP) (Deputy Director)
Christopher Hamlin
Kara Hanson (PHP)
Ingrid James (PHP)
Heidi Larson (EPH)
Susanne MacGregor (PHP)
Anne Mills (AAS)
Alex Mold (PHP) (Director)
John Porter (PHP/ITD), Chair
Rebecca Sear (EPH)
Sarah Walters (EPH)

Honorary Staff

Linda Bryder
(University of Auckland, New Zealand)  Honorary Professor

Chris Hamlin
(University of Notre Dame, USA) Honorary Professor

Anne Hardy
(LSHTM) Honorary Professor

Lioba Hirsch
(University of Liverpool) Honorary Research Fellow

Richard Knowlton
(Massachusetts Cancer Registry) Honorary Research Fellow

Susanne MacGregor
(LSHTM) Honorary Professor

John Manton
(LSHTM) Honorary Assistant Professor

Ros Stanwell-Smith
(LSHTM) Honorary Senior Lecturer

PhD Students

Alice Gambell

Supervisors: Janet Weston, Magdalena Harris

Topic: ' Accessing prison healthcare in England and Wales: 1996 to 2021’

Funder: Geoffrey Wilkinson Studentship

Justine Womack

Supervisors: Alex Mold, Virginia Berridge

Topic: A history of the obesity epidemic in England

Esther Rottenburg

Supervisors: Melissa Parker, John Manton, Alex Mold

Topic: The construction of knowledge around antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance in Uganda and the UK

Funder: Medical Research Foundation

Previous PhD students

Our previous PhD students include:

Mateusz Zatonski 2014-2019

Supervisor: Martin McKee, PHP (main supervisor) and Martin Gorsky, PHP (co-supervisor)

Topic: 'State, society, and the politics of smoking in Poland, during and after communism (1960-2000)'

Funder: ESRC

Start: October 2014.  Awarded July 2019

Peder Clark, 2015-2019

Supervisors: Alex Mold (PHP), Virginia Berridge (PHP

Topic: ‘Lifestyle’, heart disease, and the British public: c.1950 to c.2000.

Funder: Wellcome Trust

Start: September 2015. Awarded July 2019

Stephen Davies, 2010-2017

Supervisor: Martin Gorsky.

Topic: ‘Organisation and Policy for Research and Development: the Health Department for England and Wales, 1961 to 1986’.

Start: October 2010. Awarded November 2017

Christopher Hallam, 2009-2016

Supervisor: Virginia Berridge.

Topic: ‘Script Doctors and Vicious Addicts: Subcultures, Drugs and Regulation under the ‘British System’, c 1917 – c.1960.

Start: 2009. Awarded October 2016.

Christopher Sirrs, 2011-2016

Supervisor:  Alex Mold (main supervisor) and Virginia Berridge (co-supervisor)

Topic:Health and Safety in the British Regulatory State: The HSC, The HSE and the Management of Occupational Risk, 1961 -2001

Start: 2011. Awarded 2016.

Nadja van Ginneken, 2009-2015

Supervisor: Vikram Patel (main supervisor) and Virginia Berridge (co-supervisor)

Topic: The Roles of Non Specialist Health Workers in Mental Health Care Provision in India.

Start: 2009. Awarded 2015.

Jennifer Walke, 2008-2015

Supervisor: Martin Gorsky

Topic: Repute and Remedy: Psychiatric Patients and Their Treatment at Bethlem Royal Hospital, 1930-1983.

Funder: Wellcome Trust.

Start: 2008. Awarded  2015.

Gareth Millward, 2009-2014

Supervisor: Martin Gorsky

Topic: Invalid Definitions, Invalid Responses: Disability and the Welfare State, 1965-1995.

Funder: Wellcome Trust.

Start: 2009. Awarded 2014.

Jane McGregor, 2006-2010

Supervisor: Virginia Berridge

Topic: From Dependence to Binge: Alcohol in Nottingham 1970-2007

Start: 2006. Awarded 2010.

Suzanne Taylor, 2005-2010

Supervisor: Virginia Berridge

Topic: Medicalising Cannabis: Science, Medicine, and Policy 1950-2004.

Funder: Wellcome Trust.

Start: 2005. Awarded 2010.


The Centre has hosted academic visitors from around the world.  Past visitors include:

Alice Mauger, Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland, University College Dublin
Funded by the Wellcome Trust
Visiting 1st May – 30th May 2018

Perceptions and experiences of alcoholism and its treatment in Ireland, c. 1890-1970

Margarita Vilar-Rodriguez, Universidad de A Coruña
Funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the EU-ERDF
18th – 22nd April 2017 and 8th to 21st May 2017

The management and construction of the Spanish hospital system from the perspective of economic history: between public and private sectors

Jeronia Pons Pons, Universidad de Serville
1st April – 30th June 2017

Comparing the inception of the Spanish and British hospital systems

Daniel Zurcher, Universitat Basel
Funded by Swiss National Science Foundation
21st February 2017 – 31st December 2017

HIV/AIDS and the Swiss gay movement

Marcos Cueto, Professor in the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, in Rio de Janeiro
Funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation
9th January – 3rd February 2017

History of AIDS, Global Health and Brazil during the period 1996-2005

Charlotte Rose McKee, Occupational Health Nurse, Camden PCT
Intern working with Martin Gorsky and Jane Seymour on the Wellcome Library project ‘Metropolitan Medical Officers: Local Leadership, Democracy and Shaping Environments for Health in London, 1919 – 1939’ held by Richard Aspen and Martin Gorsky.  Charlotte was visiting until March 2016.

Kate Prebble, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Auckland
11th May 28th May, 2015

History of mental health and mental health nursing

Cheryl Ware, PhD Candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney
Tuesday, 14th July – Friday, 17th July 2015

The changing social experiences of HIV-positive homosexual men in Sydney between 1982 and 1996

Maurits Meerwijk, PhD Candidate, The University of Hong Kong; Visiting Research Fellow LSHTM
January – April 2015

The history of dengue fever in Asia

Wayne Hall, Professor of Addiction Policy, National Addiction Centre, Kings College London and Director, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland
Monday, 27th April 2015 – Friday, 22nd May 2015, October 2014

The the implications for the UK, EU and other developed countries of the legalisation of cannabis for recreational purposes in the US states of  Washington and Colorado

A comparison of policies towards e-cigarettes in the UK and Australia.

Michael Ward, Visiting Research Fellow (2 years)
Funder: Webb Memorial Trust

A biographical study of Beatrice and Sidney Webb, leading social reformers and socialists of the twentieth century.

Francesco Spöring, PhD Student, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Globally-oriented temperance activists based in Switzerland

Trudy Jacobsen, Assistant Director Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Associate Professor Department of History, Northern Illinois University

An exploration of colonial policy towards mental illness in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and the extent to which post-colonial governments retained or rejected such polices.

Why NGOs Fail at Preventing Sex Trafficking in Mainland Southeast Asia

Axel Hüntelmann, Assistant Professor, Institute for the History Theory & Ethics of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
August 2012

The history of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in comparison with other European public health institutions.

‘Entangled Histories: The foundation and early establishment of public health institutions in Britain and Europe around 1900.’

Paulus van Trigt. PhD student, History Department, VU University Amsterdam
Autumn 2012

In-and exclusion of the blind in Dutch society in the 20th century


The Centre  and its research has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council; Alcohol Research UK; the Health Protection Agency; NICE; the Department of Health, the British Academy, the Health Foundation and the EU.