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Research Fellows Directory

Nicholas Grassly

Professor Nicholas Grassly

Research Fellow


Imperial College London

Research summary

I study infectious diseases, how they spread and the best ways to control them. I am particularly interested in diseases that can be prevented through vaccination or through community-wide treatment. This interest stems from both a desire to help reduce the significant burden of these diseases and from their intrinsically interesting biology and dynamics. My training is in biology and mathematics.

The science involves collecting and analysing data from epidemiological studies, clinical trials and disease surveillance. These data are used to address specific hypotheses about the nature of infectious diseases, their clinical features, how they spread and how they respond to treatment or prevention interventions. To answer these questions I work closely with epidemiologists and doctors in a number of countries in Africa and Asia.

For example, our work on polio found that eradication efforts are hampered in some settings by conditions that favour the spread not just of poliovirus but also other infections that stop the oral vaccine working effectively. We were able to provide the first estimates showing the greater effectiveness of a newly licensed vaccine that was introduced in 2005. Our work in this case provided the evidence base for the widespread adoption of this vaccine by the Global Eradication Initiative.

My research group works on poliovirus epidemiology, the blinding eye disease called trachoma and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. We also carry out research on theoretical aspects of epidemiology, including the mathematical methods and models used to analyse infectious disease data.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Importance of travel and contact networks for infectious diseases of humans

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2004 - Mar 2013

Value: £11,390,830.63