Azra Ghani

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Azra Catherine Hilary Ghani

Alma mater Imperial College London (PhD)
University of Southampton (MSc)
University of Cambridge (MA)
Scientific career
InstitutionsImperial College London
University of Oxford
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Thesis Sexual partner networks and the epidemiology of gonorrhoea  (1997)

Azra Catherine Hilary Ghani MBE FMedSci is a British epidemiologist who is a professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. Her research considers the mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, including malaria, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and coronavirus. She has worked with the World Health Organization on their technical strategy for malaria. She is associate director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis. [1]


Early life and education

Ghani was born to Feroz and Hilary Ghani.[ citation needed ]} She studied mathematics at Newnham College, Cambridge, at the University of Cambridge, matriculating in 1989. [2] [3] After graduating, she moved to the University of Southampton to complete a master's degree in operations research. She joined Imperial College London in 1993, where she researched the epidemiology of gonorrhea and sexual partner networks. [4] After earning her doctorate Ghani moved to the University of Oxford, where she was supported by a Wellcome Trust fellowship. She moved to Imperial College London as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow. [5]

Research and career

In 2005 Ghani was appointed to the faculty at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Here she became interested malaria, particularly the disease's complexity, and the need to understand many aspects of science and society to better control it. [5] She returned to Imperial College London in 2007, where she serves as Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Head of the Malaria Modelling Research Group. [5] Her research considers the epidemiology of infectious disease, including malaria, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, HIV, SARS and coronavirus. [6] She develops mathematical models that can better describe the transmission dynamics of malaria, to visualise how it impacts both humans and mosquitoes, and use this insight to fight the disease. [6] [7] Ghani serves on the malaria policy advisory committee of the World Health Organization. [6] She was elected to the spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee. [8]

In 2017 Ghani was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences. [9] Through her understanding of infectious diseases, Ghani looks to better inform public health interventions. [10] In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghani reported self-isolation, home quarantine and social distancing could limit the number of UK deaths caused by the coronavirus to 20,000. [11] [12] She worked with Neil Ferguson to show that during the course of the pandemic, the National Health Service would become overwhelmed by the number of cases. [11] [13]

Awards and honours

Ghani is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. [15]

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to infectious disease control and epidemiological research. [16]

Selected publications

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  1. "Governance". Imperial College London. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  2. Matriculation records of Newnham College, Cambridge. archives of Newnham College, Cambridge: Newnham College, Cambridge.
  3. "Bio Ghani - International Conference on Infectious Disease Dynamic - Elsevier". Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  4. Ghani, Azra Catherine Hilary (1997). Sexual partner networks and the epidemiology of gonorrhea (Thesis). OCLC   1006193417.
  5. 1 2 3 "WHO | Modelling: from runways to bednets". WHO. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  6. 1 2 3 "WHO | Current MPAC members". WHO. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  7. "Faces behind MNMUK". Malaria No More UK. Archived from the original on 2020-03-18. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  8. The Government's Review of the Principles Applying to the Treatment of Independent Scientific Advice Provided to Government: Third Report of Session 2009-10, Vol. 2: Written Evidence. The Stationery Office. 2009. ISBN   978-0-215-54281-6.
  9. 1 2 "Professor Azra Ghani | The Academy of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  10. "Does travel make you ill? | Royal Society". Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  11. 1 2 "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". Retrieved 2020-03-18.Cite uses generic title (help)
  12. "Sobering coronavirus study prompted Britain to toughen its approach". Reuters. 2020-03-17. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  13. "COVID-19: Scientists Question UK Government Plans". Medscape. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  14. "11 reasons 2017 was a success for RSTMH". Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2017-12-14. Archived from the original on 2020-03-18. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  15. "Honours and Memberships - Professor Azra Ghani". Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  16. "No. 63377". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2021. p. B18.