The Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group (CDPRG) is a multidisciplinary team within the Department of Global Health & Development in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
The group is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and conducts research across the South East Asia region, and beyond. It provides a focus of expertise on the diverse public health problems associated with communicable disease control internationally and carries out research that is in support of and for policy reform.
Richard Coker, Professor
Richard currently heads CDPRG. He trained in medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, London and, in 1994, became consultant physician to the hospital and senior lecturer at Imperial College School of Medicine. His interests include communicable diseases, in particular emerging infectious diseases, HIV, tuberculosis, and health systems responses to disasters. In 1997, as a Harkness Fellow, he spent a year at Columbia School of Public Health in New York, USA, researching the causes and responses to the epidemic of tuberculosis that city witnessed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His book, From Chaos to Coercion: detention and the control of tuberculosis, was one of the results from this work. He subsequently worked as a Wellcome Research Associate researching public health legislative responses to infectious disease threats. In recent years he has worked in India, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, and SouthEast Asia on public health responses to support control of infectious diseases. He joined the School in 1999 as a Research Fellow before becoming Senior Lecturer in 2001, Reader in 2005, and Professor of Public Health in 2009.
Sandra Mounier-Jack, Assistant Professor in Health Policy
Sandra is a Lecturer at the Department of Public Health and Policy, whose current research projects include evaluations of health policy on the control of communicable diseases including pandemic flu, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Before joining the LSHTM, she was a project officer for the European Commission and was heading the health cooperation programme of the EU in the Russian Federation. She developed monitored and evaluated major technical assistance projects on communicable diseases control in the FSU. She is currently an advisor to the UK House of Lords for a committee on the work of intergovernmental organizations in the control of infectious diseases and on the S&T House of Lords pandemic preparedness Committee and has also advised the UK government’s Cabinet Office.
James Rudge, Assistant Professor Infectious Disease Epidemiology
James joined CDPRG as an Overseas Research Fellow in June 2009. Based in Bangkok, he is currently involved in a number of projects including a resource gap analysis for pandemic preparedness in South East Asia (AsiaFluCap), and case studies on the interactions and integration between Global Fund-supported programmes and health systems. Before joining CDPRG, James completed his PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, researching the zoonotic transmission and population genetics of schistosomiasis in China and the Philippines. Prior to this he gained a BSc in Microbiology and MSc in Modern Epidemiology, also at Imperial. He has fieldwork experience in both parasitological and health systems research in several countries in Asia and Africa, and experience with mathematical modelling and molecular techniques. His interests include using a multi-disciplinary approach to address policy-relevant research questions concerning the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases, particularly zoonoses.
Mishal Khan, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Systems Research
Dr. Mishal Khan is a senior research fellow trained in epidemiological and operational research. Her experience and interest lies in developing and testing low cost, locally appropriate interventions to improve the health of vulnerable groups. Mishal’s main research areas include gender inequalities in health, health systems improvement and increasing tuberculosis (TB) case-detection. Having received a Commonwealth Scholarship to complete her doctoral studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Mishal studied socio-economic and health systems related factors influencing gender differences in TB notifications across Pakistan. She also holds a Masters degree in Control of Infectious Diseases from LSHTM and a Masters degree in Natural Sciences (Pathology) from the University of Cambridge.
Fatim Lakha, Clinical Assistant Professor
Fatim Lakha trained in medicine at Glasgow University. She is a trained GP and a Consultant in Public Health Medicine. She has clinical and academic experience in primary care, secondary care, drug development, epidemiology, biostatistics and health economics.
Her research interests include capacity building in LMICs, health systems improvement, women’s health, migrant health and communicable disease.
During a fellowship with the Contraceptive Development Network, funded by the MRC and DFID, she completed her MD at the University of Edinburgh titled “Increasing choice and use of contraception’. She also holds a Masters degree with distinction in Public health research from the University of Edinburgh and is currently midway through a Masters in Health Technology Assessment (distance learning) at the University of Glasgow.
Fatim is a reviewer for the Journal of Public Health (UK) and the Child Development and Mental Health Journal of Rajanagarindra Institute of Child Development (Thailand). She is an Honorary Consultant in Public Health at NHS Lothian (Scotland), where she is working on projects in communicable disease and integration of health services.
Her current body of work includes providing medical and epidemiological expertise to a programme of work establishing biopharmaceutical and animal vaccine capacity in Thailand and neighbouring South-East Asian countries.
Pornpatsorn Seastrand, Research Associate
Pornpatsorn began working with CDPRG in February 2013. She has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Kasetsart University. She has worked for computer companies as an administrator and has been an English language tutor.
Sara Schwanke Khilji, Visiting Research Fellow
Sara joined CDPRG as an Overseas Research Fellow in 2012. She received her medical training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and New York University and completed her specialization in Internal Medicine and Primary Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital , where she also served as Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and New York University. Her research interests include the intersection of human migration and health from a variety of perspectives, individual susceptibility to disease in the face of shifting determinants of health; access to healthcare services; changing epidemiology of established diseases and the recognition of novel ones; and the necessity of preparing healthcare systems to address these challenges. She has previously performed research and technical consulting in a variety of international settings, most recently including community health capacity building in Sri Lanka with Medical Teams International and research on malaria and human movement at the International Centre for Migration, Health, and Development in Geneva.
Marco Liverani, Lecturer
Marco is a social scientist with postgraduate training in social anthropology (MSc, University College London) and a doctorate in sociology (University of Exeter). Since he joined LSHTM in 2010, he has worked extensively in Southeast Asia, based at LSHTM field offices in Bangkok, Thailand, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
His research work in public health has focused on different aspects of infectious disease prevention and control, including policy analysis and governance, risk assessment and management, and socio-economic aspects of disease emergence and transmission.