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Professor Deirdre Hollingsworth

Professor Deirdre Hollingsworth

Deirdre Hollingsworth

Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Professor Deirdre Hollingsworth works on the development of mathematical, statistical, and computational models which inform disease dynamics and translation to global health policy. She has made significant contributions to the study of neglected tropical diseases, COVID-19, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Her research has focused on developing mathematical models that can be used to predict the spread of these diseases and evaluate the effectiveness of different control strategies. She has also worked to improve the use of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and to understand the social and economic factors that drive the spread of these diseases.

In addition to her research, Deirdre is a passionate advocate for global health equity. She works with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations to develop strategies for combating infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries. She has also worked to promote education and research opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in science and medicine.

Her energetic, collaborative research group lead and contribute to internationally recognised consortiums in neglected tropical diseases, COVID-19 (the TTI and JUNIPER consortiums) and vaccine impact modelling. Former members have gone on to independent academic positions and prestigious fellowships across the UK and internationally, building on their experiences in delivering policy-relevant research to build their own research groups.

She founded and leads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded neglected tropical disease (NTD) modelling consortium, which has informed global policy on NTDs including co-authoring a WHO report and contributing to WHO webinars on the impact of COVID-19 on these diseases, Guidelines for lymphatic filariasis control and membership of committees.

She was an invited, regular member of SPI-M-O, part of the UK government’s science advisory structure for the COVID-19 pandemic. She was awarded a SPI-M-O Award for Modelling and Data Support which recognises those people who made an exceptional contribution to the work of SPI-M-O outside of their usual work activity. SPI-M-O members were also awarded the Weldon Prize for contributions to biological sciences.

She was invited to chair the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences’ responsive COVID-19 modelling programme, which hosted international discussions and scientific exchange between modellers researching the pandemic. She also served on the steering committee for the Royal Society’s Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) programme and co-authored their report on the reproduction number (R).

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.