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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Established 1924 - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine established by Royal Charter
1899 - London School of Tropical Medicine
Type Public
Director Professor Sir Andrew Haines
Staff 766 (full-time equivalent)
Students 2,805 total
(1,922 distance learning)
Location Bloomsbury, London, WC1, UK
Campus Urban
Affiliations University of London
Main entrance

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM or the "London School") is a constituent college of the University of London, specialising in public health and tropical medicine. Founded by Sir Patrick Manson in 1899, London School is a research-led postgraduate centre of excellence in public health, international health and tropical medicine.

The School's mission is: To contribute to the improvement of health worldwide through the pursuit of excellence in research, postgraduate teaching and advanced training in national and international public health and tropical medicine, and through informing policy and practice in these areas.

Academic strengths The School is part of the University of London and is the University's major resource for postgraduate teaching and research in public health and tropical medicine. On successful completion of their studies, students gain a University of London degree.

Teaching and training are carried out by dedicated academic staff who are leaders in their fields and have considerable links with key universities and research institutions around the world, together with extensive academic, practical and international experience.

In 2008, the UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed the School as a world leading centre for research. The School has been ranked one of the top three research institutions in the country in the Times Higher Education Table of Excellence, which is based on the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The School made submissions to three of the RAE's sub-panels, Infection and Immunology, Epidemiology and Public Health, and Health Services Research. It was among the highest ranked institutions in all three areas, with between 65% and 80% of its research assessed as world leading or internationally excellent. The results indicate that in both Epidemiology and Public Health and Health Services Research the School has the largest concentration of world leading research in the UK. In Epidemiology and Public Health, 35% of the School's research activity was assessed as 4 (world leading), with a further 35% rated as 3 (internationally excellent). This result is particularly impressive in light of the fact that the School entered by far the highest number of staff of any UK institution (135.37), more than double the number entered by any other institution. The School also performed outstandingly in Health Services Research and in Infection and Immunology. In Health Services Research, 30% of its research activity received a 4* rating, and a further 35% was rated as 3. In Infection and Immunology, 80% of research activity was rated 3 or 4[1][2].

In 2001 the School achieved high scores of 5 in all areas assessed.

In 2003, the School underwent an institutional audit by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and was awarded the highest grade.



Department of Epidemiology and Population Health

The Department of Epidemiology and Population Health aims to be a methodological centre of excellence for research in national and global health issues, to expand the limits of epidemiological thinking & multi-disciplinary research to further understanding of health issues in their full complexity, to develop, refine and disseminate tools & methods for research design, data collection, analysis and evaluation, and to conduct rigorous research in national and global health.

The Department has expertise in:

  • Clinical trials
  • Analysis of routinely collected statistics
  • Indirect techniques for measuring mortality in developing countries
  • Conduct and analysis of observational studies
  • Large-scale field trials
  • Design and evaluation of interventions
  • National and global health

Other goals of the Department are; To inform policy concerning major public health issues, at local, national and global level. To contribute to the improvement of public health through effective teaching. To elucidate the aetiological pathways and disease mechanisms of major health problems. To map trends over time, and the public health consequences of a changing world. To describe epidemiological differences between and within countries, and to contribute to the reduction of inequalities and inequity in health. To contribute to better understanding of national and global health issues. To evaluate and improve interventions: To generate and evaluate strategies which will reduce the excess burden of disease, suffered by the poor and the vulnerable. To evaluate new treatments, medical interventions, screening, patient information needs and counselling services. To assess hazards and threats to health in order to inform policy, in response to widespread public concern.

Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases

The Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (ITD) was formed in August 1997 and encompasses all of the laboratory-based research in the School as well as that on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of infectious and tropical diseases. It is currently headed by Simon Croft, who is Professor of Parasitology. The Department is organised into four large research units. The range of disciplines represented in the department is very broad and inter-disciplinary research is a feature of much of our activity. The spectrum of diseases studied is wide and there are major research groups working on topics which include:

  • HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • malaria and other vector borne diseases
  • tuberculosis
  • vaccine development and evaluation
  • vector biology and disease control

There is close interaction between scientists in different research teams. The Department has strong overseas links which provide a basis for field studies and international collaborations in developed and developing countries. Funding for research in the Department comes from around 45 funding organizations and agencies. Major funders of research include the Department for International Development, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, GlaxoSmithKline and the Commission of European Communities.

Department of Public Health and Policy

The Department of Public Health and Policy aims to improve global health through research, teaching and the provision of advice in the areas of health policy, health systems and services, and individual, social and environmental influences on health. Interests and activities embrace the health needs of people living in countries at all levels of development. The School has the largest numbers of research active staff in the areas of epidemiology, public health and health services research in the UK.[3] The Department of Public Health and Policy has over 220 members of staff, including epidemiologists, public health physicians, economists, policy analysts, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, psychologists, statisticians and mathematicians. The Department's research programmes, with an annual spend of over £7m, focus on public health problems of importance both globally and in the UK, and build on an extensive network of collaborations.[4]

The research programmes exploit multidisciplinary and multi-method approaches, generate new knowledge for specific contexts and test transferability to different settings, and engage with policymakers and providers of health care to ensure research is relevant and translated into practice. The Department is renowned for its influential research in diverse areas concerned with global health such as:

  • Understanding the policy-making process in health and using this understanding to improve the quality of public decision-making
  • Evaluating ways of improving health system performance in countries across the world, from the UK to fragile states such as Afghanistan
  • Improving the quality, organisation and management of health services
  • Using economic and epidemiological analysis to guide disease prevention and treatment in areas such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, vaccine-preventable diseases, child health, and cancers
  • Pioneering ways of using routine data to evaluate and improve service quality in areas such as surgery
  • Understanding the influences on health of individual behaviours including sexual practices, drug use, and gender violence, and evaluating behavioural change interventions
  • Assessing the effect of environmental factors on health, especially climate change, air pollution, housing and transport, and evaluating public health policies in these areas
  • Understanding global influences on health and health systems including the role of transnational companies such as the tobacco industry, and the spread of pandemic diseases.

The Department hosts School Centres in the areas of History in Public Health, Research on Drugs and Health Behaviours, Spatial Analysis in Public Health, Global Change and Health, Health of Societies in Transition (ECOHOST), and Gender Violence and Health. In addition, staff participate in Centres based in other departments, notably the Malaria Centre and the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Disease.

In keeping with its focus on the interface between scientific research, policy and practice, department staff are engaged in a very wide range of policy-influencing roles, including membership of key government advisory groups, leadership of professional bodies, membership of research funding bodies, and provision of expert advice to global health institutions.

All three Departments offer a wide range of MSc courses and Research Degrees.


The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Malet Street

The School was founded in 1899 by Sir Patrick Manson as the London School of Tropical Medicine and located at the Albert Dock Seamen's Hospital in the London Docklands.[5] Manson was a physician who worked in the Far East in the 1860s-1880s, where he encountered tropical diseases and was frustrated by his lack of knowledge. On his return to London, among other roles, he was appointed Medical Advisor to the Colonial Office. He believed that doctors should be trained in tropical medicine, to treat the many British citizens who were dying of tropical diseases that could have been treated if colonial doctors knew more about these diseases. The original School was established as part of the Seamen's Hospital Society, it has its origins in the hospital ships which were docked on the Thames at Greenwich.

In 1920 the School moved, with the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, to Endsleigh Gardens in central London, taking over a former hotel which had been used as a hospital for officers during the First World War.[6] In 1921 the Athlone Committee recommended the creation of an institute of state medicine, which built on a proposal by the Rockefeller Foundation to develop a London-based institution that would lead the world in the promotion of public health and tropical medicine. This enlarged School, now named the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine was granted its Royal Charter in 1924.

The main School building is in Keppel Street in Bloomsbury. This building was opened in 1929 by HRH the Prince of Wales. The purchase of the site and the cost of a new building was made possible through a gift of $2m from the Rockefeller Foundation. A competition to design the new School building was held involving five architects, all experienced in laboratory design and construction. This was won by Morley Horder and Verner Rees.

Deans of the School

  • Sir Francis Lovell Dean of London School of Tropical Medicine from 1903 to 1916
  • SirHavelock CharlesDean of the London School of Tropical Medicine 1916 to 1924
  • Sir Andrew Balfour Director from 1923 to 1931
  • Wilson Jameson from 1931 to 1940
  • 1939 to 1945 - Successive changes of Dean because of wartime commitments of Wilson Jameson and Brigadier Parkinson
  • J M Mackintosh from January 1945 to 1950
  • Andrew Topping from 1950 to 1955
  • Austin Bradford Hill from 1955 to 1957
  • James Kilpatrick from 1957 to 1960
  • E T C Spooner from 1960 to 1970
  • Professor Gordon Smith from 1970 to 1989
  • Professor Richard Feachem from 1989 to 1995
  • B S Drasar Acting during 1995
  • Harrison Spencer from 1996 to 2000
  • Geoffrey Targett Acting during 2000
  • Sir Andrew Haines from 2001 to present

The Gates Award

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has won the 2009 Gates Award for Global Health established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will receive $ 1 million in prize money. The award recognises organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to improving global health.

Awards bestowed by the School

See also

  • Innovative Vector Control Consortium


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ RAE 2008
  4. ^ LSHTM Annual Report 2008
  5. ^ Cook GC, Webb AJ (2001). "The Albert Dock Hospital, London: the original site (in 1899) of Tropical Medicine as a new discipline". Acta Trop 79 (3): 249–55. doi:10.1016/S0001-706X(01)00127-9. PMID 11412810.  
  6. ^ "Albert Dock Seamen's Hospital". Archives in London and the M25 area (AIM25).  
  7. ^ London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Report on the Work of the School 1977-1978, page 21, 1978, (London:London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

6. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine wins 2009 annual Gates Award for Global Health.

Further reading

  • Lise Wilkinson and Anne Hardy, Prevention and cure: the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: a 20th century quest for global public health, Kegan Paul Limited, 2001, ISBN 0-7103-0624-5

External links



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