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Professor Neil Ferguson OBE FMedSci

Job Title
MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling
Imperial College London
Year elected



infectious disease epidemiology and epidemic modelling applied to influenza, FMD, bioterrorism and understanding pathogen evolution

Section committee elected by

Physics, chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, mathematical sciences including statistics, informatics, imaging and engineering applied to biomedicine

Neil Ferguson holds the Chair of Mathematical Biology at Imperial College. He is an outstandingly talented mathematical epidemiologist. He has made a major contribution to the understanding of the epidemiology and control of a number of key human and animal pathogens. In 1996, he programmed the first back-calculation model of the BSE epidemic, and since then has built an impressive reputation in this area in modelling and risk assessment research. This work included generating the first reliable estimates of the maximum possible scale of the human vCJD epidemic. In 2001, he developed mathematical models of the foot and mouth epidemic and this work played a major role in the scientific advice that helped shape the measures adopted to control that outbreak. In recognition of this work, he was awarded an OBE in 2002. He has taken a lead role in developing enhanced epidemiological prediction and analysis tools for smallpox and other bioterrorist outbreaks, and is involved in advising the UK government, the EU and the US in this area. His recent work on modelling the transmission and evolution (at sequence level) of influenza A has led to new understanding of the processes shaping both inter-pandemic drift and subtype replacement during pandemics. His ongoing work on influenza is exploring how pandemic surveillance can be optimised, and whether antiviral drugs might slow or contain a pandemic in its earliest stages. He has also made important contributions to HIV pathogenesis and antiviral treatment which has given new insight into the key factors underlying therapeutic outcome. His exceptional skills have made important advances in applied and basic research that impact on a broad range of infectious disease disciplines.

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