Humanitarian Nutrition Advisor
Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera is a trained nurse with a post graduate in Tropical Medicine who has been working in the humanitarian field for the past 8 years. She has considerable experience in the field of public health nutrition in several diverse settings including Nutritionist in Darfur and Country Nutrition and Care Practices Coordinator for Action Contre la Faim in Liberia as well as Medical Field Coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres-Spain in Liberia and Somalia. In her last 3 and a half years of employment, Alexandra was a Nutrition Advisor for International Medical Corps where she actively promoted formative research for behavior change as well as integration of Food security, Health and WASH interventions in Nutrition programming. During her MSc in Nutrition for Global Health at the LSHTM, she developed a high interest for the double burden of malnutrition.
Director of MRC International Nutrition Group
Andrew Prentice founded the MRC International Nutrition Group at LSHTM in 1999. Born in Uganda, he studied in East Africa and the UK obtaining a BSc in Biochemistry followed by a PhD in Nutrition from Darwin College, Cambridge. He worked in the MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit’s rural field station in Keneba, The Gambia from 1978-83. In 1983 he returned to the MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre in Cambridge to become Head of Human Energy Metabolism where he specialised in studying the regulation of energy balance with a particular focus on obesity. In 1998 he became scientific director of the MRC Keneba fieldstation and of the Nutrition Programme for MRC The Gambia Unit, a role he still maintains.
Lecturer in Geographic Information Systems
Chris Grundy is a Lecturer in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His background is Civil engineering and then a MSc in GIS. He started at LSHTM in 1993, supplying GIS support to projects on environmental links to health in the UK. Within a few years he was working across the whole institution, running training courses, and building research capacity. He has worked in most areas of health research in both low and high income countries. His main area of interest is data; how it can be collected and managed more efficiently, and how the requirements for clean data in GIS can be used to improved other aspects of data collection.
Flirtologist/ Social Anthropologist
Jean's purpose in life is understanding how people flirt. And people flirt differently in different cultures. She uses her background as a cultural and social anthropologist to help teach people how to flirt – to gain confidence and happiness in their lives by assisting them to projective a positive image of themselves. , she uses research and studies to emphasize the skills that we can all learn to interact more effectively. Jean also uses practical activities and interaction to bridge the brain and the body and apply the information to make our daily lives more rewarding. The basis of Jeans teachings comes from her background as a social anthropologist.. A few years ago, Jean published, The Flirt Interpreter, which is an accessible analysis of the research she conducted into the flirting behaviour of people in the cities of London, New York, Paris and Stockholm. She conducted 250 face-to-face interviews to ascertain flirting behaviour.
Associate Executive Director of 'Giving What We Can'
Jonathan Courtney is the Associate Executive Director of Giving What We Can, an organization which looks to identify, and raise money for, the most effective charities working in the developing world. Members of Giving What We Can pledge to give 10% or more of their career income to the most effective charities. Giving What We Can has only been around for 5 years, but has over 1100 members who have taken the pledge, which will result in $450 million donated over the course of their working lives — and this is just the start! Giving What We Can already moved more than $8 million to some of the world’s most effective charities. Before working for Giving What We Can Jonathan did graduate study in philosophy at Oxford University. During his Undergraduate at Carleton University, Jonathan was moved by ethical arguments that those of us with the privilege of living in the first world ought to be doing much more to help people who are living in extreme poverty.
Julia Vogl’s social sculpture incorporate public engagement, architectural interventions and colour. She is resolved to create experiences and memories for the viewer, prompting discourse, while creating aesthetically rich works and communities. Inspired by political events, social behavior, and the community where the work is sited she aims to create works that reveal underlying cultural values. American and British her public works have been on both sides of the Atlantic. She is not afraid to be ambitious, with a record of scaling buildings and involving thousands of people. She has taken this on in unorthodox environments/communities taking on themes such as London’s Budget, Epilepsy, Language, Home, and Death. Winner of the Catlin Art Prize, Aestheica Prize and several Arts Council Grants she recently received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in the USA for her work in Tysons Virginia.
Health Systems Lecturer
Karl Blanchet is currently a Lecturer on health systems research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and is also one of the co-founders of the Public Health in Humanitarian Crises Group.
Karl worked for 12 years for international non-governmental organisations in health system strengthening in Asia, Africa and Europe. He then decided to create a link between project implementers and researchers and develop innovative evaluation methods to better inform patients, authorities and implementing agencies. Karl has one priority in mind: make sure that his work can help save lives.
He also has interests in sustainability and resilience of health systems and more specifically in post-conflict and conflict-affected countries and has developed new research approaches based on complexity science, system thinking and social network analysis. Karl is also fascinated by the utilisation of mobile and electronic information tools in low resource settings to help decision makers.
Linguist/ Director of Endangered Languages Documentation Programme
Mandana Seyfeddinipur is a linguist and the director of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme at SOAS University of London. The programme supports the documentation of endangered languages world wide. Of the approximately 7000 languages spoken today half will have fallen silent by the end of this century. Humanity is losing its linguistic diversity and these unwritten languages are vanishing without a trace. In her work she focuses on the documentation of these languages and the knowledge encoded within them. A specialist in language use and multimodality she supports and trains scholars in how to create multi-media collection of endangered languages documenting the knowledge of our human cultural heritage encoded in language.
Nikki van der Gaag
Independent Consultant and Writer
Nikki has been working on women’s rights and gender in many countries in the world for the past 20 years. Since 2006 she has been the main author of most of Plan International’s State of the World’s Girls reports. She became increasingly interested in why so many programs only worked with girls rather than men, when the boys in the countries she visited for her research were often jumping up and down asking: why not me? Nikki was already aware of organisations like Sonke Gender Justice and Instituto Promundo and she wanted to write an engaging book that examined the issues around feminism and men and asked some key questions about why, when women and girls have changed so much, men and boys have not.
In 2014, Nikki wrote Feminism and men and has been speaking about the book's ideas at many event all over the world. She has also been working with both Sonke and Promundo to co-author State of the World’s Fathers (an idea she had in the swimming pool!) which they launched in 7 countries.
Sam Willcocks’ research focuses on understanding host-pathogen interactions to further the knowledge of the virulence mechanisms that cause disease. With a strong background in innate immunology, Sam nows work in areas of bacteriology, molecular biology, and genetics to identify targets that may facilitate future drug design and the creation of vaccine candidates. He has particular interest and expertise in the Biosafety Level III respiratory pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Spoken Word Artist
Sophia Walker is the BBC Slam Champion, UK representative for the World Slam Championships, and a former Scottish National Champion, among other titles. Sophia tours internationally, and her poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, NPR, Franceinter, and stations across Vietnam, India, Italy, Australia, Canada and Singapore. She has also previously featured on BBC iplayer. Sophia has performed everywhere from Royal Holloway prison to the European Parliament. Her spoken word shows have garnered her Best UK Spoken Word Show 2014, two time winner of the Best Spoken Word Show at the Edinburgh Fringe, and she is annually shortlisted for Best UK Spoken Word Performer.
Lecturer in global health and philosophy & Director of the MSc in Global Health & Social Justice
Sridhar Venkatapuram has been at the forefront of health ethics and global health for over twenty years. His research and expertise is in global/public health, social epidemiology, human rights, ethics and philosophy. He aims to bridge normative reasoning, particularly about social justice, with relevant natural and social sciences related to human health. He has academic training in a range of disciplines including international relations, public health, sociology and political philosophy. His doctoral dissertation making the argument for a moral/human right to ‘the capability to be healthy’ was supervised by Melissa Lane, and examined and passed without corrections by Amartya Sen, Nobel prize winning economist and philosopher. It formed the basis of his first book titled Health Justice: An argument from the capabilities approach which has been described as a landmark achievement. He is currently writing a book on the modern history and current issues of global health ethics.
Director of Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Val is a behavioural scientist who develops and tests interventions to change behaviour.
Trained as an engineer, epidemiologist and anthropologist, she uses an approach known as Behaviour Centred Design to create and test interventions in hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, product development and other behaviour-related issues. Her background is in hygiene and sanitation and she is co-founder of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap.
She teaches and consults on behaviour change with governments, international organisations and industry. She has published widely on hygiene, behaviour and disgust and is author of: Don’t Look Don’t Touch, the Science behind Revulsion (OUP 2013) and co-author of Gaining Control, how human behaviour evolved (OUP 2015).
Psychiatrist/ Global Mental Health Advocate
Vikram Patel is a psychiatrist with a primary interest in global mental health. In 2015, he was listed in the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world. Vikram’s passion is to contribute to the goal of improving access to mental health care and promoting human rights of people with mental disorders. He was Founding and Joint Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, and is now Joint Director of the Centre for Chronic Conditions and Injuries at the Public Health Foundation of India. Vikram is co-founder of Sangath, a NGO which collaborates with LSHTM in child development, adolescent and mental health. Sangath won the MacArthur Foundation’s International Prize in 2008. Vikram has been a leader in setting up the new Movement for Global Mental Health, a global coalition of professionals and civil society to improve lives of people affected by mental illness. Finally, Vikram authored “Where There Is No Psychiatrist", mental health manual for non-specialist health workers.
Will Nutland is a research fellow at LSHTM, having joined the School in 2008 on the DrPH programme. Will has worked in a range of community-based health and environment roles, including as Head of Health Promotion for the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust. Fifteen years ago Will, along with other international HIV activists, started to lobby and campaign for greater research into and development of new HIV prevention technologies – including using anti-retroviral therapies to prevent HIV. This activism, lead to the wide availability of post-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PEP) and the funding of a major national education programme on PEP in England. For the last three years, Will has been researching the acceptability of pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP) in London – a drug regime that can prevent HIV infection when exposed to HIV. Described as a ‘game changer’ in HIV prevention, PrEP activists are now seeking to ensure that this new HIV prevention tool is available on the NHS.