Roy M. Anderson

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Sir Roy Anderson

Roy Malcolm Anderson

(1947-04-12) 12 April 1947 (age 74)[1]
Hertfordshire,[2] England, UK
Alma materImperial College London
AwardsErnst Chain Prize (2005)
Weldon Memorial Prize (1989)
Croonian Lecture (1994)
Scientific career
InstitutionsImperial College London
King's College London
University of Oxford
Ministry of Defence[3]
ThesisA quantitative ecological study of the helminth parasites of the bream Abramis brama' (1971)
Doctoral advisorGeorge Murdie[4][5]

Sir Roy Malcolm Anderson FRS FMedSci[6] (born 12 April 1947) is a leading international authority on the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases. He is the author, with Robert May, of the most highly cited book in this field, entitled Infectious Diseases of Humans: Dynamics and Control. His early work was on the population ecology of infectious agents before focusing on the epidemiology and control of human infections. His published research includes studies of the major viral, bacterial and parasitic infections of humans, wildlife and livestock. This has included major studies on HIV, SARS, foot and mouth disease, bovine tuberculosis, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, influenza A, antibiotic resistant bacteria, the neglected tropical diseases and most recently COVID-19. Anderson is the author of over 650 peer-reviewed scientific articles with an h citation index of 125 (Google Scholar Citations).

Education and early life[edit]

Anderson was born the son of James Anderson and Betty Watson-Weatherburn.[2] He attended Duncombe School, Bengeo and Richard Hale School. He was awarded a First Class Honours Bachelor of Science degree in zoology at Imperial College London followed by a PhD in parasitology in 1971.[7][8]

Career and research[edit]

He moved to the Biomathematics Department at the University of Oxford as an IBM Research Fellow working on stochastic models of infectious disease spread under Professor Maurice Bartlett FRS. He was appointed to a Lectureship in Parasitology at King's College London in 1974 before moving back to Imperial as a lecturer in Ecology and then becoming Professor of Parasite Ecology in 1982. He was head of the Department of Biology from 1984 to 1993.[2] At Imperial College, he also served as Director of the Wellcome Centre for Parasite Infections from 1989 to 1993.

In 1993 Anderson moved to the University of Oxford where he was head of the Zoology department and held the Linacre Chair of Zoology at Merton College until 2000. During this time he founded and served as Director of the Wellcome Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease - the first such centre in the UK entirely focused on research into the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases.

Chief Scientific Advisor of the Ministry of Defence[edit]

He was chief scientific advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence from October 2004 to September 2007. After that, he returned to his chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London.[9]

Rector of Imperial College[edit]

Anderson was appointed the 14th Rector of Imperial College on 1 July 2008. In his time as Rector he focused on strengthening the emphasis on teaching as well as world renown research at Imperial, and on securing a new site in the White City, West London, to facilitate the expansion of Imperial's molecular and biomedical research, halls of residence, support for innovation and entrepreneurship and teaching facilities. He also negotiated the first overseas campus venture for Imperial in partnership with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore which led to the creation of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore designed to train doctors to meet Singapore Healthcare needs. He tendered his resignation in November 2009 stating his wish to return to his primary interest in scientific research on global health issues.

Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research[edit]

He established the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (LCNTDR) in 2013. The LCNTDR was launched with the aim of providing focused operational and research support for NTD control. The LCNTDR member institutions house leading NTD experts with a wide range of specialties, making the centre a valuable resource for cross-sectoral research and collaboration. It is a joint initiative between the Royal Veterinary College, Imperial College London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Natural History Museum.

Membership of Councils, Boards and Committees (National and International)[edit]

He has sat on numerous government and international agency committees advising on public health and disease control including the World Health Organisation, The European Commission, UNAIDS, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He is currently a Vice-President of Fauna Flora International, Chairman of Oriole Global Health Limited, Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research, Trustee of the Banga Trust and a Trustee of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

He was a non-executive director of GlaxoSmithKline 2008–2018, a member of the International Advisory Board of Hakluyt and Company Ltd. 2008–2019, and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of PTTGC Company Thailand, 2014–2018.

Other memberships:

·        Member of the International Advisory Board of the Malaysian Government Biotechnology Initiative (Biotechnology Corporation), 2010-2017

·        Chairman Pearson Independent Advisory Board on Making Education Work, 2012-2018

·        Member of the Singapore National Research Foundation Fellowship Advisory Board, 2012-2015

·        Trustee of the Natural History Museum, London, 2008–2016. Member of The Royal Society Science Policy Advisory Group, 2008-2014

·        Member of the International Advisory Board of the Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency, 2010-2017

·        Chairman, Advisory Board, Gates Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), Imperial College, 2001-2018

·        Member of the advisory panel of The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), 2012-2015

·        Member of the International Advisory board of ATHENA, (National AIDS Patient Database Charity), Amsterdam, Holland, 2002-2017

·        Member of the Singapore National Research Foundation International Advisory Board, 2009-2012

·        Chairman of the review board of the National Vaccine research programme in the Netherlands, 2011

·        Chairman of the review board of the National Public Health services research in the Netherlands (RIVM), 2010

·        Council Member Royal College of Art, 2008-2011

·        Member of the Advisory Board of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College, 2007-2010

·        Member of the Advisory Board of the Mathematics Institute, Imperial College London, 2007-2010

·        Governor of the Institute for Government London, 2007-2011

·        Chairman of the World Health Organisation Science and Technology Advisory Board on Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2007-2011

·        Member Scientific Advisory Board, Bill and Melinda Gates Initiative on Grand Challenges in Global Health, Gates Foundation, 2005-2011

·        Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Board, Ministry of Defence UK, 2007-2008

·        Chairman of the Major Investments Approval Board (IAB), Ministry of Defence, UK, 2004-2008

·        Member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom, 2004-2007

·        Council member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), 2004-2007

·        Council member of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), 2005-2007

·        Member of the Department of Health Science Advisory Board for Epidemic Outbreaks, 2001-2011

·        Member of the Government Chief Scientist's Science Advisory Board for pandemic influenza, 2003-2010

·        Chairman of the Science Advisory Council (SAC) of the UK Government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 2003-2005

·        Member of the Science Advisory Committee of the UK Health Protection Agency, 2004-2006

·        Member, US National Academies of Science Committee 'Advances in Technology and the Prevention of their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare Agents', 2003–06

·        Member World Health Organisation (WHO) Advisory Group on SARS, Geneva, 2003

·        Member, Health Protections Agency (HPA) Advisory Group on SARS, 2003

·        Member of the Advisory Board, Earth Institute, University of Columbia, New York USA, 2003-2007

·        Chairman, Canadian Innovation Fund Committee for Infectious Disease Research, 2002-2003

·        Member of Science Advisory Group, Civil Contingencies Committee, 2001-2002

·        Member of Foot and Mouth Scientific Advisory Group, 2001

·        Member of the Advisory Board of the Bernard Nocht Institute of Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, 1999-2002

·        Member of the International Advisory Panel for the Joint Infrastructure Fund run by Office of Science and Technology and the Wellcome Trust, 1999-2000

·        Chairman, UNAIDS reference group on the Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, 1999–2004.

·        Member of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC), 1997-2001

·        Member of the UNAIDS Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) of the Joint United National Programme HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 1996-1999

·        Member of Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation, Department of Health, 1996-2000

·        Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Issac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, 1995

·        Council Member, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1993-2010

·        The Wellcome Trust Trustee 1991, Governor, 1992-2000

·        Council Member, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, 1992-1995

·        Trustee, Tropical Health and Education Trust, 1991-2008

Selected publications[edit]

Honours and awards[edit]

Major honours[edit]

Anderson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1986,[6] and was knighted in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours list.


Fellow, Academia Europaea

Foreign Member, French Academy of Sciences

Foreign Member, United States of America National Academy of Medicine

Honorary Fellow, Royal Statistical Society

Honorary Fellow, Royal Agricultural Society

Honorary Fellow, Institute of Actuaries

Honorary Fellow, Royal College of Pathologists

Honorary Member, British Society for Parasitologists

Honorary Fellow, Linacre College, Oxford


Ernst Chain Prize, Imperial College, 2005

Weldon Memorial Prize 1989

Croonian Lecture 1994

Distinguished Statistical Ecologist Award, American Society of Ecology 1998

Huxley Memorial Medal, Imperial College, 1981

Scientific Medal, Zoological Society of London, 1982

C.A. Wright Memorial Medal, British Society for Parasitology, 1986

David Starr Jordan Prize and Medal, Universities of Stanford, Cornell and Indiana, 1987

Chalmers Memorial Medal, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1988

John Hull Grundy Lecture Medal 1990

Frink Medal for British Zoologists, The Zoological Society of London, 1993

Joseph Smadel Medal, Infectious Disease Society of America, 1994

Storer Lecture Medal, University of California, Davis, 1994

Croonian Prize, Royal Society, 1994

Leiden Lecture Medal, Institute for Tropical Medicine, Rotterdam, 1995

Thomas Francis Memorial Lecture Medal, University of Michigan, 1995

Honorary DSc from the Universities of East Anglia, Aberdeen and Stirling

Personal life[edit]

He married Janet Meyrick in April 2014 and has three step-children George, Thomas and James.

He enjoys walking, travel to remote destinations, natural history, conservation and wildlife photography.[2]


  1. ^ Curriculum Vitae (PDF). Imperial College London. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85743-217-6.
  3. ^ "ANDERSON, Prof. Sir Roy (Malcolm)". Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. November 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012. (subscription required)
  4. ^ "George Murdie Obituary" (PDF). Imperial College London Reporter (197). 31 October 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  5. ^ Roy M. Anderson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ a b Anon (1986). "Sir Roy Anderson FMedSci FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

  7. ^ Anderson, Roy Malcolm (1971). A quantitative ecological study of the helminth parasites of the bream (Abramis brama (L.)) (PhD thesis). University of London.
  8. ^ Anderson, Roy M. (1974). "Population Dynamics of the Cestode Caryophyllaeus laticeps (Pallas, 1781) in the Bream (Abramis brama L.)". Journal of Animal Ecology. 43 (2): 305–321. doi:10.2307/3367. JSTOR 3367.
  9. ^ Prof. Anderson's Biography at Imperial College, as of 2 July 2008.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by Rector of Imperial College London
Succeeded by