Roy M. Anderson

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Sir Roy Anderson
Born (1947-04-12) 12 April 1947 (age 68)[1]
Residence London
Nationality British
Fields epidemiology
Institutions University of Oxford
Imperial College London
Ministry of Defence[3]
Alma mater Imperial College London
Thesis A quantitative ecological study of the helminth parasites of the bream Abramis brama' (1971)
Doctoral advisor George Murdie[4][5]
Notable awards Croonian Lecture

Sir Roy Malcolm Anderson FRS FMedSci (born 12 April 1947) is a leading British expert on epidemiology. He has mathematically modelled the spread of diseases such as new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and AIDS. From October 2004 to September 2007 Anderson was the Ministry of Defence's, Chief Scientific Advisor in the UK. He also currently chairs the science advisory board of WHO's Neglected Tropical Diseases programme, is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges In Global Health advisory board, and chairs the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) advisory board funded by the Gates Foundation. He is a non-executive director of GlaxoSmithKline.


Education and early life[edit]

Anderson was born the son of James Anderson and Betty Watson-Weatherborn.[2] He attended Duncombe School, Bengeo and Richard Hale School. He gained a BSc degree in zoology at Imperial College and a PhD degree in parasitology in 1971 with thesis titled A quantitative ecological study of the helminth parasites of the bream Abramis brama (L).[6] Most of Anderson's early career was at Imperial College, becoming Professor of Parasite Ecology in 1982. He was head of the Department of Biology from 1984 to 1993.[2] At Imperial College, he 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 served as Director, Wellcome Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease.

Anderson is the author of over 450 scientific articles and has sat on numerous government and international agency committees advising on public health and disease control including the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS. From 1991–2000, he was a Governor of the Wellcome Trust.

Foot and mouth
Anderson was one of the most prominent scientists who advised the UK Government on the handling of the Foot and Mouth control policy in 2001.

Chief Scientific Advisor
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.[7]

Rector of Imperial College
Anderson succeeded Richard Sykes as the 14th Rector of Imperial College on 1 July 2008. In this role he expressed a desire to raise tuition fees[8] and privatise top UK universities within 10–20 years.[9][10][11] He tendered his resignation in November 2009 stating "I have decided to step down as rector as I want to return to my primary concern, which is my deep and abiding research interest into global health."[12]


Anderson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1986, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 2004. He was knighted in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Personal life[edit]

In 1975, he married Mary Joan Mitchell, whom he later divorced in 1989. In 1990, he married Claire Baron. He enjoys hill walking, croquet, natural history and photography.[2]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Curriculum Vitae (PDF). Imperial College London. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. ISBN 1-85743-217-7. 
  3. ^ "ANDERSON, Prof. Sir Roy (Malcolm)". Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Nov 2012. Retrieved 16 Dec 2012. 
  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. ^ Anderson, Roy M. (1974). "Population Dynamics of the Cestode Caryophyllaeus laticeps (Pallas, 1781) in the Bream (Abramis brama L.)". Journal of Animal Ecology (British Ecological Society) 43 (2): 305–321. doi:10.2307/3367. JSTOR 3367. 
  7. ^ Prof. Anderson's Biography at Imperial College, as of 2 July 2008.
  8. ^ Patterson, Kirsty; Shubber, Kadhim (2009-03-12). "Rector Endorses Tuition Fee Rise". Imperial College Live!. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  9. ^ Patterson, Kirsty (2009-06-01). "Rector on Privatisation of Higher Education". Imperial College Live!. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  10. ^ Paton, Graeme (2009-06-01). "Top universities 'should sever ties with Government'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  11. ^ Turner, David (2009-06-01). "Imperial seeks Ivy League status over fees". Financial Times. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  12. ^ Turner, David (2009-11-16). "Imperial College head to resign". Financial Times. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Richard Sykes
Rector of Imperial College London
Succeeded by
Keith O'Nions