Staff news

Appointment: Colin Mathers

Colin Mathers has been appointed Honorary Professor in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine.

Colin Mathers

Professor Mathers is Coordinator of the Mortality and Burden of Disease Unit at the World Health Organisation (WHO).


His principal research interests are in the measurement and reporting of population health and its determinants, burden of disease methods and applications, and projections of human mortality and healthy life expectancy.

His WHO team produces regular updates of child and maternal mortality, life expectancy and estimates of deaths by cause, age and sex for the 194 member states of the WHO, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, other academic groups, UN agencies, and the World Bank.

He oversees the annual publication of the WHO flagship publication World Health Statistics, which is closely linked to the WHO’s Global Health Observatory.

Professor Mathers has authored or edited 30 books and major reports, more than 50 book chapters and more than 110 journal articles in peer-reviewed publications.


Professor Mathers obtained a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Sydney, with a focus on statistical and mathematical modelling, and subsequently worked for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in technical and senior managerial posts.

Since 2002 he has managed the WHO’s work on measures of population health, burden of disease and global health statistics.