Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics

Usher Institute Global Health Symposium and 3rd Annual Lecture

We are delighted to have Professor Chris Whitty joining us to give this year’s Usher Lecture, on the theme of global health.

Annual Lecture


Global health in the next two decades: the good, the bad and the unknowable


Global health is going through a process of substantial and largely irreversible change. A combination of economic development and medical science as led to impressive falls in child mortality, which are continuing. Many, although not all, of the infectious diseases which dominated human health are in rapid retreat although the risk of resurgence and of epidemics remains; this includes many of the infection-driven cancers. Outside Africa fertility is reaching replacement levels and the demographic transition is stabilising; the implications of the changed population structure on health are beginning to be felt. Whilst improving cardiovascular disease has been arguably the greatest public health triumph of the last two decades in wealthier countries, the environmental, behavioural and genetic factors for a rapid rise in cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Asia, Latin America and Africa are in place. Most of what has been learned about disease prevention, but only some of what has been learned about treatment, can be transferred from high-income to lower-income settings, but the gap is narrowing. The current structure of global health and the problems which research needs to tackle will look very different in two decades, and the opportunities for learning flowing south-north will be considerable. The Usher Institute Annual Lecture will look at global health trends over the next 20 years, and what we can do to improve them.

Speaker: Professor Chris Whitty

Professor Chris Whitty is Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, with overall responsibility for scientific advice for policy and the department’s research and development, including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In addition he holds posts as Professor of Public and International Health at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Consultant Physician in acute medicine and infectious diseases at University College London Hospitals and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Gresham Professor of Physic at Gresham College. A clinical epidemiologist by background, he has worked as a clinician and in research in several countries in Africa and Asia.

He will be introduced by The Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Peter Mathieson.

Global Health symposium

The Annual Lecture will be preceded by a showcase of key work in global health across the Usher Institute, including:

·      WHO Collaborating Centre for Population Health Research & Training: Professor Igor Rudan

·      Global Health Academy: Professor Liz Grant

·      Edinburgh Migration, Ethnicity and Health Research Group: Professor Laurence Gruer

·      NIHR Global Health Research Uni on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE) at the University of Edinburgh: Professor Harry Campbell

·      NIHR Gobal Health Resraech Unit Tackling Infections to Benefit AfricaTIBA: Professor Mark Woolhouse

·      NIHR Unit on Global Surgery (GlobalSurg): Dr Ewen Harrison

·      RESCEU: Professor Harish Nair

·      Global Health Governance Programme: Professor Devi Sridhar

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Sep 03 2018 -

Usher Institute Global Health Symposium and 3rd Annual Lecture

With Professor Chris Whitty CB FMedSci

Appleton Tower, Edinburgh