London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Visit (June 6)
by Danika Brown (Rice University)
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was the NAFA Study Tour’s last visit of the first day. After having traveled the city to visit UCL, King’s College, and Imperial College, there was a good chance that LSHTM might just seem a blur. Yet, our group walked from the underground station (the university is located very near 3 major stations, including Euston) past the Senate House and to the centrally located buildings. The outside of the building broadcasts the focus of the LSHTM through gold sculptures of fleas, ticks, mosquitoes — transmitters of disease and other threats to human health. Stepping under the school’s seal, representing protection of and dedication to health, we discovered the state of the art facilities for research and discovery in the health fields.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is recognized as a world leader in public and global health. The LSHTM, while based in London, has many staff working world-wide and has partnerships and collaborations throughout the world. 4000 LSHTM students study and practice in over 150 countries in unique postgraduate education opportunities with some of the top researchers in public and global health fields. The school is notable for its focus on interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and areas of research that have significant immediate impact on some of the most pressing health issues of our time, including Ebola and Zica.
The school has 3 faculties, representing the areas of impact and specialization for the university:
Epidemiology and Population Health — one of the largest groupings of research faculty in Europe focusing on biological research to influence practice and policy in global health issues. The departments have research programs in a diverse range of global sites (Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, etc.) and include foci such as maternal and neonatal health, HIV, and Malaria (to name a few). Information and degrees can be found at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/eph/index.html
Infectious and Tropical Diseases — especially focused on developing vaccines and interventions to highly transmittable diseases such as malaria, HIV, neglected tropical diseases, and tuberculosis, the research networks in this area allow the faculty to leverage expertise in genome sciences to develop, expand, and teach to develop successful interventions and strategies for addressing infectious threats to human health world-wide. Degrees and faculty expertise can be found:
Public Health and Policy — a large multi-disciplinary health group faculty works to study and consult on health policy and health systems with notable influence in the areas of Health Economics and Health Systems. Additional information and degrees can be found:
The NAFA group was introduced to the work of several highly influential faculty of the school. Two of the presentations very much indicated that the LSHTM is at the forefront of pressing global health issues, notably the Zica virus, and that the research from the school is taken as having serious import for contemporary and popular understandings of health today, in areas such as organic foods and nutrition.
The research facilities in London and the institutional collaborations world-wide were very impressive and clearly impactful. All of the research standings, publications, and mainstream media influence indicate that the LSHTM is a high-impact, highly regarded, and exciting place to study. Our group had the opportunity to talk to two Marshall Scholars attending the LSHTM. Both students will be returning to MD programs, one will do a MD-PHD. Both students said their opportunity to study in the LSHTM was extremely meaningful and both highly recommended the school to anyone who was looking to have an enhanced understanding of global health issues, real experience in studying those issues in ways that would have direct impact on world-wide health practices and policy, and in a collaborative, exciting setting with support of some of the finest faculty studying global and public health in Europe.
The LSHTM was indeed impressive, with a history of commitment of resources, highly engaged and effective faculty, prestigious partnerships, and a defined mission focus that has impact on a global scale. For students committed to an intense experience focused on the big picture of medical study for intervening in global health challenges, the LSHTM is clearly an excellent choice.