Simon Hay




I obtained my doctorates from the University of Oxford where I remain a member of congregation, a Research Fellow in the Sciences and Mathematics at St John's College and a Professor of Epidemiology at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. I am also Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington and Director of Geospatial Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). I investigate the spatial and temporal aspects of infectious disease epidemiology to support the more rational implementation of control and intervention strategies. More information on my role and my work can be found here

I am funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship renewal, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which allow me to manage an international collaboration of researchers, from a variety of disciplines, aiming to improve the cartography of infectious disease. My most recent research is focused on accurately defining human populations at risk of malaria and its burden at global, regional and national scales through the Malaria Atlas Project. I also now chair a similar EU-funded initiative called IDAMS to do the same for dengue. Most recently we have embarked on a new project hoping to use Big Data to expand these techniques to a much wider range of diseases of the tropics.

I was awarded the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London (2008), the Back Award from the Royal Geographical Society (2012), for research contributing to public health policy, the Bailey K. Ashford Medal of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2013) and the Chalmers Memorial Medal of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2015), both for exceptional contributions to tropical medicine.

I am a long-term supporter of the RSTMH was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2012. I was granted the privilege to serve as the 52nd President for two years from 2013. Some of the specific goals of my term are outlined here. My motivations for engaging with the RSTMH over the years are simple, its main objectives of promoting the study, control and prevention of diseases in disadvantaged communities around the globe, a disproportionate amount of whom are in the tropics, reflect very closely my personal motivations for a career in tropical public health.

My responsibility along with the other trustees, in line with the recent strategic 5-year plan, is to ensure by 2019 that RSTMH will be a more vibrant and higher-profile charity. This will be achieved by supporting the wide-ranging and varied tropical medicine and global health constituencies we represent by facilitating discussion, debate and learning through the provision of high-quality journals and meetings, using the latest technology to extend the reach of our content across the globe, as well as resourcing learning and career development and by promoting and positively influencing the work of people working in tropical medicine and global health by developing an authoritative voice on a wide range of policy issues. 

My inaugural Presidential Address on 'Mapping the future of infectious diseases of the tropics' can be viewed here.