Neil Ferguson is founding director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London. He also heads the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Modelling and Health Economics and the Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA). He is an international member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.
Neil Ferguson uses mathematical and statistical models to investigate the processes shaping infectious disease pathogenesis, evolution and transmission. In addition to basic theoretical work, Professor Ferguson has applied models to study the transmission and control of COVID-19, Ebola, influenza, SARS, BSE/vCJD, HIV, dengue, foot-and-mouth disease and bioterrorist threats.
He was educated at Oxford University where he also undertook postdoctoral research, before he moved to Imperial College. He is best known for the real-time modelling of emerging infectious disease outbreaks, having worked on the transmission dynamics and control of SARS, avian (H5N1) and pandemic (H1N1) influenza, MERS-coronavirus, Ebola, Zika and now COVID-19. His other major research interest is in vector-borne diseases – he has worked on dengue throughout his career and more recently has expanded his research to include Yellow fever, Zika and malaria.
Neil Ferguson has always worked at the interface of science and policy, and advises governments, the World Health Organisation and multiple other bodies on emerging infections and infectious disease epidemiology and modelling.