Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Prof of Infectious Disease & Vaccine Epidemiology



n.grassly Website




1102Building E - Sir Michael UrenWhite City Campus





Nicholas Grassly is a Professor in the Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology. He is interested in the individual immune response to vaccination  – particularly for enteric infections such as enteroviruses (including poliovirus) and rotavirus – and how this translates to impact at the population level. Inevitably he is also working on the epidemiology of COVID-19, including testing and vaccination strategies, and is a member of the WHO SAGE COVID-19 vaccines working group and UK SAGE SPI-M. His research group conduct both laboratory and population studies, including clinical trials, with collaborators in the UK, Zambia, Malawi, Pakistan and India. A strength of his group is the development and use of rigorous statistical methods and mathematical models to analyse study data. His group is the WHO collaborating institute on polio data analysis and modelling.

He studied biology at Oxford University, trained in epidemiology at Imperial College London and learnt mathematics with the Open University. He was a Royal Society URF (2004-2011) and then Professor at Imperial College London (2011-present). He has served on various boards and committees, including the MRC Infections and Immunity Board (2012-16), the WHO SAGE polio group (2008-2020) and WHO SAGE COVID-19 vaccines working group (2020-). He teaches on the MSc (Epidemiology), MPH and undergraduate biomedical courses at Imperial College London. His work is funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Current research topics: Epidemiology of polio eradication and endgame strategy; Rapid diagnostics and nanopore sequencing for poliovirus surveillance; Epidemiology and evolution of non-polio enteroviruses; causes of oral vaccine failure (rotavirus and poliovirus); Human infection challenge with live-attenuated vaccines; Typhoid epidemiology



Williams LR, Ferguson NM, Donnelly CA, et al., 2021, Measuring vaccine efficacy against infection and disease in clinical trials: sources and magnitude of bias in COVID-19 vaccine efficacy estimates, Clinical Infectious Diseases, ISSN:1058-4838

Cooper LV, Bandyopadhyay AS, Gumede N, et al., 2021, Risk factors for the spread of vaccine-derived type 2 polioviruses after global withdrawal of trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine and the effects of outbreak responses with monovalent vaccine: a retrospective analysis of surveillance data for 51 countries in Africa, Lancet Infect Dis, ISSN:1474-4457

Shaw A, Cooper L, Gumede N, et al., 2021, Time taken to detect and respond to polio outbreaks in Africa and the potential impact of direct molecular detection and nanopore sequencing, Journal of Infectious Diseases, ISSN:0022-1899

Molodecky NA, Jafari H, Safdar RM, et al., 2021, Modelling the spread of serotype-2 vaccine derived-poliovirus outbreak in Pakistan and Afghanistan to inform outbreak control strategies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vaccine, ISSN:0264-410X

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