Imperial College London

A year of J-IDEA: Key milestones from its first 12 months

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Coronavirus map

Photo credit: WHO/UN/Martine Perret

The Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) has had a monumental first year since it was launched in 2019.

As we marked this milestone, we looked back over the last 12 months, in what has been an unprecedented year.

J-IDEA’s mission is to combat disease threats around the world.

Headquartered at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, the Institute brings together researchers working in global health to advance methods and real-world application of data analytics to identify and support effective action and investment into population health globally.

The Institute has three core research themes – responding to health emergencies, strengthening health systems and building partnerships and capacity.

Here are some highlights of its first year:

COVID-19 response

Coronavirus map
J-IDEA was launched just weeks before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
“Our epidemiological models have been vital in informing policy, and our work has been vital in informing policy, and our work has been disseminated all over the world” Professor Neil Ferguson Director of J-IDEA

Under the responding to health emergencies research theme, the team have concentrated on the emergency response to COVID-19.

Just weeks after the Institute launched, the World Health Organisation declared SARS-CoV-2 a global pandemic in March 2020.

The Institute, with other collaborators, had established the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team who have produced 40 reports, eight tools and 21 publications to date.  

The reports mentioned above have provided timely evidence to inform our partners and governments around the world on the optimal policies to control the pandemic, mitigate adverse social and economic impacts and ensure a more resilient health system response.

Within strengthening health systems, Dr Katharina Hauck and the team developed a hospital planning tool which calculates how much capacity for the urgent treatment of COVID-19 patients (in terms of beds, staff and ventilators) can be obtained with interventions such as cancelling elective surgery and re-organising health care.

Read more about J-IDEA's COVID-19 work

Chronic diseases

hospital beds
Many countries are falling behind on global commitments to cut premature deaths from chronic diseases

Outside of our COVID-19 work, Professor Majid Ezzati, Research Lead for the Jameel Institute, published a report revealing that around the world, the mortality rates from chronic diseases such as diabetes, lung cancer, colon cancer and liver cancer are declining too slowly.

Read more about the research

Public Health Education

J-IDEA launched a free COVID-19 course on Coursera
J-IDEA launched a free COVID-19 course on Coursera

Under building partnerships and capacity, the team developed ‘Science Matters: Let’s Talk about COVID-19’.

Participants heard directly from researchers at J-IDEA and other research institutes about the theory behind the analyses of COVID-19 and its spread, while learning how to interpret new information using the core principles of public health, epidemiology, medicine, health economics and social science.

Read more about the free COVID-19 course

Inaugural symposium

“There has never been a time when an Institute like ours has been more relevant, necessary and important” President Alice Gast Imperial College London

The Institute has also provided a platform for experts to discuss our post COVID-19 world.

Central bankers, Nobel laureates, epidemiologists and public health policymakers came together for the symposium to mark our first anniversary.

The experts explored questions on what we have learned about SARS-CoV-2, how the mitigate the social and economic impacts and how we better prepare for pandemics in the future. You can watch the full summary here  

Read the Jameel Institute's full annual report



Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications and Public Affairs

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 9531

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Roshni Mehta

Roshni Mehta
School of Public Health


JIDEA, Coronavirus, International, Global-health, COVIDWEF
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