Imperial College London

Dr Margarita Pons-Salort

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Sir Henry Dale Fellow (ARF)



+44 (0)20 7594 0923m.pons-salort Website




G26Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





I study the dynamics of infectious diseases through the analysis of a range of data using statistical and mathematical models. I am interested in understanding and identifying the mechanisms that explain the observed incidence patterns of diseases, and the impact on these of control strategies such as vaccination.

As many of my colleagues, I am currently working on COVID-19 response. However, most of my recent work has centred on the epidemiology of enteroviruses, which are a major cause of neurological and other illnesses. I currently hold a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to study the emergence and spatio-temporal patterns of spread of these viruses. Through the analysis of epidemiological, serological and virus sequence data, my work aims to disentangle the role of population immunity and viral genotypic and phenotypic changes (such as increased transmission or pathogenicity) on the epidemiological dynamics of a subset of serotypes, including enterovirus D68 and those causing hand foot and mouth disease. Answering these basic questions is key to optimise interventions to mitigate the morbidity associated to these infections. Previously, I studied the temporal drivers of enterovirus outbreaks supported by a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship (2015-2019). Through this work, we showed that the seasonality of enterovirus circulation is likely to be explained by climatic factors, and that the complex long-term epidemic patterns of individual enterovirus serotypes is driven by acquired serotype-specific immunity.

Prior to that, I was a postdoc in the Vaccine Epidemiology Research Group, where I worked on polio eradication. During this time, my research focused on studying the emergence and spread of vaccine-derived polioviruses to inform decisions by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative on the global withdrawal of the oral poliovirus vaccine.

I completed my PhD at Institut Pasteur in Paris (2013), and I have a double degree in Mathematics from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Applied Mathematics from Grenoble INP (2009).

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Park SW, Pons-Salort M, Messacar K, et al., 2021, Epidemiological dynamics of enterovirus D68 in the United States and implications for acute flaccid myelitis, Science Translational Medicine, Vol:13, ISSN:1946-6234

Grassly NC, Pons-Salort M, Parker EPK, et al., 2020, Comparison of molecular testing strategies for COVID-19 control: a mathematical modelling study, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:20, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:1381-1389

Blake IM, Pons Salort M, Molodecky N, et al., 2018, Type 2 Poliovirus Detection After Global Withdrawal of Trivalent Oral Vaccine, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol:379, ISSN:0028-4793, Pages:834-845

Pons Salort M, Grassly NC, 2018, Serotype-specific immunity explains the incidence of diseases caused by human enteroviruses, Science, Vol:361, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:800-803

Pons-Salort M, Oberste MS, Pallansch MA, et al., 2018, The seasonality of nonpolio enteroviruses in the United States: Patterns and drivers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:115, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:3078-3083

Pons-Salort M, Molodecky NA, O'Reilly KM, et al., 2016, Population immunity against serotype-2 poliomyelitis Leading up to the global withdrawal of the oral poliovirus vaccine: spatio-temporal modelling of surveillance data, Plos Medicine, Vol:13, ISSN:1549-1676

Pons-Salort M, Burns CC, Lyons H, et al., 2016, Preventing Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Emergence during the Polio Endgame, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:12, ISSN:1553-7366

More Publications