Imperial College London

Dr Natsuko Imai

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Associate



n.imai Website




G26Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





I serve as the liaison between the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (formerly Outbreak Analysis and Modelling) and the World Health Organization. I am responsible for developing and co-ordinating projects to support WHO activities and departments including The Global Influenza Programme, The Initiative for Vaccine Research, and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. As a whole, the Centre provides technical assistance in several disease areas including malaria, HIV, yellow fever, influenza, polio, hepatitis, and dengue.

I am a member of the Imperial College Ebola Response Team and have been providing real-time outbreak analysis of the previous and ongoing Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

I am also a research associate working in the MRC Centre and the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. My personal research interests are in outbreaks, emerging pathogens, and arbovirus transmission dynamics. I am particularly interested in research questions that have a policy focus and implications.

Working groups

I am part of the WHO Technical Working Groups:

  • the Influenza Incidence Analytics Group a network of international modelling groups and public health agencies who apply advanced analytics and modelling to public influenza data, providing additional insights to countries who share routine surveillance data with WHO. 
  • on Dengue Seroprevalence Surveys advising the WHO and the Initiative for Vaccine Research on targeting vaccination for the recently licensed dengue vaccine.

In collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Florida, and here at Imperial, we have launched a web tool for WHO visualising estimates of dengue seroprevalence in select areas. Available here: Global Dengue Transmission Map


I co-organise Imperial's short course, "Introduction to Mathematical Models of the Epidemiology & Control of Infectious Diseases", which is aimed at public health professionals, policy-makers and researchers who want to learn about the basic principles and practical applications of mathematical modelling and modern quantitative methods. For more information please see

quick cv

I studied Biological Sciences (Hons. Infectious Diseases) at the University of Edinburgh followed by a MSc Control of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I joined the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology to study for my PhD under the supervision of Prof Neil Ferguson, Dr Simon Cauchemez (now at Institut Pasteur) and Dr Ilaria Dorigatti.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Djaafara B, Imai N, Hamblion E, et al., 2020, A quantitative framework for defining the end of an infectious disease outbreak: application to Ebola virus disease, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol:190, ISSN:0002-9262, Pages:642-651

The Ebola Outbreak Epidemiology Team, Bhatia S, Cori A, et al., 2018, Outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, April–May, 2018: an epidemiological study, The Lancet, Vol:392, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:213-221

Imai N, Ferguson NM, 2018, Targeting vaccinations for the licensed dengue vaccine: considerations for serosurvey design, PLOS One, Vol:13, ISSN:1932-6203, Pages:1-15

Imai N, Dorigatti I, Cauchemez S, et al., 2015, Estimating Dengue Transmission Intensity from Sero-Prevalence Surveys in Multiple Countries, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol:9, ISSN:1935-2735

Imai N, White MT, Ghani AC, et al., 2014, Transmission and Control of Plasmodium knowlesi: A Mathematical Modelling Study, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol:8, ISSN:1935-2735

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