Professor of International Public Health
0113 343 6950
G19; Charles Thackrah Building
1993 Chartered Statistician
1990 PhD - University of Leeds
1984 MSc in Statistics - University of Leeds
1980 BA - University of Cambridge
Current and Previous Roles
James joined Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (then called the Nuffield Institute for Health) in 1995. Prior to that he was employed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, seconded full-time to the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) in Tanzania, working on the impact of improved treatment facilities for STIs on the incidence of HIV in Africa (1991-3). He has previously held posts at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne developing techniques to investigate clustering of diseases in the Departments of Child Health and Medical Statistics (1988-91 and 1993-4) and the University of Leeds investigating heat flow in coal mines (1984-7). From 1980-2 he was employed by Shell International Petroleum Company Limited as an operational research analyst.
Current Research Interests
James's work at Leeds focuses on improving delivery of health services in low and middle income countries. He is co-Director of COMDIS-HSD, a major research programme consortium funded by DFID that addresses health services delivery in Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Nepal, Pakistan, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda. This consortium in part carries forward and builds on a previous DFID-funded research programme consortium, COMDIS that addressed communicable disease control in these countries.
James's specific areas of interest within these consortia are encouraging patient-focused approaches within health services in low and middle income countries, acknowledging that people's desire to use health care may be secondary to aspects of their life such as providing for their families. Only by making health services responsive to their needs (ie accessible, acceptable and affordable), as well as appropriate to context and sustainable, will we improve the health care poor people receive.
Within this broad arena, James is looking at
(a) understanding and improving access to care for TB.
(b) understanding stigma associated with TB.
(c) understanding and improving access to care for MDR TB.
(d) understanding and improving access to care for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
(e) understanding and improving access to maternal and neonatal care.
James has an interest in research that has large impact, and works with Ministries of health and experts in research uptake to ensure his research findings are adopted into policy, and policy is translated into practice at large scale.
James also has an interest in research capacity development, and works with partners in the two consortia to further this aim.
Current and Recent Research
Health Services Delivery Research Programme Consortium (COMDIS-HSD). Newell JN, Walley J. Department for International Development. £ 7.5 million; 2011-16. Joint Principal Investigator.
2006-2011 Communicable Diseases Research Programme Consortium (COMDIS). Walley J, Newell JN. Department for International Development. £5 million; 2006-11. Joint Principal Investigator.
Stigma and discrimination associated with TB in Asia. Newell JN, Emmel N, Hatherall B. ESRC. £250,000; 2007-9. Principal Investigator.
Teaching epidemiological and statistical methods, part of the Principles of International Health module for the Master of Public Health (International).
Supervising Masters dissertations and Intercalated BSc in International Health projects.
James is interested in improving delivery of health services in low income countries.
Current PhD Students
- Bethan Hatherall. The causes of stigma associated with tuberculosis in Asia: a multi-country study in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Co-supervised with Dr Nick Emmel.
- Bassey Ebenso. Life course perspective on experiences and responses to leprosy-related stigma in Western Nigeria. Co-supervised with Dr Nick Emmel.
- Sushil Baral. Understanding tuberculosis treatment completion in urban areas of Nepal. Co-supervised with Prof Andrew Green.
- Kate Gooding. The role of NGOs in health research in developing countries. Co-supervised with Prof Andrew Green.
- Dr Tom Dessoffy. Governance of hospitals in Tigray, Ethiopia: a case study. Co-supervised with Prof Justin Keen.
- Abu Naser Zafar Ullah. Public-private partnership for tuberculosis care: a model for Bangladesh. Co-supervised with Dr Nancy Gerein.
- Cath Conn. Girls are people who at least know something: hearing young women's voices and HIV/AIDS. Co-supervised with Prof Nancy Harding and Dr Lou Waite.
Member of the DFID/MRC/Wellcome Trust Global Health Trials committee of experts.