Social Epidemiology and Community Vulnerability to Infectious

Our research on social epidemiology is two-pronged: first, to investigate the specific social
determinants of diseases, and second to use the information gained to derive interventions and
governance structures that can modify these factors to bring about sustainable and beneficial
change. Community Vulnerability (CV) is an integrative analytical framework that allows us to
use multivariate deterministic risk factors arising from ecological hazards, socio-demographic
sensitivities, and the adaptive capacity of populations, in order identify communities at higher
risk to disease than others so that more informed intervention and prevention strategies can be
targeted towards these regions. An emerging theme is to determine if there is commonality in
community risk factors to many of the commonly occurring infectious diseases (focused
currently on malaria, dengue, and neglected tropical diseases), and to evaluate what this might
imply for disease control. A technical feature of the work is the use of computer science
approaches to data discovery and analysis, the development of novel mathematical models of
disease transmission that can incorporate ecological and social effects simultaneously, and the
application of spatial analysis to construct and map the vulnerabilities and risks estimated for

Research Focus

  • Computational Science

    Computational science is a multidisciplinary field that utilizes advanced computing to understand and solve complex problems. Researchers at the EIGH develop computational models, hardware, software, data management, and more to tackle a variety of global health concerns.

  • Epidemiology

    At the EIGH, our researchers use epidemiology to understand the distribution and determinants of the health and disease conditions in specific populations, and to identify risk factors for certain diseases. This allows them to develop, implement, and measure the impact of targeted, preventative healthcare methods. 

  • Infectious Diseases

    At the EIGH, our researchers work to combat a number of various illnesses, including infectious diseases caused by organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. These diseases can also be spread from one person to another and may be transmitted from animals to humans. 

Who’s Involved

EIGH Faculty


  • Tanzania’s National Institute for Medical Research
  • London School of Economics
  • Clinical Research Center, Kedah, Malaysia


  • Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Additional Information


Madon, S., Malecela, M., Mashoto, K., Donohue, R., Mubyazi, G., & Michael, E. The role of community participation for sustainable integrated neglected tropical diseases and water, sanitation and hygiene intervention programs: A pilot project in Tanzania.


Donohue, R., Zoë, C., & Michael, E. The extent, nature, and pathogenic consequences of helminth polyparasitism in humans: A meta-analysis.


Donohue, R., Mashoto, K., Mubyazi, G., Madon, S., Malecela, M., & Michael, E. Biosocial Determinants of Persistent Schistosomiasis among Schoolchildren in Tanzania despite Repeated Treatment. 


Other Research in Malaysia