Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Professor Allyson Pollock



I joined the Institute of Health & Society as Director in January 2017, having formerly been professor of public health research and policy at Queen Mary, University of London. I set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh from 2005 to 2011, and prior to this I was head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research & Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Trust.

I trained in medicine in Scotland and became a consultant in public health medicine in 1991. My research interests include globalisation; privatisation, marketisation and PFI / PPPs; health services; regulation and trade; pharmaceuticals and clinical trials; and childhood injuries; sport; injury; concussion; head injuries; rugby; long term care; social care.


I undertake research and teaching intended to assist the realisation of the principles of social justice and public health, looking in particular at health systems research, trade, and pharmaceuticals. A strong emphasis is on developing critical analysis through education and research and through translating research findings into policy at the national and international level. The work is multidisciplinary, including epidemiology, law, statistics, economics, accounting, sociology, and anthropology.

Universal access to health care is the primary focus and in particular the means by which local and national systems redistribute resources across society by sharing the risks and costs of ill-health. My work includes the study of public private partnerships in health and long term care, pharmaceuticals, and medical research, and how public health interfaces with trade law and intellectual property agreements.

Local and global issues converge around, for instance, the social and economic aspects of clinical trials, how medicines are accessed, the estimation of the global burden of disease, and evidence underpinning access to medicines policies; the setting of health care priorities through the creation and use of clinical evidence; and the export of managed health care systems.

Other areas of research include the epidemiology of sports injury and childhood injuries and improving long term care.


I am introducing in the Institute of Health & Society teaching on global health drawing on our huge range of disciplines and research and our collective experience of and commitment to high level teaching. Future programmes may include pharmaceutical regulation and access to medicines, and sports exercise and injury.

I have established significant and influential teaching programmes in global health (MSc, BSc, and intercalated) at the University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary University of London, including the UK’s first programmes on global health systems and global health and law.

I contribute teaching on public health and health systems to Newcastle's MBBS.