Head of School and Professor of Medical Statistics
Professor Alan Lopez is Professor of Medical Statistics and Population Health, and Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland. Prior to joining the University in January 2003, he worked at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, for 22 years where he held a series of technical and senior managerial posts including Chief epidemiologist in WHO’s Tobacco Control Program (1992-95), Manager of WHO’s Program on Substance Abuse (1996-98), Director of the Epidemiology and Burden of Disease Unit (1999-2001) and Senior Science Advisor to the Director – General (2002).
He is a highly cited author whose publications have received worldwide acclaim for their rank in importance and influence in health and medical research (with over 10,000 lifetime citations and h index of 34). He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles (120), books (16), letters (4) and book chapters (62) on mortality analysis and causes of death, including the impact of the global tobacco epidemic, and on the global descriptive epidemiology of major diseases, injuries and risk factors. He is the co-author with Christopher Murray of the seminal Global Burden of Disease Study (1996) (2737 citations) which has greatly influenced debates about priority setting and resource allocation in health. His 2006 Lancet paper (lead author) with Murray and colleagues was listed among the 25 best publications in health and medical research worldwide in that year (Lancet, 2006, pg91). Three of his Lancet papers with Murray have each been cited more than 1000 times.
He is the co-author (with Sir Richard Peto) of the Peto-Lopez method which is widely used to estimate tobacco-attributable mortality to support policy action. He, Sir Richard and others recently published a second (online) edition of their seminal book on Mortality from Smoking in Developed Countries. He was awarded the Leverhulme Prize (with Sir Richard Peto) by the Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1998 for his contributions to epidemiology and international health. Two of his Lancet papers with Sir Richard Peto (1992 and 2003) are listed among the top 10 most important and influential papers on the epidemiology of tobacco caused disease (Tobacco Control 2005;14:e1; doi:10.1136/tc.2005.013177).
Professor Lopez is on the editorial board of PLoS Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and co-Editor in Chief of Population Health Metrics. He is a member of the Wellcome Trust Population and Public Health Funding Committee (2007-2010), the WHO Expert Committee on NCD Surveillance (2009-2011), the US National Academy of Sciences Panel on Divergent Trends in Longevity (2008-2011), the Scientific Board of the Oxford Health Alliance Grand Challenges in Non-Communicable Disease (2006-2009), and was former Chair of the Health and Medical Research Council of Queensland (2006-2008).
He has been awarded several major research grants in epidemiology, health services research and population health, including funding from the NHMRC, Wellcome Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and AusAID, and is currently the CIA on national and international competitive research grants in excess of $10 million, and a chief investigator on others exceeding $25 million. He has given over 50 invited lectures or keynote addresses at national and international conferences since 2000, including the Cottrell Oration (RACP, 2006), the Redfern Oration (RACP, 2002) and the R Douglas Wright lecture in 2000. He gave the Global Health Series lecture at the Fogarty International Centre of the US National Institutes for Health in 2003.