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David Andrew Leon

Educational details

1971-74 : Trinity College, Cambridge. BA (Hons) 2.1 Social and Political Science.

1991 : PhD in Epidemiology, LSHTM

Editorial board membership

  • 2011: Member of the Editorial Board, Emerging Themes in Epidemiology.

  • 2001–2017: Editor-in-chief, International Journal of Epidemiology.

Professional experience

2000 - Professor of Epidemiology

2014 - part-time appointment as Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Arctic University, Tromsø, Norway 

1998 – 2000   Reader in Epidemiology, LSHTM

1992 - 1998    Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, LSHTM.

1985 - 1992    Lecturer in Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

1980 - 1985    Cancer Research Campaign Research Fellow, City University.

1977 - 1980    Community & Environmental Studies Unit, U of London Institute of Urology.

 'Visiting' and honorary appointments and degrees

2001 :              Honorary Doctorate, Faculty of Medicine, University of Uppsala, Sweden

2000-15           Visiting Professor, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol

2004-12           Visiting Scientist, MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow

2005-               Visiting Professor, Centre for Health Equity Studies, U of Stockholm, Sweden

2008                Honorary Academician, Izhevsk State Medical Academy, Izhevsk, Russian Federation

2011                Visiting scholar, L’Institut national d’études démographiques (INED), Paris






Selected research grants and contract after 2010

2014-2019Cardiovascular Disease in Russia (Norwegian Ministry of Health)
2013-2019Cardiovascular Disease in Russia (UiT Arctic University of Norway)
2013-2017Cardiovascular Disease in Russia : Strategic Award (Wellcome Trust)
2010-20162012 Birth Cohort Study – The Life Study (ESRC & MRC)
2011-2013Reimbursement for time of Life Study SSC member (UCL)
2006-2011Alcohol and mortality in Russia: from aetiology to intervention (Wellcome Trust)




Every year : One or more lectures and several practicals on Term 1 Extended Epidedemiology Course, including in some years the Introductory lecture


2004-2019  Lectures and seminar leader on study Unit : Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases


2011-2019 Lecture and round table discussion on Term 1 course : Epidemiology in Practice


2017-19 Co-organiser Epidemiology & Omics term 1 module for MSc Epi


University of Cambridge

2014 – 2018  External examiner MPhil in Public Health


University of Oxford

2014 - 2019 Master class in Epidemiology for MSc in Global Health Science



2014 Co-organiser of 2 week course on Epidemiology for International Epidemiological Association held in Vilnius, Lithuania



PhD supervision

Ilona Kopilova           1995 – 1998      Royal Society & Swedish Academy, co-supervisor

Lisa Hall                    1998  - 2006      Wellcome Trust, primary supervisor          

Katrin Lang               1999 – 2005      World Bank, primary supervisor

Susan Morton           1998 – 2002      Commonwealth Scholarships Commission, primary  supervisor

Susannah Tomkins   2002 - 2006     Part-time staff, primary supervisor

Juliet Addo                2004 - 2008     Wellcome Trust, co-supervisor

Anna Goodman         2006 - 2009     MRC/ESRC, primary supervisor

Kristina Stanfield       2006-                 British Heart Foundation Interruption of studies 2010, died 2013, primary supervisor

Sarah Cook               2009-2012       MRC, primary supervisor     

Katherine Keenan      2009-2013      ESRC, primary supervisor   

Yume Imahori            2016-2019        Primary supervisor, viva April 2019 (minor revisions)




The 2nd Heart to Heart symposium (Архангельск). Presentation: What explains the extremely high rates of premature mortality from cardiovascular disease in Russia?


  • Towards an understanding of why Russia has such high cardiovascular mortality. University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Rising to the challenge of cardiovascular mortality in Russia: preliminary results from a 360-degree Assessment. St Anthony’s College, Oxford
  • Understanding levels and trends in Russia’s CVD mortality compared to other countries. All-Russian
  • Scientific Conference "Non-Communicable  Diseases and Health Promotion in Russia" National Research Centre for Preventive Medicine, Moscow              
  • Life expectancy and cardiovascular disease in Russia : New insights and outstanding issues. Richard Doll Seminar, University of Oxford

  • International Epidemiological Association
  • John Snow Society

Demography and Social Policy: First Readings in Memory of A.G. Vishnevsky Held at HSE University

The Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center, together with the Vishnevsky Institute of Demography and the International Laboratory for Population and Health, organized the first demographic readings in memory of HSE University Professor Anatoly Vishnevsky, the first director of the Institute. The experts in attendance discussed a wide range of topics, including family policy, how to improve the conditions of low-income people, and how to correct market and employment setbacks.

Webinar "Challenges in interpreting the mortality impact of COVID-19"

On April 24, the regular seminar of the Modern Demography series was held. At the seminar, David A. Leon (Chief Research Fellow at the HSE University; Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Adjunct Professor at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway) presented the report "Challenges in interpreting the mortality impact of COVID-19".

Coronavirus: There's a better way of judging countries on their COVID-19 response

The interview with Professor Leon