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Centre of African Studies: People


Shona Jane Lee

Shona Jane Lee
Shona Jane Lee
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Infectious Disease, Parasitology, Spatial Analysis, GIS, Global Health, Evolutionary Medicine, Network Analysis, Technology Adoption, Neglected diseases and zoonoses, Data Science, Computational Biology, Ecology, Social Epidemiology, Vector-borne diseases, Medical Anthropology, Diagnosis, Health systems and global health, Public Private Partnerships, Public Health, Humanitarian health, Conflict and Health

PhD title: The social life of sleeping sickness: a biography of Human African Trypanosomiasis control in northern Uganda

Supervisors: Prof James Smith, Dr Pete Kingsley, and Dr Jennifer Palmer

Funding:  ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) Studentship

HAT tech

I am a social scientist with a background in evolutionary biology and parasitology, and a member of the multidisciplinary Investigating Networks of Zoonosis Innovations (INZI) research group at the Centre of African Studies. I'm interested in how epidemiological evidence is produced through technologies of disease control, with a particular focus on emerging and neglected zoonotic diseases.  My PhD research examines the implementation of novel technologies for Human African Trypanosomiasis surveillance, control, and elimination in northern Uganda, and how epidemiological evidence is constructed through technology, policy, and practice.

My mixed-methods, largely qualitative research follows the implementation of key ‘emerging technologies’ for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of HAT through vector control. I explore how Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), oral drug candidate Fexinidazole,  insecticide impregnated nets 'Tiny Targets', and community livestock spraying networks address infrastructure, accessibility, and sustainability at the community level. 


MSc. Evolutionary Medicine,  Durham University                       (2012)
B.A (Hons) Combined Natural Sciences, Durham University (2011)


2018. "Integrating diagnostics for HAT elimination". DiaDev workshop, Edinburgh

2017. "Shifting policy toward an elimination agenda for Sleeping Sickness". Global Health Policy Workshop, University of Edinburgh

2016. "Deconstructing diagnosis: a critical epidemiology of sleeping sickness in Uganda", on the panel "Non-conforming bodies: an exploration of public health knowledge, practice and technologies beyond 'the body'". European Association for the Study of Science & Technology (EASST) Conference, Barcelona

2016. "Deconstructing data: toward a critical epidemiology of emerging and neglected diseases". Global Health Symposium, Durham University

2014. "Big Data for disease control: interdisciplinary approaches to data linkage and management".  Dealing with Data conference, University of Edinburgh

Guest Lectures

"Evidence in Development". Key Skills in Development Practice (2018)

"Quantitative Research Methods". Research in Africa (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)


Oct 2014 - Jan 2015:  Policy Intern at the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge.

  • Project lead and workshop co-ordinator on Data Science & Policy       project
  • Co-editor of policy brief for Ageing policy challenge
  • Survey designer and data analyst for Policy Challenges programme                 impact evaluation 

Workshops, Roundtables, and Training Courses

2018.  'Social Science, Diagnostics, and Global Health', DiaDev workshop. University of Edinburgh

2017. 'How can social sciences improve Global Health policy?' workshop, Global Health Governance Programme. University of Edinburgh

2017. Ugandan Trypanosomiasis Control Council's 25th Anniversary Conference. Co-ordinating Office of Trypanosomisis Control (COCTU). Jinja, Uganda.

2017. 'Human African Trypanosomiasis Modelling Meeting'. NTD Modelling Consortium workshop, University of Warwick

2015. 'ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) National Student Conference'. White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, Sheffield University

2014.  'Critical Health Social Sciences' residential workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.

2014. 'Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security, economic well-being and healthy lives'. ILRI at 40 conference. International Livestock Research Institute. Nairobi, Kenya.

2014.  World Congress on Neglected Zoonotic Diseases. World Health Organisation, Geneva.

2014. 'Mathematical Modelling for Infectious Diseases Dynamics'. Residential Wellcome Trust course at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge.

2014. COCTU (Co-ordinating Office for the Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda). Kampala, Uganda.


2014. Pilot Study for Vaccio mobile data collection application for mass HAT treatment programme

2014-2014. Research partner with Cojengo Ltd. working on VetAfrica mobile field decision-support and data collection tool for veterinary practitioners in rural Africa

Lab experience

2013. Visiting student to the Weinkove Lab. Developed lab skills with supervision from Dr David Weinkove and Dr Shushmita Maitra on a project exploring the therapeutic potential of filarial nematode-derived immunomodulator ES-62 for autoimmune diseases. School of Biological Sciences and Biomedicine, Durham University.


Faul, MV & Lee, S.J (eds.) (2015) 'Ageing'. Policy Brief. Centre for Science and Policy.

Lee, S.J & Maizels, R.M (2014) 'Inflammatory Bowel Diseases'.  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. Clinical Brief Series. p.95.