PROF Alan Lopez

PROF Alan Lopez




  • Laureate Professor Alan Lopez is an international authority on the global burden of disease and the use of health data for the development of health systems and policy.

    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.

    He currently leads the Data for Health Initiative funded by a philanthropic grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies in association with the Australian Government’s Innovation Xchange program. This initiative aims to improve health data in developing countries by using new innovative research and communications technologies to help countries improve basic birth and death data and to monitor major risk factors. Partners in this initiative include the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the CDC Foundation, Union North America, Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization.

    Alan Lopez is the lead author of the Lancet Series ‘Counting the billions: Registration, recognition and the power of vital statistics’, being published in four papers over 2015.

    Prior to working at the University of Melbourne, Alan Lopez worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva for 22 years in senior roles which included: 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). On leaving the World Health Organization he was appointed as the Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland from 2003-2012.

    Alan Lopez has over 82,000 citations to his work in health and medical research. His major collaborations have been in the measurement of tobacco-related mortality and the global burden of diseas   


Member of

  • WHO Expert Committee on NCD Surveillance. WHO Expert Committee on NCD Surveillance 2009 - 2011
  • Wellcome Trust Population and Public Health Funding Committee. Wellcome Trust Population and Public Health Funding Committee 2007 - 2011


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • FAFPHM, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians 2006
  • PhD, Australian National University 1979
  • MSc, Purdue University 1974
  • BSc (Hons), The University of Western Australia 1973

Awards and honors

  • Peter Wills Medal, Research Australia Awards, 2014
  • Melbourne University Laureate Professor, 2013
  • Foreign Associate Member, Institute of Medicine, US National Academies of Science, 2009
  • Fellow of the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, 2006
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, School of Science, Purdue University, 2001
  • Leverhulme Prize (with Sir Richard Peto), Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1998