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Dr Guy Harling
3rd Floor
Mortimer Market Centre
off Capper Street
Dr Guy Harling profile picture
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

I am a social and statistical epidemiologist. I study how risk for poor health outcomes in lower and middle income settings are patterned by social factors, particularly social networks. I have worked at UCL since 2016 and since 2019 have been a Sir Henry Dale Senior Research Fellow through a fellowship awarded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society for work in South Africa. 

In South Africa I am affiliated with Africa Health Research Institute and Univerisity of KwaZulu-Natal in KwaZulu-Natal, and the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Mpumalanga. I am also a visiting scientist at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. 

Prior to working at UCL I completed a doctoral degree and postdoctoral training at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, worked on HIV cost-effectivenss for UNAIDS in Geneva and at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town, and completed degrees in public health and economics at the University of Cape Town, McGill University and the University of Warwick. 

There is more detail on my work at https://www.guyharling.com.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

My research focuses on the social determinants of infectious diseases, mainly on HIV and mainly in sub-Saharan-Africa. I have also researched the social patterning of tuberculosis and HIV in Brazil, bacterial sexually transmitted infections in the United States and Covid-19 in South Africa. 

My primary analytic lense is social connections as seen in networks. I evaluate how social support and interaction can provide positive health outcomes: both the avoidance of unwanted infections such as HIV, and successful management of health conditions. This work has led me to start researching the health of older adults, particularly around dementia. 

I am always concerned about data quality, which has led me to conduct research on field methods. This includes trials of methods to help respondents report sensitive data (e.g. sexual behaviour, history of abuse), including use of computer-based self-reporting and nonverbal response cards. Interviewer behaviour has a substantial impact on the data collected, and I have worked to understand how this happens and how we can account for it in analysis. 

I have overseen several field studies in South Africa, Tanzania and Burkina Faso, and have also been involved in studies in Uganda and Zambia. For these studies we have used OpenDataKit, CommCare, REDCap and Network Canvas data capture software.  Analytically, I work in Stata, R and Python to appropriately manage dependencies between data, including hierarchical, spatial and network modelling. I used to work on the cost and cost-effectiveness of HIV services. 

JAN-2019 Royal Society/Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow Institute for Global Health University College London, United Kingdom
MAY-2016 – DEC-2018 Senior Research Associate Institute for Global Health University College London, United Kingdom
AUG-2013 – APR-2016 Research Fellow Global Health and Population Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, United States
Academic Background
2013   Doctor of Science Harvard University
2006   Master of Public Health University of Cape Town
2003   Master of Arts McGill University
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