I'm a British family physician and global health consultant trained at Bristol University, Harvard School of Public Health, the Kennedy School of Government, and MIT. I work in global health policy and have experience with the Harvard Health Systems Cluster, Public Health England, Oxford University, and the World Health Organisation where I'm currently working as a primary care consultant.
Having completed Oxford Academic Clinical Fellow GP training, I now work as a qualified GP alongside my global policy work. I sit on the RCGP Thames Valley Faculty board and I'm an editorial board member at the British Journal of General Practice; the world's highest ranked primary care journal. I'm the international lead for the Faculty of Public Health special interest group on Primary Care and Public Health.
I am the director of Healthier Systems, a dynamic global health research consultancy that uses cutting edge mixed-methods to advance health for all.
Primary health care
GP Academic Clinical Fellowship
I'm a jobbing GP in Oxford seeing patients on a weekly basis. As an academic fellow I work with Prof Trish Greenhalgh at the Department of Primary Care, and as a research associate at Green Templeton College.
My research and practice centre on integrating public health and primary care to address local social determinants of health.
World Health Orgnisation
I work at the intersection of health, politics, and economics - specialising in primary health care and population-level prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
As the director of Healthier Systems, I lead an international interdisciplinary team of researchers, academic clinicians, and policymakers in supporting governments and international development partners.
Speaking truth to power
The health-poverty nexus is a burning social injustice. I lobby for evidence-based public policy through harrying elected representatives and writing in journals and the popular press.
I have lobbied policymakers in Westminster, the US Congress and Senate, the European Parliament, and at 2018 and 2019 UN General Assembly side-events.
WHO Integrated Services Team
WHO (contributor). Diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccine readiness, and other health products for COVID-19 A module from the suite of health service capacity assessments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 20 November 2020.
Peer-reviewed journal articles
Allen LN, Smith RW, Simmons-Jones F, Roberts N, Honney R, Currie J. Assessing and addressing the social determinants of noncommunicable diseases in primary care: a systematic review. WHO Bulletin 2020;98:754–765B.
Allen LN, Smith RW, Simmons-Jones F, Roberts N, Honney R, Currie J. Addressing social determinants of noncommunicable diseases in primary care: a scoping review. European Journal of Public Health. 2020 Sep;30(Supplement_5):ckaa165-1131. (conference abstract).
Holmer H, Allen L. Policies to prevent non-communicable disease: implementation trends in 194 countries 2015–2020. European Journal of Public Health. 2020 Sep;30(Supplement_5):ckaa165-992 (conference abstract).
Rawaf S, Allen LN, Stigler FL, Kringos D, Quezada-Yamamoto H, van Weel C. Lessons on the COVID-19 pandemic, for and by primary care professionals worldwide. European Journal of General Practice. 2020: 26:1, 129-133.
Simmons-Jones FM, Allen LN, Smith RW, Roberts N, Honney R, Currie J. P52 Primary care approaches to measuring and mobilising action on social determinants of non-communicable disease: a systematic review. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Sep 2020, 74 (Suppl 1) A68
Goiana-da-Silva F, Severo M, Cruz e Silva D, João Gregório M, Allen LN, Muc M, Nunes A, Torres D, Miraldo M, Ashrafian H, Rito A, Wickramasinghe K, Breda J, Darzi A, Araújo F, Lopes C. Projected impact of the Portuguese sugar sweetened beverage tax on obesity incidence across different age groups: A modelling study. PLOS Medicine. 2020. March 12.
Goiana-da-Silva F, Cruz-e-Silva D, Allen L, Nunes AM, Calhau C, Rito A, Bento A, Miraldo M, Darzi A. Portugal’s voluntary food reformulation agreement and the WHO reformulation targets. Journal of Global Health. 2019 Dec;9(2).
Goiana-da-Silva F, Cruz-e-Silva D, Allen L, Gregório MJ, Severo M, Nogueira PJ, Nunes AM, Graça P, Lopes C, Miraldo M, Breda J. Modelling impacts of food industry co-regulation on noncommunicable disease mortality, Portugal. WHO Bulletin. 2019. Jul 1;97:7.
Hatefi A, Allen LN. Donors, non-communicable diseases and universal health coverage to high-quality healthcare: an opportunity for action on global functions for health. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2018. 72:665-667.
Williams J, Allen LN, Wickramasinghe K, Mikkelsen B, Roberts N, Townsend N. A systematic review of associations between non-communicable diseases and socioeconomic status within low-and lower-middle-income countries. Journal of Global Health. 2018. Dec;8(2).
Allen LN, Pullar J, Wickramasinghe K, Williams J, Roberts N, Mikkelsen B, Varghese C, Townsend N. Evaluation of research on interventions aligned to WHO ‘Best Buys’ for NCDs in Low- and Lower-Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review from 1990-2015. BMJ Global Health. 2018. 3: e000535.
Allen LN, Pullar J, Wickramasinghe K, Williams J, Foster C, Roberts N, Mikkelsen B, Varghese C, Townsend N. Are WHO “best buys” for non-communicable diseases effective in low-income and lower-middle-income countries? A systematic review. Lancet Global Health. 2017. 5; s17 (conference abstract).
Pullar J, Allen L, Townsend N, Williams J, Foster C, Roberts N, Rayner M, Mikkelsen B, Branca F, Wickramasinghe K. The impact of poverty reduction and development interventions on non-communicable diseases and their behavioural risk factors in low and lower-middle income countries: a systematic review. PloS one. 2018. Feb 23;13(2):e0193378.
Allen LN, Fox N, Ambrose A. Quantifying research output on poverty and non-communicable disease behavioural risk factors in low-income and lower middle-income countries: a bibliometric analysis. BMJ Open. 2017. Nov 1;7(11):e014715.
Allen LN, Townsend N, Williams J, Mikkelsen B, Roberts N, Wickramasinghe K. Socioeconomic status and alcohol use in low-and lower-middle income countries: A systematic review. Alcohol. 2018. Aug 1;70:23-31.
Allen L, Williams J, Townsend N, Mikkelsen B, Roberts N, Foster C, Wickramasinghe K. Socioeconomic status and non-communicable disease behavioural risk factors in low-income and lower-middle-income countries: a systematic review. Lancet Global Health. 2017. March 5 (3): e277-e289.
Pullar J, Allen LN, Townsend N, Williams J, Foster C, Roberts N, Mikkelsen B, Wickramasinghe K. Poverty and development interventions that address behavioural risk factors of non-communicable diseases in low- and lower middle-income countries: a systematic review. The Lancet. 2016. November 388; S97 (conference abstract)
Allen LN, Milton K. Beyond the consultation room: GPs and physical activity. Response to Brooks, Ahmad, Easton. Promoting physical activity: the general practice agenda. British Journal of General Practice. 2016. 66;(652):558-558.
Initial drafting (with Dr Ghazanfar Khan)
G7 Primary Health Care Universal Knowledge Initiative Joint Report: Gavi, Global Fund, OECD, World Bank & WHO. December 2019 (internal G7 document).
WHO documents for the Global Conference on Primary Health Care, Astana, 2018
Contributor and coordinating editor
Non-peer reviewed publications
Allen LN, Løge B, Wickramasinghe K, Breda J. Modelling the impact of national policies on noncommunicable disease (NCD) mortality using PRIME. WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases. 2019.
Contribution to book chapter 'Public health advocacy for the prevention of NCDs' in: Rayner M, Wickramasinghe K, Williams J, Mendis S, McColl K, editors. An Introduction to Population-Level Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases. Oxford University Press; 2017.
Bosch S, Wickramasinghe K, Allen LN. Policy Prioritisation Tool. WHO. 2015.
Allen LN. Improving coordination of chronic disease management through bundled payment in the Netherlands. WHO Europe. 2015.
Allen LN, Kumbhar K, Jarvis J. Advocacy and Action: Catalysing grassroots social change in the face of NCDs. Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network. 2015.
Upcoming and under review
WHO (contributor). Continuity of essential health services: community assessment tool:
Key informants phone interview questionnaire. WHO 2020.
WHO (contributor). Continuity of essential health services: community assessment tool. WHO. 2020.
WHO Europe (lead author). Obesity and Covid-19. Expert meeting report. December 2020. In press.
Allen LN, Redknap C, Roberts N. Using ‘group model building’ workshops to engage communities in assessing local social determinants of diet: a systematic review. Under review.
Allen LN, Rayner M, Briggs A, Wickramasinghe K. Health-related food taxes: An implementation manual. WHO
Zia Saleh, Anna Bunova, Kremlin Wickramasinghe, Anna Kontsevaya, Boris Gornyy, Carina Ferreira-Borges, Luke Allen, Oxana Drapkina and João Breda. Modelling the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol pricing policies on non-communicable disease mortality in Russia. Under review
Allen LN, Wickramasinghe K, Rayner M. Political guide to eliminating trans fats from the human food supply. WHO
Goiana-da-Silva F, Muc M, Cruz-e-Silva D, Rito A, Lopes C, Miraldo M, Allen LN, Darzi A. Prioritising health over internal market interests: a policy dilemma for Portugal. Health Policy
Gambaryan M, Allen LN et al. Electronic cigarettes use associated with exposure to marketing of these products, demographic factors and tobacco smoking. Results from Russian Tobacco Control Policy evaluation survey EPOCHA-RF. In preparation.
Breda J, Allen L, Tibet B, Erguder T, Karabulut E, Huseyin Yildirim H, Mok A, Wickramasinghe K. Estimating the impact of achieving Turkey’s non-communicable disease policy targets: a macro-simulation modelling study.
The Lancet Regional Health Europe. In press.
Barkley S, Allen LN, Brown L, Kaara C, Malik F, Ngo Bibaa L, Kelly E. Health systems based on primary health care. In; Siddiqi S and Mataria A (Eds) Making health systems work in developing countries – Textbook for public health practitioners.
Guest editorship: BJGP Open
Guest editor for a special research call on 'covid-19 and international primary care', May-August 2020.
Experience and Education
I studied medicine at Bristol and completed an intercalated BSc in International Health (top of class).
Whilst working as a junior doctor in Cornwall I completed my PGCE in Clinical Education with merit at Plymouth University.
In 2015 I completed my Masters in Public Health at Harvard, specialising in Global Health. I also undertook the Public Health Leadership Concentration. Over the year I studied at the Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government, Oxford University, and MIT.
I completed my PGDip in Health Research alongside my NIHR GP Academic Clinical Fellowship in 2020 at Oxford University.
WHO Primary Health Care - Oxford and Geneva with international travel
Consultant: August 2018 - present
Faculty of Public Health Special Interest Group on Public Health and Primary Care - Global
Oxford University and NHS joint appointment - Oxford
GP Academic Clinical Fellow: August 2016 - present
WHO Europe - Copenhagen and Moscow
Consultant: June 2015, and June 2016 - present
Supported the health ministries of Turkey, Portugal, and Russia to model the impact of population-level interventions on chronic disease mortality.
Rapporteur for the Moscow-based workshop on strengthening capacity for noncommunicable disease implementation research in the WHO European Region.
Methodological support for a research project on industry promotion of e-cigarettes in Russia.
WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on Non-Communicable Diseases - Geneva
Consultant: April - June 2016, and February - August 2017
Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford - Oxford
Researcher: July 2015 – August 2017
Geneva Graduate Institute and Rabin Martin - Geneva
Researcher: Jan 2015
Harvard Health Systems Cluster - Boston
Research associate: 2014 - 2015
Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network - Boston
Practicum Fellow - Program lead for global NCD advocacy network: 2014 - 2015
Eating Disorders Coalition - Washington DC
Lobbyist (Harvard STRIPED Scholar): Oct 2014
In the media
Covid-19 mass-testing in the UK
China Global Television
Note: I was paid £80 for this segment. I donated this fee in its entirety to Amnesty International Hong Kong.
Global NCD Policy implementation
Interviews, radio, and podcast
My work on global implementation of WHO-backed NCD policies has been covered in a number of outlets:
Lancet Global Health podcast with Mandip Aujla
Interview with ABC News Spain
Interview with PBS radio
Declaration of Interests.
Applying the same standards to myself that I expect of others
I have never received money or in-kind goods or services from tobacco, alcohol, food and beverage, gambling, or firearms industries, nor conducted any research wholly or part-funded by industry.