I'm a British family physician and global health consultant trained at Bristol University, Harvard School of Public Health, the Kennedy School of Government, MIT, and Oxford. I work in global health policy and have experience with the Harvard Health Systems Cluster, Public Health England, the World Bank, and the World Health Organisation.
I have advised the governments of Botswana, Ethiopia, France, Kenya, Mauritius, Libya, Portugal, Turkey, the UK, and a number of Eastern European countries.
I currently work as a Research Fellow at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, using implementation research and adaptive trial design to optimise vision screening programmes across Kenya, Nepal and Botswana.
Having completed Oxford academic GP training, I also work as a part-time family physician. 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 have published a large volume of high-impact research and have been interviewed on global health policy by the BBC, the New Scientist, the Wall Street Journal and others.
I am the director of Healthier Systems, a dynamic global health research consultancy that uses cutting edge mixed-methods to advance health for all.
I'm currently fundraising for Amnesty International, please consider anonymously donating to support their work upholding human rights around the world here.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
My academic expertise is applied policy research: getting policymakers the evidence they need to advance health for all.
I am working on a Wellcome and NIHR joint-funded programme to revolutionise global health research methods, using Bayesian adaptive trial design and participatory continuous improvement.
Our test case is primary care vision screening across Kenya, Nepal, and Botswana using implementation research methods.
I'm working with the Peek vision team and the International Centre for Eye Health, along with the respective Ministries of Health.
Hedena GP Surgery, Oxford
I'm a jobbing GP in Oxford seeing patients on a weekly basis.
I'm the international lead for the Faculty of Public Health special interest group on integrating public health and primary care. In this role I've been leading work on equitable vaccine distribution.
I also sit on the BJGP editorial board, and the board of the Thames Valley Faculty of the RCGP.
I advise the WHO and World Bank on primary health care reform across low and middle income countries.
WHO, World Bank, BMGF...
I have worked extensively as a global health consultant 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.
I am an active health advocate and have lobbied policymakers in Westminster, the US Congress and Senate, European Parliament, and at two UN General Assemblies.
Commercial & Political Determinants of NCDs
Goiana-da-Silva F, Muc M, Cruz-e-Silva D, Rito A, Lopes C, Miraldo M, Darzi A. Allen LN. Modelling the health impact of legislation to limit the salt content of bread in Portugal: a macro simulation study. Frontiers in Public Health. September 2022.
Allen LN, Wigley S, Holmer H. Assessing the association between corporate political influence and implementation of policies to tackle commercial determinants of non-communicable diseases: a cross-sectional analysis of 172 countries. Social Science and Medicine. March 2022.
Allen LN, Wigley S, Holmer H. Assessing the association between corporate political influence and implementation of policies to tackle commercial determinants of non-communicable diseases: a cross-sectional analysis of 172 countries: Protocol. BMJ Open. August 2022.
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]
Allen LN, Wigley S, Holmer H. Study protocol: Assessing the association between corporate political influence and implementation of policies to tackle commercial determinants of non-communicable diseases: a cross-sectional analysis of 172 countries. MedRxiv. July 2021.
Shao R, Feil C, Wild CE, Morschel K, Bonyani A, Smith RW, Kailas T, Leventhal O, Alsoud Y, Hatefi A, Varghese C, Zhang Y, Rosseau N, Waqanivalu T, Xu Y, Mikkelsen B, Allen LN. Assessing the characteristics of 110 low‐ and middle‐income countries’ noncommunicable disease national action plans. Int J Non‐Communicable Diseases. 2021.
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.
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.[ conference abstract]
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. March 2017.
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. Feb 2018.
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].
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, 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, 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.
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. Jan 2021.
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.
Contributor. 'Public health advocacy for the prevention of NCDs' in: Rayner M, Wickramasinghe K, Williams J, Mendis S, McColl K, eds. An Introduction to Population-Level Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases. Oxford University Press; 2017.
Primary Health Care
Barkley S, Allen LN, Brown L, Kaara C, Malik F, Omam L, Dalil S, Kelly E. Health systems based on primary health care. In: Siddiqi S, Mataria A, Rouleau KD, Iqbal M. (Eds). Making Health Systems Work in Low and Middle Income Countries. Cambridge University Press. In Press.
WHO Europe (contributor). Realizing a health promoting primary care by prioritizing health promotion and disease prevention services. Gesundheit Österreich, on behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Health. 2022.
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).
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.(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.
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.
Covid-19: Global vaccine equity & health system response
Allen L, Gopfert A, Honney R, Senior S, Barker J, Blennerhassett A, Kalmus Eliasz M, Yates T, Currie R. Letter: West’s vaccine rollout must not ignore needs of poorer nations. The Financial Times. January 14th, 2021.
Currie J, Allen L, Senior S, Honney R, Göpfert A, Eliasz MK. Accelerating global vaccination coverage of frontline workers and populations at-risk of severe COVID-19 complications. Public Health. 2021 Jan 29.
WHO. (contributor). Community needs, perceptions and demand: community assessment tool: A module from the suite of health service capacity assessments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. February 2021.
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.
Allen LN, Ratshaa R, Macleod D, Bolster N, Burton M, Kim M, Bastawrous B, Ho-Foster A, Chroston H, Nkomazana O. Protocol for an automated, pragmatic, embedded, adaptive randomised controlled trial: behavioural economics-informed mobile phone-based reminder messages to improve clinic attendance in a Botswanan school-based vision screening programme. Trials. 2022. 23: 6565.
Allen LN, Mackinnon S, Gordon I, Blane D, Marques AP, Gichuhi S, Mwangi A, Burton MJ, Bolster N, Macleod D, Kim M, Bastawrous A. Performance and resource requirements of in-person, voice call, and automated telephone-based socioeconomic data collection modalities for community-based health programs: a systematic review. JAMA Network Open. Nov 2022; 5(11):e2243883.
Allen LN, Mackinnon S, Gordon I, Blane D, Marques AP, Gichuhi S, Mwangi A, Burton MJ, Bolster N, Macleod D, Kim M, Bastawrous A. Performance and resource requirements of in-person versus voice call versus automated telephone-based socioeconomic data collection modalities for community-based health programmes: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. 2022 Apr 1;12(4):e057410.
Allen LN, Nkomazana O, Kumar Mishra S et al. Sociodemographic characteristics of community eye screening participants: protocol for cross-sectional equity analyses in Botswana, Kenya, and Nepal. Wellcome Open Research. 2022, 7:144.
Allen LN, Ratshaa R, Macleod D, Bolster N, Burton M, Kim M, Bastawrous B, Ho-Foster A, Chroston H, Nkomazana O. Protocol for an automated, pragmatic, embedded, adaptive randomised controlled trial: behavioural economics-informed mobile phone-based reminder messages to improve clinic attendance in a Botswanan schoolsbased vision screening programme. MedRxiv preprint.
Guest editorship: Community Eye Health Journal
Guest co-editor with Prof Matthew Burton and Prof Clare Gilbert for a special issue on Primary Eye Health Care
Ramke J, Ah Tong B (joint first author), Stern J, Swenor B, Faal H, Burton J. Defining Eye Health for Everyone.
Blog & Popular Press
Allen L et al. Rapid methods for identifying barriers and solutions to improve access to community health services: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. Under review.
Barlow P, Allen LN. US and EU Free Trade Agreements and implementation of policies to control tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy food and drink: a quasi-experimental analysis. PLOS Medicine. In Press.
Giulia Loffreda, Stella Arakelyan, Ibrahim Bou Orm, Hampus Holmer, Luke Allen, Sophie Witter, Alastair Ager, Karin Diaconu. Barriers and opportunities for non-communicable disease policy adoption and implementation from a political economy perspective: a complexity systematic review. Under review.
Allen LN, Wild C, Loffreda G, Kak M, Aghilla M, Emahbes T, Elsaeh H. Implementing the Noncommunicable Disease Best Buys in Libya. In Herbst C, Kak M, Hafeti (Eds). Non Communicable Diseases in Libya. World Bank, Washington DC. In Press.
Allen LN, Hatefi A, Mallender J, Kak M et al. A mixed methods assessment of the Libyan Primary Health Care System. Manuscript in preparation.
McCormick I, Kim M, Jobe M, Badiie O, Bastawrous A, Allen LN, Hydara A, Mactaggart I, Burton M, Ramke J. Socioeconomic position and eye health outcomes: identifying inequality in rapid population-based surveys. Under review.
Yamey G...Allen LN...et al. The case for targeting additional development assistance to primary health care. Under review.
Breda J, Allen LN et al. Obesity during and after the COVID-19 data revolution. Under review.
Perera V, Allen LN and colleagues. Modelling the impact of salt reduction in the Eurasian Economic Union. Manuscript in preparation
Baatiema L, Sanuade O, Allen LN, Hategeka C, Abimbola S, Aikins A, Koram K, Kruk ME. Health system and policy adaptions to improve high-quality care for people living with non-communicable diseases during COVID-19 in low-middle income countries: a systematic scoping review. Under review.
WHO (lead author). Manual on Sugar Sweetened Beverage Taxation Policies to Promote Healthy Diets. In Press.
Allen LN, Wickramasinghe K, Rayner M. Political guide to eliminating trans fats from the human food supply. WHO. In press.
Gambaryan M, Wickramasinghe K, Allen LN, Popovich M, Chatterjee S, Ciobanu A, Starovoytov M, Drapkina O. Electronic nicotine delivery system advertising and use in the Russian Federation: survey findings from the second wave of the Russian tobacco control policy evaluation. Manuscript in preparation.
Acknowledged expert advisor: Primary care and public health services: specification of health promotion and disease prevention services in primary care. WHO. In press.
I regularly peer-review for major journals including the Lancet Global Health, BMJ Global Health, the WHO Bulletin, the Milbank Quarterly and the BJGP.
I have also peer-reviewed primary health care textbooks for RCGP press and Taylor & Francis.
I studied medicine at Bristol University (MBChB) with an intercalated BSc Hons in International Health (top of class).
Whilst working as a hospital doctor in Cornwall I completed my postgraduate certificate in clinical education at Plymouth University (PGCE, with merit) and became a fellow of the higher education academy (FHEA). I was nominated for outstanding clinical trainee of the year.
In 2015 I completed my Masters in Public Health at Harvard, specialising in Global Health. Whilst living in Boston I studied at Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government, Oxford University (on a spring break scholarship), and MIT. I also completed the Harvard Public Health Leadership Programme.
In 2016 I won an Oxford University GP Academic Clinical Fellowship funded by the NIHR. I gained my certificate of completion of training (CCT) and membership of the Royal College of GPs (MRCGP) in 2020, scoring in the top 5% of the country for my professional exams. In the same year I completed my postgraduate diploma in health research at Oxford's Department of Primary Care Health Sciences (PGDip, with distinction).
I am currently employed at LSHTM as a Clinical Research Fellow, in the Department of Clinical Research.
Healthier Systems Ltd
Director: August 2020 - present
Consultant: November 2020 - present
World Health Organisation
Consultant: Non-continuously; June 2015 - present
Expert review panel member for the development of the WHO guidance document "Primary care and public health services: specification of health promotion and disease prevention services in primary care".
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.
Faculty of Public Health
New South Wales International Expert Advisory Committee
Primary care advisor: October 2021
Green Templeton College, University of Oxford
Research Associate: May 2018 - October 2021
Duke University - Centre for Policy Impact in Global Health
Primary care expert: November 2020 - Feb 2021
Oxford University and NHS joint appointment
GP Academic Clinical Fellow: August 2016 - August 2020
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
Research assistant: July 2015 – August 2017
Geneva Graduate Institute and Rabin Martin - Geneva
Researcher: Jan 2015
Harvard Health Systems Cluster
Research associate: 2014 - 2015
Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network
Practicum Fellow - Program lead for global NCD advocacy network: 2014 - 2015
Eating Disorders Coalition - Washington DC
Lobbyist (Harvard STRIPED Scholar): Oct 2014
Interviewed by Amnesty International's magazine on my experience raising over £5,000 and running the 2022 London Marathon for human rights
Winter 2022: Issue 15, p38
Boston Globe: STAT
Interviewed about America's commercial NCD policy performance by Nick Florko for the Boston Globe's health and medicine publication:
My current work on novel adaptive trial design was featured in Carrie Arnold's piece; "The controversial new clinical trials that promise faster results"
This amazing Wellcome & NIHR-funded project is a partnership between LSHTM, Peek Vision, the University of Botswana, and the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
Global NCD Policy implementation
National broadsheet and online news coverage
Based on the paper Implementation of non-communicable disease policies from 2015 to 2020: a geopolitical analysis of 194 countries. with Simon Wigley and Hampus Holmer.
Discussing the implications of delaying the delivery of the second covid vaccines dose to primary care patients, in order to minimise hospital admissions and deaths. Based on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation statement and the UK joint CMO letter. Broadcast 7pm January 3rd and available on BBC iPlayer.
Covid-19 mass-testing in the UK
China Global Television
TV interview segment
Interviewed on The Link, speaking about multilateralism in global health. Broadcast to >100 countries. 4th June, 2020.
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
Applying the same standards to myself that I expect of others
I worked in two university bars during medical school. I have never received money or in-kind goods or services from tobacco, food and beverage, gambling, or firearms industries, nor conducted any research wholly or part-funded by industry.