UCL Population Health Sciences


Professor Ibrahim Abubakar appointed as Dean of the UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences

12 May 2021

We are delighted to announce that Ibrahim Abubakar, a world-leading scholar in the field of infectious disease epidemiology, will take up the post of Dean of the UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences from 1 August 2021.

Professor Ibrahim Abubakar

He will take over from Professor Graham Hart, who has served as inaugural Dean since August 2011, successfully leading the faculty to its position today as a leading global institution for education and research in public health and clinical medicine, consistently ranked in the world’s top ten. Professor Hart will continue to co-direct UCL Health of the Public.

Professor Abubakar joined UCL in 2012, jointly appointed between the MRC Clinical Trials Unit and the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care as Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. In 2016, he was appointed Director of the Institute for Global Health and also served as Vice-Dean International and External Engagement for the faculty. Prior to his appointment at UCL, he led Public Health England’s successful tuberculosis control strategy. He is an NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Senior Investigator and was elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2020 in recognition of his research in infectious disease epidemiology and migration and health.

His work focuses on the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of infections including tuberculosis, hepatitides, HIV, and other common problems such as antimicrobial resistance and vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly among vulnerable populations. He has published widely, including over 300 research papers, policy reports, book chapters and textbooks. He has a strong commitment to equality and diversity, supporting excellence in education and research and tackling inequalities and social exclusion. 

Professor Ibrahim Abubakar qualified in medicine from Ahmadu Bello University. He went on to specialise in public health, graduating with an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a DPH from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of East Anglia, where he later worked as a Professor in Health Protection at the Norwich Medical School. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal College of Physicians.  

President & Provost of UCL Dr Michael Spence said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Professor Ibrahim Abubakar to UCL's leadership team. Ibrahim Abubakar is an exceptional choice as Dean, bringing a wealth of experience from leadership roles at the UCL Institute for Global Health, and in the sector more widely, covering academia, clinical and public service work in the UK and Africa. His internationally recognised tuberculosis (TB) research is exemplary of the excellence and real-world impact so characteristic of UCL. And his leadership will support both the faculty and the university in our continuing work to improve health for all.

"My warmest thanks go to Professor Graham Hart for leading the faculty from its inception and with such success. Professor Abubakar inherits a faculty in the top 10 globally for public health.”

Professor Ibrahim Abubakar said: 

"I am very excited at the prospect of taking over from Professor Hart later this year as Dean of the UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences. I am very proud of the achievements of our faculty – particularly our friendly welcoming working environment and our ethos of equity. 

"I am acutely aware that this transition will be happening at a challenging time for all of us – due to the impact of the pandemic and challenges to research funding. At the same time, I am proud of the way our staff and students have coped and supported each other over the last year. We have managed to provide excellent education to our students, we’re attracting major grants in all our institutes and most importantly we have continued to look out for each other through possibly the most challenging year of our careers. I am optimistic about the future. 

"Over the next three months, I intend to work with the leadership team and our Institute Directors to ensure a smooth transition and vision for the future. During this period and beyond, I would love to hear from our staff.”

Professor Graham Hart, inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Population Health Sciences, said: 

“The appointment of Professor Abubakar as the next Dean of the faculty is a moment of great joy and pride to me. Ibrahim is an outstanding scientist and has led the Institute for Global Health with great success over the past five years – it has gone from strength to strength in its world-leading research and exceptional education under his leadership. I know that he’ll bring the same level of focus, commitment and thoughtful leadership to the role of Dean of the Faculty of Population Health Sciences.”