Cohort Eight (2023)

Edifofon Akpan

Edifofon is a public health professional with experience in health systems financing and planning, and economic evaluation. He completed a Master’s in public health (MPH) degree at University of Melbourne in 2021 through an Australia Awards scholarship. His thesis was a cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a trial of iron interventions for anaemia among young children in Bangladesh. His first degree was a BPharm at University of Uyo, Nigeria, in 2014.

Before starting his MPH, he conducted several studies that inform health financing policies in Nigeria.

More recently, he has been involved in costing or cost-effectiveness analyses to inform interventions for infectious diseases in the Asia-Pacific region. Some of these include mass drug administration for scabies, public health measures for COVID-19, molecular testing for malaria and arboviruses, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

His research interest is improving methods in economic evaluation. He is also keen on assessing multicomponent interventions, conducting evaluations using real-world data, and creating user-friendly decision models.

Caroline Dix

Caroline completed an LLB in Law at University College London in 2018, focusing on health care law, before project managing an equalities charity for two years. She also has an MSc in Psychology from the University of Nottingham, in which her Master’s project explored the relationship between mental health and health behaviour changes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Caroline is looking forward to being a part of the SCHARR community again, having worked as a Research Assistant in the Clinical Trials Unit; she worked on the OptiCALS randomised controlled trial, which is evaluating a nutritional management intervention for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and ACCESS, a methodology study seeking to improve the representation of underserved populations in clinical trials. Caroline has most recently worked for a Local Authority as an Assistant Psychologist, which included leading on an evaluation of an NHS pilot service in the area.

Caroline is keen to develop her quantitative skills to further her work in her research interest areas, most notably tackling health inequalities.

Ryan Hemingway

Ryan completed a combined BSc honours degree with the Open University in 2013, which included a large component in Public Health. Around this time, he also gained practical experience of delivering health interventions in the community as part of a separate qualification in this subject. More recently, he completed a Master of Public Health degree at Sheffield in 2022, which was funded by a merit-based Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship. His dissertation, a systematic review, combined his interests in mental health and obesity.

Ryan has worked in the financial services sector for many years, during which time he has performed various roles for many different clients throughout the UK relating to the provision of regulatory advice, often in a compliance function involving the analysis of financial data. He holds several industry recognised qualifications accordingly. During his most recent role, he assisted actuaries with data and statistical analyses and modelling relating to pensions, helping them to perform calculations for different stakeholders – skills he is keen to further develop on the Wellcome Trust DTC and ultimately implement as part of his PhD in PHEDS.

Megan James

Megan completed her undergraduate degree in BA Human Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2020, followed by MSc Demography and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2021. For her MSc dissertation, she examined the mental health and wellbeing impacts of unemployment for older workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following her MSc, Megan worked for the Office for National Statistics on methodological developments in the production and transformation of population and migration statistics. Megan is keen to return to the world of health research and to learn new modelling techniques within this context throughout her PhD.

Aisha Moolla

Aisha holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa (2018), and completed a Master of Public Health (Health Economics) at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (2022) on a
fellowship from the SAMRC/Wits Centre for Health Economics and Decision Science. As part of her Master’s, Aisha’s dissertation focused on the cost-effectiveness of a South African pregnancy support grant.

After departing from clinical medicine, Aisha went on to work in healthcare consulting. Her work focused mainly on the financing of the National Health Insurance as well as innovation and system strengthening.

Aisha then went on to become a health economist at the SAMRC/Wits Centre for Health Economics and Decision Science housed within the University of the Witwatersrand. Her career in academia involved economic evaluation for policy change and lecturing Master’s students. Her research interests include improving maternal and child health using a life-course approach, leveraging interventions with multi-sector impacts, and addressing multi-morbidity.

Oscar Rousham

Oscar has completed a BA degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Population Health Sciences, also at the University of Cambridge. Oscar’s research interests lie in the wider determinants
of health and health behaviours and for his masters dissertation he explored the socioeconomic predictors of diet quality during adolescence and young adulthood.

Laura Trigg

Laura achieved a 1st class BSc in Business Economics at Lancaster University in 2020, followed by a MSc distinction in Health Economics and Decision Modelling from the University of Sheffield in 2022. For the two years prior to starting her PhD, she was a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) pre-doctoral fellow in economic modelling at the University of Exeter, in the Peninsula Technology Assessment Group (PenTAG).

At PenTAG, Laura worked on a number of Health Technology Assessment projects in both clinical and economic evaluation, and has experience with single technology appraisals, early value assessments in medical technologies and highly specialised technologies. She has also worked on projects with NHS England, including on Managed Access Agreements and an ICER threshold review based on the cost-effectiveness of surgical interventions. Laura has also led her own research projects, including examining the application of treatment effect waning in NICE appraisals.

Laura’s current research interests are the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of prevention-based interventions compared to cure-based interventions and improving methods for evaluating technologies with a large upfront cost, but a long-term health benefit, such as gene therapies.