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The Merrimon Lecture
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Location: 4008 Old Clinic Auditorium

Wednesday, September 14th, 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Heidi J Larson, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science
Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Heidi J. Larson, Ph.D., is a Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and is the Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is also a Clinical Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and a Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Professor Larson’s research focuses on the analysis of social and political factors that can affect the uptake of health interventions and influence policies. Her particular interest is on risk and rumour management from clinical trials to delivery – and building public trust. She served on the FDA Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Emergency Communication Expert Working Group, and is currently Principal Investigator for a global study on the acceptance of vaccination during pregnancy; an EU-funded (EBODAC) project on the deployment, acceptance, and compliance of an Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone; and a global study on Public Sentiments and Emotions Around Current and Potential Measures to Contain and Treat COVID-19.

Dr. Larson is an anthropologist and Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project™ (VCP); Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science, Dept. Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Clinical Professor, Institute of Health Metrics & Evaluation, University of Washington; and Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security Fellow. Dr. Larson previously headed Global Immunisation Communication at UNICEF, chaired GAVI’s Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy. The VCP is a WHO Centre of Excellence on addressing Vaccine Hesitancy.

She has recently joined the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV) (University of Antwerp) as an associate professor, as the CEV at the Antwerp University will host the European Regional Office of the Vaccine Confidence Project as of May 15, 2019, and will closely collaborate with Vaccine Confidence Project partners at European level on implementing the Vaccine Confidence Index™ and developing and evaluating interventions to address vaccine hesitancy.


Co-sponsored by:
UNC Center for Bioethics
UNC Center for Health Equity Research
School of Medicine Merrimon Lectureship
Department of Social Medicine
Illustration by Jonathan McHugh