The Team


Prof. Louis Niessen - Theme Leader

Prof. Niessen is a public health registrar and has a doctorate in health economics and life table modelling. He is LSTM’s Chair in Health Economics and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore. His research is on effectiveness, efficiency & equity impact of health interventions from community to hospital level. This is to provide economic evidence for social and health policy making in international health and health technology assessment. His research addresses health problems through real-life cluster-trials, mathematical models, and systematic economic reviews. 

Prof. Niessen has over 20 years’ experience as a public health expert and internationally recognized health economist working in academic research and instruction carrying out population surveys, economic evaluations, and implementation strategies in a diversity of community and primary care settings in high- and low-income countries.

He leads long-term combined quantitative-qualitative research, making evidence-based contributions to real-life national policies on complex system interventions. Examples are the China report on the control of chronic diseases for the World Bank, the Directorship of the NIH funded Centre for Chronic Disease Control at icddrb, Bangladesh (for three years with > six million $$ budget), the cost estimates related to pneumonia control (for UNICEF), vaccine-impact (Gates Foundation), and health guidelines implementation (six million euros). Presently he is one of the three lead advisors to the Gates-funded Erasmus U project to measure the socio-economic impact of NTDs elimination.

He reports on priority setting, allocative efficiency, and equity impact of interventions, evidence-based implementation of health guidelines (knowledge translation). His findings are based on one of his completed 12 large-scale real-life implementation cluster-trials on (system) interventions, with 700-6000 participants.

Prof. Niessen worked as an associate professor at Hopkins for six years, receiving a three-year personal fellowship, and worked for ten years at Erasmus U. Earlier, he was involved in the implementation of substantive primary care programmes in Nepal and Peruvian Amazon, involving up to 2 million people. He published > 100 scientific publications, guides 15 PhDs, is a major contributor to three books on global health, and contributor to world reports by WHO (WHR), UNEP (GEO), and UNICEF (GAPP).


Dr Jahangir Khan - Senior Health Economist

Dr Khan graduated at undergraduate and Master’s degree levels from the Department of Economics at Stockholm University and PhD from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. He was the Head of Health Economics Unit, Centre for Equity and Health systems, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Researcher at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. He also worked as Health Economist at Stockholm County Council and Västmanland Country Council in Sweden.

His research was funded by International Food Policy Research Institute, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Basel University in Switzerland, CDC, Grand Challenge Canada, NIH, NHLBI and so forth.

Dr. Khan has extensive experience in teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students from all over the world at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, James P Grant School of Public Health at Brac University and Independent University of Bangladesh. He trained junior health economists in Bangladesh under his unit at icddr,b.

He is a member of Bangladesh Team for Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage, led by the Health Economics Unit of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bangladesh. He was also a focal point for developing the first ever healthcare financing strategy of Bangladesh.

Dr Maame Esi Woode - Post Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Woode has a research Masters and a PhD in Economics with a specialisation in Health Economics from the Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Aix-Marseille University; France. She obtained a BSc. in Computational Science from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany and an MSc in Financial Engineering from the International University of Monaco, Principality of Monaco.

Prior to joining the LSTM COUNTDOWN team, she worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the French National Health and Medical Research Institute (INSERM UMR 912). Her research has focused on health care financing in developing countries with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Woode previously interned and worked as an external consultant for the Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour (SAPFL) division of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Her work at COUNTDOWN focuses on issues related to the identification of the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of integrated control for Neglected Tropical Diseases. She also studies the socio-economic and financial consequences of NTD infections, including NTD-related health inequalities and Catastrophic Health Expenditures (CHE).

She is particularly interested in the use of both economic and epidemiological models to study the health and economic effects of health financing policies.

Her research interests include health care financing in LMICS, Health Equity Analysis, Micro-econometrics, Decision Analysis, Economic Evaluations, Mathematical Epidemiology and Health Economics, Measurement of Poverty and Inequality across the Life-Cycle, Education Economics, Human Capital Formation, Human Development and Welfare Analysis.