Principal Investigator

Research group:


Bob is the longest serving Oxford scientist at the Kenyan Programme. Bob’s career began in The Gambia where he undertook the first clinical trials of insecticide treated nets (ITN) [1984-1988]. Following a move to Kenya, he established the framework to undertake linked community-based mortality and hospital admission trials at Kilifi and directed one of four large-scale, community-randomized mortality trials of ITN in Africa [1989-1993]. Subsequently he investigated the possible long-term effects of reduced parasite exposure on the clinical epidemiology of malaria to understand the consequences of sustained ITN use and/or its interrupted use on disease burdens [1994-2003]. This was used as a basis to establish new epidemiological methods to define the mortality, morbidity and consequential burdens posed by malaria in Africa [1995-1999] and clinical disease globally [2005]. As part of new ways to articulate disease burdens he started the Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa (MARA) project with colleagues in South Africa [1996], which served as the model for a global initiative founded by Bob in Nairobi, known as the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) [2005]. Since 2010, he has led a science-to-policy initiative, funded by DFID, UK, to ensure the best possible use of epidemiological data to design malaria control programmes in 22 African countries. In 2015, this work extended to support countries in the Arabian Peninsula as a collaboration with WHO’s EMR office in Cairo; focusing on countries in conflict, entering phases of malaria elimination, or aiming to prevent malaria re-introduction. Bob has been supported by the Wellcome Trust since 1992 under three Senior and three Principal Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science.



Bob’s current interests continue to be the epidemiology of malaria parasite exposure (transmission intensity) and disease outcomes (age/immunity) across Africa, work started in the 1990s and revisited under his current Principal Fellowship 25 years later. His current work also includes the use of hospitals as sentinels for disease surveillance in resource poor settings and their use for monitoring intervention (including RTS,S vaccine) impact. Bob continues to promote the science of malaria risk mapping to guide appropriate selection of interventions, working directly with national governments in the WHO Africa and Eastern Mediterranean regions. Since 2018, Bob has worked closely with the Global Malaria Programme, WHO, to promote best-practice for applying epidemiological stratification to sub-national malaria control. Bob provides mentorship to mid and senior career scientists working on malaria within the programme and continues to provide supervision for doctoral students.

The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum in sub-Saharan Africa since 1900.

Snow, R.W., Sartorius, B., Kyalo, D., Maina, J., Amratia, P., Mundia, C.W., Bejon, P., Noor, A.M.

Nature. 2017. 2017; : 515-518

Childhood deaths in Africa: uses and limitations of verbal autopsies

Snow, R. W., Armstrong, J. R., Forster, D., Winstanley, M. T., Marsh, V. M., Newton, C. R., Waruiru, C., Mwangi, I., Winstanley, P. A., Marsh, K.

Lancet. 1992; : 351-5

Relation between severe malaria morbidity in children and level of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in Africa

Snow, R. W., Omumbo, J. A., Lowe, B., Molyneux, C. S., Obiero, J. O., Palmer, A., Weber, M. W., Pinder, M., Nahlen, B., Obonyo, C., Newbold, C., Gupta, S., Marsh, K.

Lancet. 1997; : 1650-4

Estimating mortality, morbidity and disability due to malaria among Africa’s non-pregnant population

Snow, R. W., Craig, M., Deichmann, U., Marsh, K.

Bull World Health Organ. 1999; : 624-40

The global distribution of clinical episodes of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Snow, R. W., Guerra, C. A., Noor, A. M., Myint, H. Y., Hay, S. I.

Nature. 2005; : 214-7

Lorem ipsum