I am currently the Coordinator of the Mortality and Burden of Disease Unit in the Health System and Innovation, Cluster at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2002 to present I have managed WHO’s work on summary measures of population health, burden of disease and coordinated its work on comprehensive global health statistics. Prior to joining the World Health Organization in 2000, I worked for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for 13 years in technical and senior managerial posts.
I have played a key role at WHO in the development of comparable estimates of healthy life expectancy for 192 countries, in the updating of the global burden of disease study and publication of regular updates by WHO, and in the development of software tools to support burden of disease analysis at country level. I have recently completed new projections of global, regional and country mortality and burden of disease from 2011 to 2030. My Unit produces regular updates of child and maternal mortality, life expectancy and estimates of deaths by cause, age and sex for the 194 Member States of WHO, in collaboration with other UN agencies, the World Bank and academic collaborators. I also oversees the annual publication of the WHO flagship publication World Health Statistics, which is closely linked to WHO’s Global Health Observatory (www.who.int/gho).
My principal research interests are in the measurement and reporting of population health and its determinants, burden of disease methods and applications, and projections of human mortality and healthy life expectancy. I have collaborated with leading researchers throughout the world on issues relating to the development and applications of summary measures of population health and in monitoring trends in global health. I have authored or edited 30 books and major reports, over 50 book chapters and over 100 journal articles in peer-reviewed publications.
In August 2015, I was appointed as Honorary Professor in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, by the University of Edinburgh (http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/staff/2015/appointment-colin-mathers-060815)
I was included in the 2016 and 2017 Thomson-Reuters lists of the most highly cited researchers in the field of medicine. The lists of just under 400 researchers is based on the number of highly cited papers (in the top 1% of citations over the previous 11 years) in the field.
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