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A head and shoulders photo of IHTM alumnus Md Zakiul Hassan

Md Zakiul Hassan, (IHTM 2020)

DPhil Scholar, The Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford
Assistant Scientist and Deputy Project Coordinator, Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b an international health research institute, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh,


Hassan is a medical doctor from Bangladesh who, before joining IHTM, worked as a researcher in the emerging infectious diseases programme at icddr,b in Bangladesh. Following the MSc, Hassan returned to icddr,b to lead several research studies including a project on evaluating COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness with the US CDC Global Vaccine team, and a project on improving flu vaccine uptake in high risk populations in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

He is currently on study leave from icddr,b working for his Dphil at The Pandemic Sciences Institute where he is researching epidemic infectious diseases, in particular the Nipah virus.


IHTM appealed to Hassan as he wanted to learn more about qualitative and quantitative research techniques and was also very interested in developing leadership, management and communication skills.


Hassan attributes his rapid development as an epidemic disease researcher to IHTM. Following the MSc, he was appointed to a senior position with icddr,b and the skills he took from the course were of immediate use in successfully applying for project grants.

During IHTM, Hassan did his dissertation and placement at the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium, ISARIC where he worked on COVID-19 clinical case definitions using a global dataset with over half a million hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The experience he gained was instrumental in his successful application for his Dphil and for its funding.

Speaking about IHTM, Hassan says

“I apply what IHTM taught me in many aspects of my work from grant writing, developing study protocols and data analysis to collaboration, information dissemination and developing guidelines.

The presentation, communications and negotiation skills have been very helpful in my role to develop scientific capacity building in Bangladesh and has also helped me with mentoring and teaching.”

Hassan speaks about how IHTM has changed the way he approaches a problem. Previously he would focus on a single solution but IHTM taught him to see a problem from several angles each with different potential solutions.

The last word
“IHTM was a transformative experience, teaching a range of skillsets and providing multiple opportunities for collaboration with both the faculty and fellow students. This has continued long after I graduated. IHTM provides ongoing support for my growth as a researcher and has set me on the path to become a global health leader.”