Prof Stephen Tollman

As Research Professor in the School of Public Health, Wits University, Steve Tollman directs the Medical Research Council / Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit. While trained in African and US / UK institutions, Steve’s professional life is based in South Africa with extensive efforts building advanced research capability in sub-Saharan African settings.

In the early 1990s, he led establishment of the Agincourt Field Research Centre based on long-term health and socio-demographic surveillance. This provides a longitudinal platform for the SAMRC’s only research group dedicated to rural health and development and the rapid transitions underway. Extensive observational work is complemented by intervention-evaluations addressing key periods along the life course. The empirically-derived mortality and cause-of-death series informs work on chronic conditions and is among the richest on the continent. This, and related surveillance data, offer fresh insight into the complex demographic, epidemiological and social transitions underway.

Steve’s work contributed to the founding of the INDEPTH Network which he served as Board Chair then Principal Scientist. He serves on African, US and UK review panels and is currently chairing 5-year reviews of SAMRC intramural research units. He is an author of some 250 peer-reviewed publications, and in 2018 was honoured by the National Science and Technology Forum.

Unit Director