Rollins School of Public Health | Faculty Profile
Emory Rollins School of Public Health

Paul  Emerson


Jointly Appointed, Global Health

Dr. Emerson has been the Director of the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) at the Emory affiliate Task Force for Global Health since January 2014 and has responsibility and oversight of a local and international staff of 31 people.  The ITI manages the Pfizer donation of Zithromax - a key component of the global program to eliminate blindness from trachoma by the year 2020 - for 31 countries, and expects to ship over 100 million treatments in 2016.

Prior to taking the leadership at ITI, Dr. Emerson was the Director for the Trachoma Program at Emory affiliate The Carter Center from 2004-2013.  At The Carter Center Dr. Emerson established the global flagship programs for trachoma control and worked with multiple academic partners to establish the evidence base for the current guideline in the global program.

Dr. Emerson started his career in tropical medicine at the Medical Research Council in The Gambia where he designed and implemented cluster-randomised controlled trials of environmental interventions for infectious disease control.  He is an author on over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and recipient of several international awards for his humanitarian work.

Contact Information

325 Swanton Way

Deactur , GA 30030

Phone: +(1) 404-687-5623


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Areas of Interest

  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease

Affiliations & Activities

Executive Group of International Coalition for Trachoma Control; Editorial Board of Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Pfizer/ITI Trachoma Expert Committee; WHO Global Alliance for the Elimination of Blinding Trachoma; fellow of the Royal Entomological Society; fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Peer reviewer for scientific journals and grant making bodies:

Journals: Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Journal of Infectious Disease, Malaria Journal, PLoS Medicine, PLoS NTDs, PLoS ONE, Eye, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Tropical Medicine and International Health, Clinical Infectious Diseases, International Ophthalmology, Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Social Science in Medicine, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Ophthalmic Epidemiology, Journal of Tropical Medicine, Drugs, BMC Public Health.

Grant making bodies: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, Wellcome Trust (UK), National Institutes of Health (US), Lions Clubs International Foundation, Leverhulme Trust (UK).


  • , , Comparison of annual versus twice-yearly mass azithromycin treatment for hyperendemic trachoma in Ethiopia: a cluster-randomised trial., Lancet, ,
  • , , Assessment of herd protection against trachoma due to repeated mass antibiotic distributions: a cluster-randomised trial, Lancet, 373, 1111-1118
  • , , Effect of mass distribution of azithromycin for trachoma control on overall mortality in Ethiopian children: A randomized trial, Journal of the American Medical Association, 302, 962-968
  • , , Effect of 3 years of SAFE (surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental change) strategy for trachoma control in southern Sudan: a cross-sectional study, Lancet, 368, 589-595
  • , , Intensive insecticide spraying for fly control after mass antibiotic treatment for trachoma in a hyperendemic setting: a randomised trial, Lancet, 368, 596-600
  • , , Role of flies and provision of latrines in trachoma control, a cluster-randomised controlled trial, Lancet, 363, 1093-1098
  • , , Effect of fly control on trachoma and diarrhoea, Lancet, ,