Our Planet, Our Health team

We support health professionals, policy makers and researchers to:

  • understand the links between human activity, our environment and our health
  • find and implement solutions to planetary health challenges.

We are one of Wellcome’s science teams and oversee the Our Planet, Our Health priority area

Team contacts

Howie Frumkin, Head of Our Planet, Our Health

Howie Frumkin

Head of Our Planet, Our Health

Howie is responsible for the programme’s strategy and delivery.

A physician and epidemiologist, he has experience of working in both academia and government. His previous roles include public health dean at the University of Washington, and director of the National Centre for Environmental Health at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Howie has also served on numerous boards and committees relevant to planetary health.  

His expertise is in the public health aspects of the built environment, climate change, energy policy, nature contact and sustainability. He has authored and co-authored more than 250 scientific papers and chapters. His books include ‘Environmental Health: From Global to Local’ and ‘Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability’. 

He was educated at Brown University (BA), the University of Pennsylvania (MD), and Harvard University (MPH and DrPH). 

Follow him on Twitter: @howardfrumkin

Patricia Felden

PA to Howie Frumkin

Patricia is the point of contact for anything related to Howie Frumkin’s calendar.

Before joining Wellcome, Patricia supported principals at various businesses and UN agencies. 

She has an MA in international relations, and speaks French, English and German. 

Modi Mwatsama, Senior Science Lead – Food Systems, Nutrition and Health

Modi Mwatsama

Senior Science Lead – Food Systems, Nutrition and Health

Modi leads our research, partnership and policy work on healthy diets and sustainable food systems. 

Before joining Wellcome, she was Director of Policy and Global Health at the UK Health Forum. Modi played a major role in incorporating sustainability concerns into the UK government’s Eatwell Guide, and promoting sugar reduction in Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action.  

She was educated at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc and DrPH). 

Follow her on Twitter: @ModiMwatsama 

Jose Siri, nior Science Lead – Cities

Jose Siri

Senior Science Lead – Cities

Jose leads our research, partnership and policy work on how to make cities healthier and more sustainable. 

He was most recently a research fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Kuala Lumpur, where he led research, policy and capacity-building efforts in urban health. 

Jose was also a co-investigator for Salud Urbana en América Latina (SALURBAL), a Wellcome-funded project to improve urban health across Latin America.  

He was educated at Cornell University (BS), the University of Michigan (MPH and PhD), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (postdoc) in Austria.

Follow him on Twitter: @josegsiri

Madeleine Thomson, Senior Science Lead – Climate Change and Health

Madeleine Thomson

Senior Science Lead – Climate Change and Health

Madeleine leads our work to understand the connections between climate change and people’s health, and to find and implement solutions at scale.

She previously held senior research positions at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She also served as director of the IRI/PAHO-WHO Collaborating Centre on Early Warning Systems for Malaria and Other Climate-Sensitive Diseases. 

Madeleine originally trained as a field entomologist. She spent much of her early career doing operational research to support large-scale health interventions, mainly in Africa.  

She was educated at the University of Sheffield (BSc), Imperial College London (MSc) and the University of Liverpool (PhD). 

Follow her on Twitter: @madthomson

Lukasz Aleksandrowicz, Portfolio Advisor

Lukasz Aleksandrowicz

Portfolio Advisor

Lukasz manages our research portfolio.

He previously worked on the Million Death Study, an ongoing, large-scale survey tracking patterns of mortality in India.

He was educated at the University of Guelph (BSc) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc and PhD). His MSc was in public health and he did his PhD on sustainable food systems.

Katie Nelson, Our Planet, Our Health Programme Manager

Katie Nelson

Programme Manager

Katie oversees the day-to-day delivery of the programme.

She began her career as a management consultant, in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Before joining Wellcome, she was a science programme manager and a business analyst at OceanX, where she helped launch an ocean exploration programme. 

Katie was educated at Brown University (BA) and the University of Otago (MSc). 

Anisha Kotecha, Our Planet, Our Health Project Support Officer

Anisha Kotecha

Project Support Officer

Anisha supports and coordinates our events and projects.

She previously worked as a peer educator with the Department for International Development in Zimbabwe. This involved organising campaigns and facilitating sessions in schools and rural communities about malaria, HIV and children’s rights. 

She was educated at the University of Nottingham (BSc). Her dissertation focused on the use of lichens as bio-monitors of air quality and pollution.

Denesha Brar, Our Planet, Our Health Communications Lead

Denesha Brar

Communications Lead

Denesha leads on our communications.

Before joining Wellcome, she worked in communications agencies, for clients like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has experience in strategy development, message testing, global advocacy campaigns and influencer engagement.

She was educated at the University of Nottingham and the University of Hong Kong (MSci). 

Our work

Our Planet, Our Health grants awarded

Read summaries of the grants awarded under the Our Planet, Our Health programme.