Valerie Curtis

Disgustologist

Val is Director of the Hygiene Centre, a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving hygiene, sanitation and water in households and schools through enhancing knowledge. She is trained in engineering, epidemiology and anthropology and has a particular interest in human behavior, especially from an evolutionary perspective.

Val organizes the Study Module on the Design of Disease Control Programs in Developing Countries. She teaches on the Tropical Environmental Health Study Module and gives an annual public health lecture on hygiene and sanitation.

After coordinating a major study of diarrheal disease and a trial of the effectiveness of hygiene promotion in Burkina Faso she studied hygiene behavior in developing countries for many years. She is currently researching the health impacts of hand washing, the effectiveness of different approaches, including consumer marketing, in changing hygiene behavior, sanitation marketing, and Darwinian approaches to Health Promotion.

The evolution and function of disgust and its relationship to hygiene is a particular area of interest. She helped found and is one of the leaders of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing with Soap and is director of the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine.

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