Research Assistant


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Giulia Loffreda is a Research Assistant in the Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD).

Giulia is a Research Assistant and she holds a PharmD (University of Bologna, Italy) and a MSc in Public Health (Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

Before joining IGHD, she worked at the University of Cambridge as the scientific coordinator of population health studies (cohort and case-control studies) in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, that aimed to better characterize the risk factors for NCDs in the South-East Asian region.

Prior to embarking in the field of global public health, she worked for few years as a community pharmacist in Italy and Australia. This particular work experience in primary care, and being at the ‘front door’ of the health system, helped her to understand the importance of integrated and joined health services, and the central role played by comprehensive primary health care.

Her research interests span from novel drug discovery for Neglected Tropical Diseases, the psychosocial domains (e.g., Health Related Quality of Life) of cardiovascular disease, to the multidimensional risk factors associated with NCDs (such as socio-political, environmental, biological), always using a systematic, intersectional and health-in all-policies lens.

She is also interested in the role played by civil society organizations to shape the health policy agenda.

Her current research is part of the NIHR-Research Unit in Situations of Fragility (RUHF), a programme of research that aims to analyze the challenges of delivering health services and promoting health in fragile settings.

Specifically, RUHF focuses on provision of mental health and psychological support and treatment and prevention of NCDs in Lebanon and Sierra Leone. The overarching goal of the project is helping to secure quality and accessible service delivery in contexts of fragility, and to design services and community engagement that prove durable and effective in circumstances of fragility.

Participatory group model building is among the methodology used for exploring the key actors in the systems for health in these fragile settings and for identifying effective strategies to solve such challenges.


Active research interests:

  • Health Systems
  • Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs)
  • Mental Health
  • Universal Health Coverage
  • Comprehensive Primary Health Care
  • Structural determinants of NCDs
  • Civil society engagement


Research Methods:

  • Qualitative methods, quantitative methods, mixed methods, systematic literature reviews, meta-analysis