Academic Appointments

  • Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Administrative Appointments

  • Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (2012 - Present)
  • Senior Fellow, Woods Institute of the Environment (2012 - Present)
  • Director of Research, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health (2012 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain Teaching Excellence Award, James P Grant School of Public Health (2012)
  • Medal of Excellence in Global Health, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012)
  • International WaTER Prize, Oklahoma University (2009)
  • Shepard Award, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2006)
  • Favourite paper in infectious diseases, Lancet Infectious Diseases (2005)
  • Alexander D. Langmuir Prize, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epidemiology (1992)
  • Residency, Strong Memorial Hospital, Internal Medicine (1989)
  • Internship, Strong Memorial Hospital, Internal Medicine (1987)
  • MD, University of Texas, Southwestern, Medicine (1986)
  • BA, Creighton University, Philosophy (1981)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (1989)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Luby’s primary research interests are in developing practical solutions to environmental problems that impact human health in low income countries. He works primarily in Bangladesh. His ongoing work includes 1) characterizing emerging infections, especially henipaviruses and influenza viruses; 2) assessing the health impact of strategies to improve water, sanitation and hygiene; 3) reducing the adverse environmental and health consequences of brick manufacturing.


2013-14 Courses

Graduate and Fellowship Programs


Journal Articles

  • The pandemic potential of Nipah virus. Antiviral research Luby, S. P. 2013; 100 (1): 38-43


    Nipah virus, a paramyxovirus whose wildlife reservoir is Pteropus bats, was first discovered in a large outbreak of acute encephalitis in Malaysia in 1998 among persons who had contact with sick pigs. Apparently, one or more pigs was infected from bats, and the virus then spread efficiently from pig to pig, then from pigs to people. Nipah virus outbreaks have been recognized nearly every year in Bangladesh since 2001 and occasionally in neighboring India. Outbreaks in Bangladesh and India have been characterized by frequent person-to-person transmission and the death of over 70% of infected people. Characteristics of Nipah virus that increase its risk of becoming a global pandemic include: humans are already susceptible; many strains are capable of limited person-to-person transmission; as an RNA virus, it has an exceptionally high rate of mutation: and that if a human-adapted strain were to infect communities in South Asia, high population densities and global interconnectedness would rapidly spread the infection. Appropriate steps to estimate and manage this risk include studies to explore the molecular and genetic basis of respiratory transmission of henipaviruses, improved surveillance for human infections, support from high-income countries to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission of infectious agents in low-income health care settings, and consideration of vaccination in communities at ongoing risk of exposure to the secretions and excretions of Pteropus bats.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.07.011

    View details for PubMedID 23911335

  • Household Environmental Conditions Are Associated with Enteropathy and Impaired Growth in Rural Bangladesh AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE Lin, A., Arnold, B. F., Afreen, S., Goto, R., Huda, T. M., Haque, R., Raqib, R., Unicomb, L., Ahmed, T., Colford, J. M., Luby, S. P. 2013; 89 (1): 130-137
  • Cluster-randomised controlled trials of individual and combined water, sanitation, hygiene and nutritional interventions in rural Bangladesh and Kenya: the WASH Benefits study design and rationale. BMJ open Arnold, B. F., Null, C., Luby, S. P., Unicomb, L., Stewart, C. P., Dewey, K. G., Ahmed, T., Ashraf, S., Christensen, G., Clasen, T., Dentz, H. N., Fernald, L. C., Haque, R., Hubbard, A. E., Kariger, P., Leontsini, E., Lin, A., Njenga, S. M., Pickering, A. J., Ram, P. K., Tofail, F., Winch, P. J., Colford, J. M. 2013; 3 (8)


    Enteric infections are common during the first years of life in low-income countries and contribute to growth faltering with long-term impairment of health and development. Water quality, sanitation, handwashing and nutritional interventions can independently reduce enteric infections and growth faltering. There is little evidence that directly compares the effects of these individual and combined interventions on diarrhoea and growth when delivered to infants and young children. The objective of the WASH Benefits study is to help fill this knowledge gap.WASH Benefits includes two cluster-randomised trials to assess improvements in water quality, sanitation, handwashing and child nutrition-alone and in combination-to rural households with pregnant women in Kenya and Bangladesh. Geographically matched clusters (groups of household compounds in Bangladesh and villages in Kenya) will be randomised to one of six intervention arms or control. Intervention arms include water quality, sanitation, handwashing, nutrition, combined water+sanitation+handwashing (WSH) and WSH+nutrition. The studies will enrol newborn children (N=5760 in Bangladesh and N=8000 in Kenya) and measure outcomes at 12 and 24 months after intervention delivery. Primary outcomes include child length-for-age Z-scores and caregiver-reported diarrhoea. Secondary outcomes include stunting prevalence, markers of environmental enteropathy and child development scores (verbal, motor and personal/social). We will estimate unadjusted and adjusted intention-to-treat effects using semiparametric estimators and permutation tests.Study protocols have been reviewed and approved by human subjects review boards at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and Innovations for Poverty Action. Independent data safety monitoring boards in each country oversee the trials. This study is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of California, Berkeley.Trial registration identifiers ( NCT01590095 (Bangladesh), NCT01704105 (Kenya).

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003476

    View details for PubMedID 23996605

  • Nipah virus outbreak in Bangladesh with nosocomial and corpse to human transmission. Emerging Infectious Diseases Sazzad HMS, Hossain MJ, Gurley ES, Ameen KMH, Parveen S, Islam MS, Faruque LI, Podder G, Banu SS, Lo MK, Rollin PE, Rota PA, Daszak P, Rahman M, Luby SP. 2013; 19 (2): 210-17
  • Maternal and neonatal deaths associated with jaundice during pregnancy in Bangladesh: Using verbal autopsy data to estimate of the burden of endemic hepatitis E infection. Am J Public Health Gurley ES, Halder AK, Streatfield PK, Sazzad HMS, Huda MT, Hossain MJ, Luby SP 2012; 102 (12): 2248-54
  • Improvements in child development following a cluster-randomized, controlled trial of intensive handwashing promotion in Karachi, Pakistan. Arch PediatrAdolesct Med Bowen A, Agboatwalla M, Luby S, Tobery T, Ayers T, Hoekstra RM. 2012; 166 (11): 1037-44
  • The effect of handwashing at recommended times with water alone and with soap on child diarrhea in rural Bangladesh: An observational study. PLoS Med Luby SP, Halder AK, Huda T, Tronchet C, Unicomb L, Johnston RB. 2011; 8 (6): e1001052

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