Using research from GlobalData’s Influencer platform, Pharmaceutical Technology has named ten of the most influential people in infectious diseases on Twitter during Q1 2021.

Biggest influencers in infectious diseases: The top ten in Q1 2021

1. Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett)

Laurie Garrett is a science journalist, writer and policy analyst, who contributes articles to Foreign Policy, a magazine on global politics and economics. She previously worked as a senior fellow for global health at Council on Foreign Relations, an American non-profit think tank focussed on US foreign policy and international affairs.

Garrett also authored several books including ‘I Heard the Sirens Scream’ and ‘Ebola and The Coming Plague’. She received the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in 1996 and the Peabody Award in broadcasting in 1977.

Twitter followers: 239,487

GlobalData influencer score: 100

2. Peter Hotez (@PeterHotez)

Peter Hotez is the founding dean and professor at National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is a scientist and paediatrician, specialising in the fields of vaccinology, global health and neglected tropical disease (NTD) control.

Hotez is the founding editor of PLOS NTDs, a journal focussed on the most neglected tropical diseases across the world. He also heads the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and is a fellow in disease and poverty at Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

Twitter followers: 132,993

GlobalData influencer score: 90

3. Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves)

Gregg Gonsalves is the associate professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, where he researches on leveraging quantitative models for improving response to epidemic diseases. His areas of expertise are policy modelling on infectious disease and substance use, apart from the link between health equity and public policy.

Gonsalves has worked on HIV/AIDS and other health issues affecting the global population for more than three decades. He also collaborated with various organisations to address these issues such as the Treatment Action Group, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, among others.

Twitter followers: 73,343

GlobalData influencer score: 77

4. Amesh Adalja (@AmeshAA)

Amesh Adalja is an infectious disease physician and senior scholar at John Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland. He specialises in pandemic policy, emerging infectious diseases and biosecurity.

Adalja is also the founding owner at Tracking Zebra, a media and consulting firm, which focusses on infectious disease related project management. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American College of Physicians, and a member of various medical societies, including the American Medical Association.

Twitter followers: 35,237

GlobalData influencer score: 76

5. Amanda Glassman (@glassmanamanda)

Amanda Glassman is the executive vice-president and senior fellow at Center for Global Development (CGD), a non-profit think tank that strives to reduce global poverty. She is also the CEO of CGD Europe, where she researches on priority setting, resource allocation in global health and data for development.

Glassman previously served as the principal technical lead for health at the Inter-American Development Bank, where she was responsible for leading policy dialogue with member countries. She has more than two and half decades of experience in the domains of health and social protection policy.

Twitter followers: 18,556

GlobalData influencer score: 76

6. Carlos del Rio (@CarlosdelRio7)

Carlos del Rio is the executive associate dean at Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia, US. He is a physician, researcher and public health scholar specialising in emerging infections, epidemics and pandemics.

Rio also serves as the co-director and principal investigator of the Emory Center for AIDS Research and is the foreign secretary for the US National Academy of Medicine. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and he has made appearances on CNBC and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Twitter followers: 11,075

GlobalData influencer score: 68

7. Judy Stone (@DrJudyStone)

Judy Stone is an infectious disease specialist and author with more than 25 years of experience. She has been successfully performing various phase II and III clinical trials for the past two decades, while her areas of interest are clinical research, infectious diseases, medical ethics and tropical medicine.

Stone was also a blogger on Scientific American Blog Network, where her column ‘Molecules to Medicine’ predominantly focussed on drug development, clinical research ethics and clinical trials. She previously served on the clinical affairs committee at Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Twitter followers: 44,376

GlobalData influencer score: 68

8. Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell)

Helen Branswell is a senior writer on infectious diseases and global health at Stat News, an American news website covering health, medicine and life sciences. Her work focuses on global and domestic public health, and infectious diseases.

Branswell previously served in the role of a medical reporter at The Canadian Press, a Canadian news agency. She received Award for Excellence in Healthcare Journalism (AHCJ) in 2018 and the 2020 George Polk Award in the public service category for her reporting of Covid-19 pandemic.

Twitter followers: 208,966

GlobalData influencer score: 68

9. Steven Pergam (@PergamIC)

Steve Pergam is the associate professor at University of Washington School of Medicine. His areas of expertise are prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. He is involved in the development of ways to protect against fungal infections and hospital-acquired infections caused due to antibiotic resistant-microbes.

Pergam is also the associate member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. He is interested in researching on how human microbiome may induce complications in bone marrow transplant recipients.

Twitter followers: 6,218

GlobalData influencer score: 66

10. Ian M Mackay (@MackayIM)

Ian M Mackay is the adjunct associate professor in the faculty of medicine and biomedical sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia. His areas of interest include respiratory viruses, virus detection and emerging viruses. He performs reviews for leading journals including the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Mackay is the associate editor for the Journal of Clinical Virology and is the founder and chief editor of ‘Virology Down Under’, a blog providing updates on emerging and newly identified viruses.

Twitter followers: 115,215

GlobalData influencer score: 65


GlobalData’s influencer identification framework identifies influencers based on relevance; size of network, connections and followers; engagement levels with their content and analysis and input from sector experts. Influencers are then evaluated on a series of specific topic-related keywords used over the period and weighted by engagement metrics.