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Professor Preeti Patel

Professor Preeti Patel

  • Academics
  • Supervisors

Professor of Global Health and Conflict and Co-Director of the Centre for Conflict & Health Research

Research subject areas

  • Healthcare
  • Conflict

Contact details


Preeti Patel is Professor in Global Health & Conflict in the Department of War Studies.


She is Co-Director of the Centre on Conflict and Health Research, a cross-faculty (5 KCL faculties) multi-disciplinary initiative to study the intersection of global health, security, and political governance in conflict-affected regions.


She is a multidisciplinary social scientist working at the interface of global health, armed conflict and forced migration. Using largely qualitative methods, Preeti is primarily interested in improving the evidence-base for health systems, health policies and health outcomes for the estimated 500 million crisis-affected civilians affected by armed conflict and forced migration globally. Prior to joining King’s College in 2008, she worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, investigating the role of the transnational tobacco industry in Africa and the role of global health in foreign policy. She has a PhD in Political Science (The Politics of Health in Kenya), a MA in International Relations and a BSc in Economics.


Preeti is currently managing a £4m National Institute of Health Research Programme on Health Systems Strengthening in northern Syria (R4HSSS). She is leading five main work areas within R4HSSS: women’s leadership in health system strengthening; cross-border healthcare for conflict-affected populations; governance and aid effectiveness; capacity strengthening and training initiatives for early and mid-career health professionals; and leading health policy uptake (with the Knowledge to Policy programme based at the American University of Beirut). R4HSSS recently won an Impact Prize at KCL for a model on health system strengthening in the context of northern Syria, which could be applied in other contexts affected by long and complex conflicts. Preeti has recently been Co-Principal Investigator for a £7million Global Challenges Research Funded (GCRF)/ESRC grant entitled ‘Research for Health in Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (R4HC-MENA)’ and Principal Investigator for a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded study on Women’s Leadership at the nexus of health, conflict, and peacebuilding.



Professor Patel has convened an optional module on Complex Political Emergencies, Health and Security at the Department of War Studies and has also convened a Conflict and Health module for the MSc in Global Health and the intercalated BSc in Global Health at the King’s Centre for Global Health & Health Partnerships, based in the Faculty of Life Science and Medicine. She has contributed to the Gender and International Politics and Security MA option module and the Security and Development MA Core Module.


Research Interests

  • Research capacity strengthening in conflict-affected countries
  • Health systems in conflict-affected countries
  • Gender, women's leadership and health in armed conflict
  • Non-Communicable Diseases in conflict-affected countries
  • Health and Security (attacks on health workers and healthcare in areas of armed conflict)



For a list of publications please refer to the Research Portal


PhD Supervision

Professor Patel is currently first supervisor for seven PhD students:

  • Zahed Katurji (Hamza Alkateab), Medical evacuation in siege during armed conflict settings
  • Kristen Meagher, Women's leadership and participation in health systems strengthening – case study on northern Syria.
  • Eleanor Nott, Healthcare as Resistance: the political potency of providing healthcare in opposition-held Syria
  • Dina Abdawood, A comparative study: an evaluation of the implementation of the activities and events hosted on World Diabetes Day targeting the prevention of type two diabetes mellitus in adolescents in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Gemma Bowsher, Global Health Security and Intelligence: Case Studies of Intelligence Practices in the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Abdulkarim Ekzayez, Health System Governance in the Syrian Armed Conflict
  • Professor Edwin Trevathan, Global Health Diplomacy in Fragile and Conflict-Affected