Sunetra Gupta
Sunetra Gupta in 2020
Born (1965-03-15) 15 March 1965 (age 56)
Alma materPrinceton University
Imperial College London
(m. 1994; div. 2020)
AwardsScientific Medal of ZSL
Rosalind Franklin Award
Sahitya Akademi Award
Scientific career
FieldsEpidemiology, evolutionary biology
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
ThesisHeterogeneity and the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases (1992)
Sunetra Gupta's voice (0:31) from the BBC programme The Life Scientific, 25 September 2012.[1]

Sunetra Gupta (born 15 March 1965)[2] is an Indian-born British infectious disease epidemiologist and a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. She has performed research on the transmission dynamics of various infectious diseases, including malaria, influenza and COVID-19, and has received the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London and the Rosalind Franklin Award of the Royal Society.

Gupta is also a novelist and a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award.

Early life and education

Gupta was born in Calcutta, India, to Dhruba and Minati Gupta.[3] She trained in biology, and was awarded a bachelor's degree from Princeton University. In 1992 she obtained her PhD from Imperial College London for a thesis on the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases.[4]

Career and research


Gupta is a professor of theoretical epidemiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, where she leads a team of infectious disease epidemiologists. She has undertaken research on various infectious diseases,[1] including malaria, HIV, influenza, bacterial meningitis and COVID-19. She is a supernumerary fellow of Merton College, Oxford.[5] She also sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press.[6]


Gupta has been awarded the 2007 Scientific Medal by the Zoological Society of London[7] and the 2009 Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award.[8] In July 2013, Gupta's portrait was on display during the prestigious Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition along with leading female scientist such as Madame Curie.[9]


Further information: Great Barrington Declaration

Gupta is a critic of the lockdown approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was one of the primary authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated a focused response to the COVID-19 pandemic based on levels of individual risk.[10][11] The World Health Organization, as well as other numerous academic and public-health bodies, have stated that the strategy proposed by the Declaration is dangerous, unethical, and lacks a sound scientific basis.[12][13] The American Public Health Association and 13 other public-health groups in the United States warned in a joint open letter that the Great Barrington Declaration "is not a strategy, it is a political statement. It ignores sound public health expertise. It preys on a frustrated populace. Instead of selling false hope that will predictably backfire, we must focus on how to manage this pandemic in a safe, responsible, and equitable way."[14]

In 2021 she was an author at the Brownstone Institute, a new think tank founded by Jeffrey Tucker where senior roles were held by Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya, her co-authors on the Great Barrington Declaration.[15]

Works of fiction

Gupta wrote her first works of fiction in Bengali. She was a translator of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. She has published several novels in English. In October 2012 her fifth novel, So Good in Black, was longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.[16] Her novels have been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, shortlisted for the Crossword Award, and longlisted for the Orange Prize.[17]

Personal life

Gupta was married to the Irish vaccinologist Adrian V. S. Hill from 1994 to 2020. They have two daughters.[2][18][19]

Selected works

Journal articles



  1. ^ a b "Sunetra Gupta". The Life Scientific. 25 September 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Gupta, Prof. Sunetra". Who's Who. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "Weekend Birthdays", The Guardian, p. 51, 15 March 2014
  4. ^ Gupta, Sunetra (1992). Heterogeneity and the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases (PhD thesis). Imperial College London. EThOS
  5. ^ "Professor Sunetra Gupta: Supernumerary Fellow". College Life & People. Merton College, Oxford. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  6. ^ Princeton University Press, European Advisory Board Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "ZSL Scientific Medal Winners" (PDF). Zoological Society of London. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Surviving pandemics: a pathogen's perspective". Royal Society. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Indian woman scientist's portrait to be exhibited in Britain". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  10. ^ Swinford, Steven (7 October 2020). "Lift coronavirus curbs and go for herd immunity, urges coalition of scientists". The Times.
  11. ^ Sample, Ian (6 October 2020). "Scientists call for Covid herd immunity strategy for young". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Staff and agencies in Geneva (12 October 2020). "WHO chief says herd immunity approach to pandemic 'unethical'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  13. ^ "WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 12 October 2020". World Health Organization. 12 October 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  14. ^ Zilbermints, Regina (15 October 2020). "Dozens of public health groups, experts blast 'herd immunity' strategy backed by White House". TheHill. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  15. ^ D'Ambrosio, Amanda (11 November 2021). "New Institute Has Ties to the Great Barrington Declaration". Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  16. ^ "biography". Sunetra Gupta. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Orange Prize longlist announced". The Guardian. 20 March 2000.
  18. ^ Loder, Natasha (22 June 2000). "Oxford scientist wins the battle for her reputation". Telegraph. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Corrections and clarifications". The Guardian. 8 June 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020. An interview with Prof Sunetra Gupta said she was married to Adrian Hill, the director of Oxford’s Jenner Institute. This is no longer the case