Laura Ferguson, PhD

Associate Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences


Health Equity Interests

I seek to understand and address large-scale factors that make it harder for some people to enjoy good health than others.


Laura Ferguson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences. She is the Director of Research for the Institute on Inequalities in Global Health and Director of the Program on Global Health & Human Rights at the Keck School of Medicine. She is also on the faculty of USC Dornsife's Spatial Sciences Institute. Dr. Ferguson earned her MSc in Population and International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and her PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her work focuses on understanding and addressing health system and societal factors affecting health, and developing the evidence base of how attention to human rights can improve health outcomes.

Dr. Ferguson has spent extended periods of time in low-income countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, collaborating with local partners to design and manage research and programs to tackle a broad range of issues including HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and child health.

Dr. Ferguson serves on a range of expert advisory groups to the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. She is also an Associate Editor for Reproductive Health Matters.

Research Interests

  • Health Services
  • Disparities
  • Community
  • Health Policy
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Global Health
  • Legal Environment
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • COVID-19
  • Community Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Care Systems
  • Structural Factors

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Global Health
  • Global Health Research and Programs
  • Global Health Governance and Diplomacy in Practice in Geneva