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Prof Carol Dezateux
Room 5.02
Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
  • Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology
  • ICH Pop, Policy & Practice Prog
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Carol graduated in medicine from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1978. She trained in paediatrics and academic paediatric respiratory medicine in Newcastle, Liverpool and subsequently at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, attaining accreditation as a paediatrician with a special interest in respiratory medicine in 1988. In 1987 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Epidemiology which she held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Professors Geoffrey Rose and Valerie Beral) and at the Institute of Child Health (Professors Catherine Peckham and Janet Stocks).

Carol was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Epidemiology and honorary consultant paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1991, and to the Chair of Paediatric Epidemiology and as head of the Centre of Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2002. She was a founding Co-Director of the UK Newborn Screening Programme Centre (2002-12), Director of the UCL-Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health (2007-12)  and Scientific Director of Life Study (2011-16).

Carol was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006 and awarded a CBE for services to science in 2009. 

Carol has contributed to research strategy, innovation and capacity building through positions held with Research Councils, other funders, royal colleges and regulatory bodies. She served as chair of MRC Training and Careers Group (2007-11) and MRC Training and Careers Development Board (2004-7), and as a member of MRC Strategy Board (2007-11) and MRC Council (2004-7).  She was a member of the Wellcome Trust Populations and Public Health funding committee (2004-7), the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Research Electronic  Health Records Research Board (2007-10), the British Paediatric  Surveillance Unit Executive Committee (2002-13), and the Economic and Social Research Council Scientific Advisory Committee for the  Birth Cohort Studies (2005-12). She was a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences review, chaired by Sir David Cooksey, which produced the report 'Reaping the Rewards: a Vision for UK Medical Science' (2010). She was elected as a member of the Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012 (2012-14) and currently chairs the Academy's Sectional Committee (Psychiatry, psychology and mental health, public health, epidemiology and statistics).

Carol has a particular interest in ethics, regulation and governance related to the research uses of human tissue left over from screening and clinical practice, and of routine electronic health records. She was founding co-director of UK Newborn Screening Programme Centre and responsible for drafting, in 2005, the current Code of Practice governing the research uses of newborn dried blood spots (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/newborn-blood-spot-screening-code-of-practice-for-the-retention-and-storage-of-residual-spots). She was a member of the joint Human Genetics Commission / National Screening Committee on DNA profiling of babies (2004-5). She served on the MRC Ethics Regulation and Public Involvement Committee (2004-13), and represented the Academy of Medical Sciences on the National Information Governance Board and the NIGB Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (2008-11). She was a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences Working Group, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, which reviewed the regulation and governance of UK health research involving human participants, their tissue or their data (2011).

She is currently a member of the Wellcome Trust Biomedical Resources and Equipment Panel, the UKCRC Human Tissue Directory Steering Group, and the Million Women Study Steering Committee.

Research Summary

Carol's research addresses early life influences on children's health and the effectiveness of clinical and public health strategies to improve their health, using information from prospective large scale population and patient cohort studies, which include biological samples, biomedical measurements and linked health records. Her current research focusses on childhood obesity, infections and asthma and involves inter-disciplinary collaborations across the UK, and Europe.  She is a member of the Farr Institute of Health Research at UCL where she contributes to the maternal and child health research theme.

She has led research initiatives to enhance and make openly available the biomedical information collected in large-scale population studies in early childhood.  These include: the collection of objective measures of physical activity (http://doc.ukdataservice.ac.uk/doc/7238/mrdoc/pdf/mcs4_pa_technical_report.pdf), novel measures of exposure to infections (http://doc.ukdataservice.ac.uk/doc/6993/mrdoc/pdf/mcs2_oral_fluid_data_collection.pdf) and linkage of cohort data to electronic health and other records (http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/library-media/documents/MCS_Birth_Registration_and_Hospital_Records_User_Guide_v4.pdf).  She was the scientific director of Life Study from 2011-2016 (http://www.lifestudy.ac.uk/).

Carol has an international reputation for her work to evaluate the prevention effectiveness of newborn screening programmes for inherited or congenital disorders with life threatening or life limiting outcomes in later life, such as congenital heart defects and rare inborn errors of metabolism. She was the principal investigator of a UK-wide collaborative study to evaluate newborn screening for a rare metabolic disorder associated with sudden infant death, which led to its implementation across the UK. 

Academic Background
1995 MD Doctor of Medicine – Clinical Epidemiology Newcastle University
1988 MSc Master of Science – Epidemiology London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
1981 DCH Diploma of Child Health – Child Health Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
1981 MRCP Member of the Royal College of Physicians – Medicine Paediatrics Royal College of Physicians
1978 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery – Medicine Newcastle University
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