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Prof Catherine Law
Prof Catherine Law profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Population, Policy & Practice Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Catherine graduated in medicine from University of London in 1979. She trained in paediatrics and academic child health in London, gaining her doctorate at the Institute of Child Health, and proceeding to postdoctoral studies in maternal and child health, epidemiology and public health at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, USA.

After returning to the UK in 1987, she held an academic post at the Medical Research Council Environmental Epidemiology Unit (now MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit), University of Southampton until 2003, as well as honorary posts in public health medicine at regional and district health authorities and working as a senior medical officer on secondment to the Department of Health. She moved to UCL Institute of Child Health in 2003 as a Reader in Children’s health and to set up a programme of work in research relevant to policy.

She is now Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She is also Vice Dean for Research in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences. Her research interests are in child public health, particularly physical growth, inequalities in health, and the use of research for public policy. She was inaugural Chair of the Public Health Advisory Committee of NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) from 2005-2015. From 2008-2014 she was inaugural Programme Director of the National Institute of Health Research’s (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme. She is Chair of the UKRI Medical Research Council Applied Global Health Research Board and a member of MRC Strategy Board. She is also a member of the WHO Europe Advisory Committee on Health Research. Catherine is an Emeritus NIHR Senior Investigator and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was appointed CBE (for services to public health) in 2014.

Research Summary

Catherine's research programme on public health for children produces primary and secondary research with direct application to policy and policymaking. Catherine’s research interests include the wider determinants of health, a life course approach to developing health policy, obesity and physical growth, health behaviours, and inequalities in child health.

Catherine has an active interest in the use and development of research for public policy. She was the scientific secretary of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health (1997-8), commissioned by the previous UK Government to inform its health policy, co-ordinated the Department of Health’s Research and Development Strategy for Public Health (2001), and collated the evidence base for the National Service Framework for Children and Young People (2004, Department of Health). She continues to work with the Department of Health and other policymaking organisations at the interface of research and policy.

 Catherine is an Emeritus NIHR Senior Investigator and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. 

Academic Background
1989   Doctor of Medicine To be updated
1981   Member of the Royal College of Physicians Royal College of Physicians
1979   Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery University of London
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