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- Reader in Epidemiology
- Epidemiology & Public Health
- Institute of Epidemiology & Health
- Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
I have studied in Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and London, and worked in London, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Recife (Brazil) and Sydney. Having originally studied mechanical engineering, I found my way to chronic disease epidemiology via kinesiology. I am a Reader in Epidemiology at UCL, a Visiting Professor in Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow, and a Honorary Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.
A chronic disease epidemiologist and former Wellcome Trust Research Fellow (2004-12), the objective of my research is to understand how social, psychological, biological, behavioural and genetic factors from across the life course, and between generations, influence the risk of chronic diseases of major public health importance in adulthood: cardiovascular disease, selected cancers, and mental illness. The ultimate aim of this body of research is disease prevention. More specifically, in the last 5 years, my work has focused on two areas: Early life and transgenerational origins of adult chronic disease, and Psychological characteristics as risk factors for somatic disease and mortality.
In my research I have used a series of approaches to explore these areas, including deeply phenotyped cohort studies, linkage of routinely collected data resulting in ‘mega’ cohort studies (1 million+ individuals) and so-called ‘big data’, Mendelian randomisation, aetiological trials, and individual-participant meta-analysis – the pooling of studies of similar methodology in the context of psychological predictors of chronic disease. As an investigator on three cohort studies, I have roles in designing new data collection (and grant acquisition) in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, the Whitehall II Study, and the National Child Development Study (NCDS/1958 birth cohort) – the latter two studies having been repurposed as studies of ageing.
My national and international collaborations have been central to my total published/forthcoming >420 peer-reviewed papers (lead/senior author on >200). In the last 5 years, there have been 11,838 citations to my work (Google Scholar), including a series of novel or, at present time, definitive publications in journals of impact factor >14: moderate (as opposed to only severe) levels of depressive symptoms are associated with completed suicide (JAMA Psychiatry) and selected chronic diseases (BMJ, JAMA Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology); psychosocial stress (Lancet) and longer working hours (Lancet) offer modest predictive value for cardiovascular disease risk and have no impact on cancer (BMJ); low parental cognition is linked to conduct/emotional problems in offspring (JAMA Psychiatry); and elevated systemic inflammation is related to completed suicide (JAMA Psychiatry).
Since joining University College London in 2010, I have organised or co-organised and taught on graduate degree modules in epidemiology and public health, including Concepts and Controversies in Global Health, Research Methods in Epidemiology, and the undergraduate medical degrees programme (Risk prediction in cardiovascular disease). I have also organised or co-organised intensive short courses locally (Summer School in Social Determinants of Health) and internationally (UCL-Indian Institute of Public Health, Ahmedabad, India; Life Course Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm). Curriculum development includes a Population Health module for a forthcoming MSc Ageing and, with a small grant, a Linked Electronic Health Records Lecture and Training Dataset. I am Departmental Lead for the British Heart Foundation 4 year doctoral training programme (refunded to 2020).
|NOV-2010||Professor of Epidemiology (Visiting),||Faculty of Medicine||University of Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|JUL-2010||Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and Senior Lecturer||Epidemiology and Public Health||University College London, United Kingdom|
|JUN-2010||Professor of Epidemiology (Honorary)||Psychology||University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
|JUN-2010||Honorary Staff Member||MRC Social and Public Health Sciences||Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|FEB-2009 – AUG-2009||Visiting Senior Research Fellow||The George Institute for International Health||University of Sydney, Australia|
|AUG-2008||Program Leader for Cognitive Epidemiology||centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology||University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
|AUG-2007 – JUL-2010||Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow||MRC Social and Public Health Unit||Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|JAN-2007 – JUN-2007||Visiting Senior Research Fellow||Instituto Materno Infantil de Pernambuco||Recife, Brazil|
|SEP-2004||Honorary Research Fellow||Public Health and Policy||University of Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|SEP-2004 – JUL-2010||Honorary Research Fellow||Psychology||University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
|AUG-2004 – JUL-2007||Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellowship||MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit||Glasgow, United Kingdom|
|AUG-2004 – JUL-2007||Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellowship||Psychology||University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
|AUG-2003 – JUL-2004||Senior Research Fellow in Epidemiology||Social Medicine||University of Copenhagen, Denmark|
|JUL-2002 – JUL-2003||Lecturer in Epidemiology||Epidemiology Unit||LSHTM, United Kingdom|
|OCT-2000 – JUN-2002||Research Fellow in Epidemiology||Epidemiology Unit||LSHTM, United Kingdom|
|SEP-1995 – JUN-1997||Lecturer in Advanced level Physiology and Psychology||City of Bristol College, United Kingdom|
|2000||MSc||Master of Science – Epidemiology||London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine|
|1999||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy – Epidemiology||University of Bristol|
|1995||MSc||Master of Science – Health Science||University of Bristol|
|1994||BACD||Bachelor – Exercise Physiology||University of Northumbria at Newcastle|
|1990||HND||Higher National Diploma – Mechanical and Production Engineering||Manchester Polytechnic|