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Dr Rachel Cooper
MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing
33 Bedford Place
  • Scientific Programme Leader Track
  • Population Science & Experimental Medici
  • Institute of Cardiovascular Science
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Rachel has a BA in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and a PhD in Epidemiology from University College London. She joined the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing (LHA) in 2007 to pursue life course epidemiological research on physical capability and musculoskeletal ageing.  During this time she has been a visiting researcher at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, USA.  Prior to joining the LHA Rachel had worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Health and as a Research Assistant at LSHTM.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Rachel has co-led an MRC programme on physical capability and musculoskeletal ageing since October 2012.  Rachel’s research focuses on identifying how factors across life influence age-related changes in physical capability and musculoskeletal health using in-depth analyses within specific studies (primarily the MRC National Survey of Health and Development) complemented by cross-cohort work.  Another key research focus has been to understand how measures of physical capability relate to subsequent health and wellbeing and the potential clinical implications of these relationships.

Rachel is interested in all aspects of life course epidemiology and in particular, applying this approach to the study of ageing. She also maintains an interest in women’s health which she developed through work on her PhD.

Teaching Summary

In addition to PhD supervision, Rachel also contributes to teaching on the BSc Population Health and MSc in Health and Society: Social Epidemiology at UCL.

In 2016 Rachel's contribution to teaching was recognised with the award of a Higher Education Academy Fellowship.

Academic Background
2016 FHEA Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy – Teaching University College London
2006 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Epidemiology University College London
2002 MSc Master of Science – Epidemiology London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
2000 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Human Sciences University of Oxford
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