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Dr Simon Russell
Dr Simon Russell profile picture
  • Senior Research Fellow / Research Manager
  • Population, Policy & Practice Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Dr Simon Russell is a Senior Research Fellow and UnitManager of the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Obesity at the UCL Great OrmondStreet Institute of Child Health. Simon's role within the unit is to coordinatethe activities of the research programme and develop, implement and monitor systems for the operational management of the unit. Simon manages and conducts research that meets the programmes aims and objectives, contributes to thenational health research strategy, and provides evidence to inform the thinkingof policy makers. A key focus of Simon's research is applying emerging methodologies,particularly when conducting systematic reviews and when using epidemiologicaltechniques with large data sets to explore the causes, consequences andtreatments of obesity. Simon has a particular knowledge of child and adolescenthealth, obesity across the life course, inequalities in health, and policyresearch.

Research Summary

Simon completed a BSc in Zoology, an MSc in Evolutionary Psychology and a PhD in Evolution and Public Health. Simon’s PhD brought together the fields of evolution and public health by applying evolutionary principles to the obesity problem and other issues in public health, work that demonstrated that health behaviours and strategies are likely to be adaptive. Simon has over 15 years research experience in the fields of public health and evolutionary science, with a particular knowledge of obesity, health risk behaviours, inequalities in health, policy and practice, and epidemiology. 

Simon has knowledge of advanced statistical analysis and use of large secondary datasets. Simon has employed multi-level modelling and causal epidemiology techniques, with person-centred approaches and techniques to address missing data. Simon have led various primary research projects involving psychological, behavioural and psychopathological evaluation of various health risk behaviours. Projects have utilised a wide variety of computerised, retrospective, case controlled, interview, and self-report research strategies. Simon has experience of experimental, study and questionnaire design, data collection, multivariate statistical analysis, integration, interpretation, and extrapolation of findings. Simon has specialist knowledge of systematic literature and evidence reviews and meta-analysis, which represent the highest standard of evidence synthesis and interpretation. This has included use of novel software approaches incorporating machine learning. Simon also has experience of qualitative research methods and has conducted various mixed-methodology studies. 

Simon has extensive experience of written publications and oral communications, including peer-review academic papers, a book chapter, research reports, in addition to oral presentations and invited talks at international conferences and policy briefings. 

Simon has experience of project management including the creation of robust research management systems. Simon initiates, maintains and manages strategic links with national and international stakeholders and policy partners including the Department of Health and Social Care, the National Institute of Health Research, NHS Digital, Public Health England (PHE), and the National Children’s Bureau (NCB). 

Teaching Summary

Simon is an associate fellow of higher education and has extensive teaching experience in various fields of public health, including obesity, child and adolescent health, substance use, addiction, use of administrative data, and research methods. Simon current lectures on three undergraduate modules, including Child and Adolescent Public Health, Population Health, and Health Behaviour. Simon has also acted as module lead within the faculty of Population Health Sciences. Simon also undertakes supervision of students at under- and post-graduate levels. 

Academic Background
2017   Doctor of Philosophy Liverpool John Moores University
2008   Master of Science University of Liverpool
2003   Bachelor of Science University of Liverpool
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