Maurice Bloch Seminar Series

Tuesday 20 October: Prof Daniel Nettle

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series

Daniel Nettle is a British behavioural scientist at Newcastle UniversityTitle: Seeing people in poverty as rational actors

Presenter: Professor Daniel Nettle 
Date: Tuesday 20 October 2020
Time: 1-2pm
Chair: Dr David Blane

Register here on Eventbrite  Webinar Link HERE


In public health, we often see the decisions made by people living in poverty as problems to be fixed, or mistakes to be corrected. An alternative is to treat people in poverty as rational actors, and ask the question: what must be true about the circumstances that they are facing such that this ends up being their rational choice? This change in perspective causes us to focus more on changing people’s circumstances – a collective and political endeavour – and less on changing or criticising their behaviour or mindset as individuals. I will review examples of this perspective from my own work on early childbearing, health behaviour and obesity. I am not sure my case studies are entirely convincing, but they may constitute a valuable corrective to a widespread way of thinking.

About the speaker

Daniel Nettle received his PhD in Anthropology from University College London. He has worked a wide range of topics, and studies both human behaviour, and the behaviour of non-human animals, particularly starlings. His personal research website is Since coming to Newcastle in 2004, he has taught mostly on the Psychology BSc undergraduate programme and the MRes programme in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Areas of expertise

Human and animal behaviour
Ageing and health

February 2021: Professor Julie Ratcliffe

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Web version‌Title: What price quality aged care?  Assessing the views and preferences of the general public for quality and future funding of aged care.

Presenter: Professor Julie Ratcliffe

Date: February 2021 (day TBC)

Time: 1-2pm

Register here on Eventbrite (to follow shortly)

Chair: Professor Emma McIntosh


In common with many other aged care systems internationally the aged care system in Australia is currently under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Systemic failures and shocking incidences of abuse and neglect have prompted a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which will undoubtedly recommend significant sector wide reforms when it delivers its final report later this year. This presentation will focus on the background and rationale, methods and results from a large-scale study prepared for the Commission to elicit the views and preferences of over 10,000 members of the general public aged 18-91 years for quality of care and the future funding of aged care. The findings highlight the strong significance that members of the general public place on the care of our most vulnerable citizens and that quality in aged care is highly valued. This study provides unique insights and provides an important and timely societal perspective for informing aged care policy and practice in Australia and in other countries including the UK which share similar values, aspirations and circumstances.

Julie Ratcliffe is a Mathew Flinders Fellow and Professor of Health Economics in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. She also holds an honorary professorial appointment at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. Professor Ratcliffe is the inaugural Health and Social Care Economics theme lead for the newly established Caring Futures Institute at Flinders University. Professor Ratcliffe has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles related to the economics of health and social care policy appearing in leading medical and discipline specific journals including Journal of the American Medical Association, Age and Ageing, The Gerontologist and Health Economics. During the course of her career she has contributed to over 50 multi-disciplinary research projects including grants awarded by the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council as the lead investigator. She has been appointed to a number of committees including theCommittee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) Council on Economic Policy and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Expert Advisory Group for the Development of Social Care Economic Evaluation Methods for informing NICE Social Care Guidelines. Professor Ratcliffe is the current elected President of the Australian Health Economics Society (AHES).

Wednesday 28 April: Prof Harry Rutter

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

‌Title: Chess, not chequers: the need for a complex systems approach to public health

Presenter:  Prof H Rutter

Date: Wednesday 28 April 2021

Time: 1-2pm a light lunch will be served 30 minutes beforehand

Venue: TBC. We hope to deliver a face to face seminar. In the event this changes we will circulate a link for a webinar nearer to the date.

Chair: Prof S Simpson

Register on Eventbrite here


The prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing, inequalities are widening, and the resources to respond are ever more constrained.
There are no simple answers to any of this, but an important part of the problem may lie in the ways in which we conceptualise these challenges, grounded in traditional models of cause and effect. Reconceptualising these challenges in ways that truly take account of their complexity allows us to generate more relevant kinds of evidence, construct more meaningful practical and policy responses, and evaluate those responses in more appropriate ways. This talk will explore these themes, and propose ways in which they might be achieved

About the speaker

Harry Rutter is professor of global public health at the University of Bath, senior academic adviser to Public Health England, and holds adjunct professor positions in both Norway and Ireland. He was the founder director of the English National Obesity Observatory, led the development of the English National Child Measurement Programme, and chaired the NICE group on guidance on walking and cycling. His research is focused on effective mechanisms for improving the research, policy and practice responses to complex systems problems in public health, with a particular focus on obesity, physical activity, and non-communicable diseases.


Past events

Friday 29 May: George Davey Smith

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Web version for advertising Title: Understanding the health consequences of educational attainment: triangulating evidence from genetic and non-genetic causal inference approaches

Presenter:  Professor George Davey Smith

Date: Friday 29 May 2020

Time: 1-2pm 

Chair: Professor Kate O'Donnell

View the webinar here G D-Smith Seminar 


About the speaker

George Davey Smith was a member of the noise-terrorism outfit Scum Auxiliary in the early 1980s. Since artistic and commercial success eluded them, he has had to earn his living working as an epidemiologist in the provinces. 


Wed 29 Apr 2020 Ms Linda Geddes

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

‌Title: Public Health Implications of the New Science of Sunlight

Presenter:  Ms Linda Geddes

Chair: Prof Danny Smith

Watch the Recording Here


Linda Geddes is an award-winning British science journalist and author. She spent nine years working at New Scientist magazine as news editor, features editor and reporter, and remains a consultant to the magazine. Linda has received numerous awards for her journalism, including the Association of British Science Writers’ award for Best Investigative Journalism. Her most recent book “Chasing the Sun: The New Science of Sunlight and How it Shapes Our Bodies and Minds” explores the significance of sunlight, from ancient solstice celebrations to modern sleep labs, and the impact on public health of light-polluted cities and excessive exposure to bright lights from devices. This talk will focus on how public health can address exposure to light as an intervention to improve population health and wellbeing.

About the speaker

Linda Geddes is an award-winning British journalist and author writing about the science of sex, death, and everything in-between. Here you will find selected articles, details of her books, and her blog. LINDA GEDDES 

Tue 25 Feb 2020 Prof Louise Arseneault

Prof L Arsenault KCLThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

‌Title: With a little help from my friends: social relationships and their impact on mental health and wellbeing

Presenter:  Professor Louise Arseneault


Presentation With a little help from my friends

Chair: Prof Danny Smith



This presentation will emphasize 4 main points: 1) social relationships can be considered as targets for interventions aiming at both reducing risk factors associated with poor mental health and building the resources necessary to help face life’s challenges; 2) longitudinal studies are crucial to test whether social relationships have an impact on mental health problems – and not just the other way around: 3) genetically-sensitive data are key to providing strong evidence that social relationships have an effect on mental health problems, and are not all due to genetic confounds; and 4) the life course approach contributes to illustrate the impact of social relationships across the life span and not just during one key period.

About the speaker

Louise Arseneault’s research focuses on the study of harmful behaviours such as violence and substance dependence, their developmental origins, their inter-connections with mental health, and their consequences for victims. She is taking a developmental approach to investigate how the consequences of violence begin in childhood and persist to mild life, by studying bullying victimisation and child maltreatment. Louise also studies the impact of social relationships including social support and loneliness on mental health. Her research aims are to answer questions relevant to psychology and psychiatry by harnessing and combining three different research approaches: developmental research, epidemiological methods and genetically-sensitive designs. Louise’s work incorporates social as well as biological measurements across the life span.

Louise completed her PhD in biomedical sciences at the University of Montreal and moved to the UK for a post-doctoral training at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. She has been working with well-known longitudinal cohorts such as the Montreal Longitudinal Cohorts, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study and the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally-representative sample of families with twins in England and Wales. She has also been exploring another important nationally-representative cohort, the National Child Development Survey (NCDS).

Louise was appointed the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Mental Health Leadership Fellow. Louise’s fellow role with the ESRC includes providing intellectual leadership and strategic advice in the priority area of mental health. It is a broad agenda including engaging research communities, promoting collaborations, advocating for mental health research, championing the co-design and co-production of research and providing advice to the ESRC and other research councils. Throughout the three year fellowship, Louise plays a vital role in championing the role of the social sciences in mental health research. She provides advice on how social science research can best address the challenges that mental health poses for our society, communities and individuals.

Louise Arseneault was elected as Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in May 2018, She joined 47 new Fellows, who have been elected for their outstanding contributions to biomedical and health science, leading research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.



The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

web version of S Grant Muller Prof at Leeds uni‌Title: The role of New and Emerging Data in Understanding the health-equity implications of transport policies

Presenter: Prof Susan Grant-Muller

Date: Monday 20 January 2020

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Senate room, Main building, University Avenue

Chair: Prof Jim Lewsey

Register Here on Eventbrite


to follow

About the speaker

Susan is Professor of Technologies and Informatics at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds and a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute.
Susan leads the Digital Futures theme at ITS and a programme of research into the role of new forms of data in developing sustainable transport policy.
A statistician by discipline she is concerned with the use of social media, mobility profiling and the role of web enabled technologies in transport and related sectors.
Her current interests lie in understanding the health and equity impacts of ICT enabled mobility infrastructure and the governance models for micro-level user-generated data.

Wed 27 Nov 2019: Prof Kypros Kypri

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

‌Title: Governments as partners in knowledge generation: Observations on alcohol policy and research in Australia and New Zealand 1999-2019

Presenter: Professor Kypros Kypri

Date: Wednesday 27 November 2019

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz lecture theatre, Wolfson Medical School building, University Avenue

Chair: Dr Vittal Katikireddi

Register HERE


Governments routinely make policy decisions that have implications for the health of populations they serve, often from outside the remit of the health department. To what extent are they informed by science and could the decisions themselves be opportunities to inform future policy? I will speak about major policy changes in Australia and New Zealand, between 1999 and 2019, concerning the availability of alcohol. I will discuss the limitations of administrative data for answering important questions, and how we might realise Donald Campbell’s vision of “The Experimenting Society”, with a view to improving public health.


About the speaker

I am a professor in the School of Medicine & Public Health where I hold a Senior Brawn Research Fellowship.

I was trained in experimental and clinical psychology at the University of NSW, University of Otago, and University of California San Diego from 1994-1998. I completed a PhD in injury epidemiology at the University of Otago in 2002. With the input of many colleagues I have established an alcohol research group at the University of Newcastle which is the hub of several national and international collaborative projects. These address a range of methodological, aetiological and intervention questions concerning the burden of injury and disease attributable to alcohol consumption. I have a growing interest in how the alcohol industry shapes science and policy, and in research integrity, including how research is funded.


Watch the recording Prof Kay Redfield Jamison (Mood disorders and creativity)

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series

Prof K R JamisonTitle: Mood Disorders and Creativity

Presenter: Professor K Redfield Jamison

Chair: Prof Daniel Smith

Watch the recording HERE 

Details: Kay Redfield Jamison is the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders at Johns Hopkins University. She has a long and distinguished career in mood disorders research and is co-author of the standard medical textbook on bipolar disorder “Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression.”  Professor Jamison is also the author of several best-selling books, including An Unquiet Mind, Night Falls Fast, Exuberance and Touched with Fire. Her book An Unquiet Mind vividly documents her own experiences of living with bipolar disorder and Touched with Fire explores the link between mood disorders and creativity. Her recent biography of the American poet Robert Lowell “Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire” was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize. Professor Jamison is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Tues 14 May 2019: Dr Noemi Kreif (Machine learning in policy evaluation)

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

MB seminar May 2019Title: Machine learning in policy evaluation: new tools for causal inference

Presenter: Dr Noemi Kreif

Date: Tuesday 14 May 2019

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University Avenue

Chair: Dr Claudia Geue 

Register HERE


While machine learning (ML) methods have received a lot of attention in recent years, these methods are primarily for prediction. Empirical researchers conducting policy evaluations are, on the other hand, pre-occupied with causal problems, trying to answer counterfactual questions: what would have happened in the absence of a policy? Because these counterfactuals can never be directly observed (described as the “fundamental problem of causal inference”) prediction tools from the ML literature cannot be readily used for causal inference. In the last decade, major innovations have taken place incorporating supervised ML tools into estimators for causal parameters such as the average treatment effect (ATE). This holds the promise of attenuating model misspecification issues, and increasing of transparency in model selection. This talk aims to review and illustrate some of these recent developments incorporating machine learning in the estimation of the ATE of a binary treatment, under the unconfoundedness and positivity assumptions. I will first briefly review supervised machine learning, including trees-based methods, the lasso, and ensembling approaches, in particular the Super Learner. I then review and illustrate the following uses of machine learning: 1) to create balance among treated and control groups, 2) to estimate so-called nuisance models (e.g. the propensity score, or conditional expectations of the outcome) in semi-parametric estimators that target causal parameters (e.g. targeted maximum likelihood estimation or the double ML estimator) 3) the use of machine learning for variable selection in situations with a high number of covariates. Throughout I use an illustrative case study of the evaluation of a health insurance programme in Indonesia, highlighting their potential benefits as well as the challenges, compared to more traditional approaches.

About the speaker

Noemi Kreif joined the Centre for Health Economics in 2016 as a Research Fellow in Global Health Economics. She holds a PhD (2013) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her PhD and post-doctoral (Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship) work focussed on advancing statistical methods for economic evaluation that uses observational data, resulting in publications in leading health economics and statistics journals, such as Health EconomicsStatistical Methods in Medical Research and American Journal of Epidemiology. Her current work is centred on econometric evaluations of health policies in low and middle-income countries, with a continued interest in applying advanced causal inference and machine learning tools. 

Maurice Bloch Seminar Prof Anthony Hunter (20 March 2019)

Prof A Hunter UCLThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Towards Computational Persuasion for Behaviour Change Applications.

Presenter: Professor Anthony Hunter

Date: Wednesday 20 March 2019

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University Avenue

Chair: Professor Neil Hawkins



The aim of behaviour change is to help people to change aspects of their behaviour for the better (e.g., to decrease calorie intake, to drink in moderation, to take more exercise, to complete a course of antibiotics once started, etc.). In current persuasion technology for behaviour change, the emphasis is on helping people to explore their issues (e.g., through questionnaires or game playing) or to remember to follow a behaviour change plan (e.g., diaries and email reminders). However, recent developments in computational modelling of argument (a subfield of AI) are leading to an alternative approach to persuasion that can potentially be harnessed in behaviour change applications. In this approach, a software system and a user can exchange arguments in a dialogue. So the system gains information about the user’s perspective, and it can provide arguments to fill gaps in the user’s knowledge, and to overturn misconceptions held by the user.  Our work has focused on modelling the beliefs and concerns of the user, and harnessing this model to make the best choices of move during the dialogue for persuading the user to change their behaviour.  During this talk, the background to, and components of, our approach will be presented together with some promising preliminary results with participants. 

Maurice Bloch Seminar Prof Mia Crampin (20 Dec 2018)

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: The neglected health needs of Malawi…..multimorbidity, inequalities and the double burden of malnutrition

Presenter: Professor Mia Crampin

Date: Thursday 20 December 2018

Watch the video here 

Mia qualified as a doctor in 1989 in the UK, initially specialising in infectious disease and microbiology, but after a DTM&H in 1993, she took up training post in Public Health, completing an MSc in Public Health in 1995 and her specialist training in Public Health in 1998. After 3 years as Lecturer in the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry, she joined LSHTM in 1997, moving to Karonga to take up a post as Field Epidemiologist at the Karonga Prevention Study (as it was then known). Mia has remained with Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit ever since in a variety of scientific and management roles.

Mia is Acting Director of Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit ( ), having held various other posts at the project. Field Epidemiologist (1998-1999), Field Director (1999-2005), Senior Epidemiologist (2005-2009), Scientific Programme Manager (2009-2012), Deputy Director (2012-2016). The research programme (epidemiological, immunological, genetic, demographic) focuses on TB, leprosy, HIV and non-communicable diseases and is predominantly funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Mia leads the recently established MRC-funded African Non-communicable Disease Longitudinal data Alliance (ANDLA), a partnership between six African research institutions, sharing and analysing data.


Maurice Bloch Seminar Prof P Mork & Prof K Bach VIDEOS

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 2018/19

Title: 1. Developing Artificial Intelligence Applications for the Primary Care Domain

         2. The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (The HUNT Study): Possibilities for research and collaboration

Presenter: Professor Paul Mork and Associate Professor Kerstin Bach

Maurice Bloch Seminar Prof P Mork & Prof K Bach

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 2018/19

Title: 1. Developing Artificial Intelligence Applications for the Primary Care Domain

         2. The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (The HUNT Study): Possibilities for research and collaboration

Presenter: Professor Paul Mork and Associate Professor Kerstin Bach

Date: Thursday 1 November 2018

Time: 1pm-2.30pm, a light lunch will be served beforehand at 12.30pm

Venue: Senate Room, Main Building, University Ave

Chair: F Mair

REGISTER HERE  Prof Mork and Prof Bach

Professor Paul Jarle Mork and Associate Professor Kerstin Bach - from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, are leads of the EU funded ‘selfBACK’ consortium of which GPPC (Dr Barbara Nicholl and Prof. Frances Mair) is a partner – the study relates to the self-management of low back pain using a smartphone app.  They have kindly agreed to present some of their work on Norwegian epidemiology data and artificial intelligence in digital health while they are here. 


1. Over the last years Artificial Intelligence (AI) has received a wide attention from the medical field as applications have shown to excel in certain tasks where repetitive and data intensive tasks need to be solved. However, the development of sustainable applications remains challenging and is highly depending on the interdisciplinary collaboration during the development as well as the understandability and explainability to increase trust in the application from stakeholders. Unlike in specialised care, personalised medicine in primary care is less explored and today's possibilities with more detailed data provided by patients and/or the healthcare system will influence how decisions are made. In this talk we will present recent trends from AI research as well as two applications that are currently under development that show how AI can be used to enhance patient care and services in primary care. Specifically, we will present how Case-Based Reasoning is used as decision support for patients and clinicians treating musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain.

2. The HUNT Study is among the largest population-based health studies worldwide. It is a unique database of personal and family medical histories collected over three intensive surveys (HUNT1 in 1984-1986, HUNT2 in 1995-1997, and HUNT3 in 2006-2008). More than 126,000 individuals (13 years and above) have participated in one or several of the foregoing HUNT surveys. The fourth HUNT survey (HUNT4) started in September 2017 and will be finished in February 2018. Data collection in the HUNT Study has been done with questionnaires, interviews, measurements (blood pressure, body composition etc.), blood- and urine samples, and clinical examinations. HUNT Databank includes a large amount of health information for each participant, which makes the HUNT Study suitable for a broad range of research topics. For some participants the amount of data points (variables) is more than 1000. In HUNT4, the HUNT protocol has been extended to include 1-week objective measurement of physical activity. We expect to collect data from about 40,000 adults (≥20 years) and 10,000 adolescents (13-19 years). This presentation will focus on the possibilities for using and getting access to the HUNT data and discuss some of the future perspectives for research based on the HUNT data.


Kerstin Bach Kerstin Bach is an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. She is the project manager of the selfBACK project and her core competence field is Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. She is currently deputy head of the Data and Artificial Intelligence group and associated with the Norwegian Open AI Lab. She was awarded her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Hildesheim, Germany. Her main research interest are data-driven decision support systems as well as knowledge-intensive Case-Based Reasoning. The main focus of her work are methods for applied artificial intelligence. While the application domains differ, we are investigating how to make knowledge and experience available through intelligent systems. Moreover, how to build systems that support complex, knowledge-intensive decisions using heterogenous data sources.

Paul Mork Paul Jarle Mork is a Professor at the Department of Public Health and Nursing, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. He is project coordinator for the EU funded project selfBACK. He is member of the HUNT4 project group and responsible for all clinical measurements. He is also leading the project on objective measurements of physical activity in HUNT4. Main research interests include 1) epidemiological studies on prevention and risk factors of non-communicable diseases (musculoskeletal disorders and the role of lifestyle factors), and 2) development and implementation of mHealth solutions to improve self-management of musculoskeletal disorders and facilitate follow-up of patients in primary care.

Monday 16 April 2018 Professor Myrna Weissman

Columbia University college of physicians and surgeonsThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Thirty Years of Studying Families  at High Risk for Depression: What’s Been Learned Along the Way?

Presenter: Professor Myrna Weissman

Date: Monday 16 April 2018

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz seminar room, Wolfson Medical Building, University Ave

Chair: Professor Jonathan Cavanagh



The highlights of a 30-year longitudinal study of families at high and low risk for major depression will be described. High risk is defined as having a biological parent in the first generation with moderate to severe major depression. When the study began, there was scepticism as to whether depression could occur before adolescence, whether depression was primarily a disorder of menopausal women. 30 years and 3 generations later the results clearly show that depression is highly familial, the first onset usually occurs in adolescents and young adulthood; there are recurrences throughout life;  disability in work and social life and increase risk of death from unnatural causes, in the generation at high risk.  Other clinical findings learned along the way as well as newest data from MRI studies will be presented


Dr. Weissman is a Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and Chief of the Division of Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). She is a member of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia. Until 1987, she was a Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Yale University School of Medicine and Director of the Depression Research Unit. She has been a Visiting Senior Scholar at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. She received a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University School of Medicine in 1974.

Her research is on understanding the rates and risks of mood and anxiety disorders using methods of epidemiology, genetics, neuroimaging, and the application of these findings to develop and test empirically based treatments and preventive intervention. Her current Interest is in bringing psychiatric epidemiology closer to translational studies in the neurosciences and genetics. She directs a 3-generation study of families at high and low risk for depression who have been studied clinically for over 25 years and who are participating in genetic and imaging studies. She directs a multi-center study to determine the impact of maternal remission from depression on offspring. She is one of the PIs in a multi-centered study to find biomarkers of response to the treatment of depression. She was one of the developers of Interpersonal Psychotherapy, an evidenced-based treatment for depression.

Dr. Weissman has been a consultant to many private and public agencies, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science.   She has been the author or a co-author of over 600 scientific articles and chapters, and 11 books. She has been the recipient of numerous grants from NIMH, NARSAD Senior Investigators Awards; grants from other private foundations and numerous awards for his research. She is on the editorial board in many journals including JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry and Depression & Anxiety.

In April 2009, she was selected by the American College of Epidemiology as 1 of 10 epidemiologists in the United States who has had a major impact on public policy and public health. The summary of her work on depression appears in a special issue of the Annals of Epidemiology, Triumphs in Epidemiology.

Tuesday 13 February 2018 Professor Mads Melbye

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: When an entire country is a cohort study

Presenter: Professor Mads Melbye

Date: Tuesday 13 February 

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University Avenue

Chair: Professor Jill Pell



The demands for very detailed, large and complete data in health research is rapidly growing. Denmark has a long tradition for building population-based registries. It has earned a preeminent reputation for possessing the most complete and interwoven collection of data touching on almost every aspect of life. What makes the databases a plum research tool is the fact that they can all be linked by a 10-digit personal identification number. Recently, a public-private partnership led to the establishment of the Danish National Biobank, which is an organization including a physical biobank with more than 6 million biological specimens, a biobank register that points to more than 24 million biospecimens in biobanks nationwide, representing 5.4 million individuals, and a coordinating centre assisting researchers in getting access to the specimens. Professor Melbye will present this incredible research infrastructure including many examples from his own research that takes advantage of the unique information in registries and biobanks. 


Mads Melbye is Visiting Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, and President and CEO at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark. Previous positions at e.g. the National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA, before he became State Epidemiologist in Denmark, and later Head of Department of Epidemiology Research, Director of Division of Epidemiology, and most recently Director of Division of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance and The Danish National Biobank, Statens Serum Institut. Previous academic positions as Danish Research Council Professor, NORFA professor, Foreign Adjunct Professor at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and Professor in Medical Epidemiology at Copenhagen University. He has written more than 550 publications (H-index: 81 (Web of Science) and is the Dane with most papers in high impact journals in general medicine (NEJM, Lancet, JAMA). He is associate editor of Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and editorial board member of several scientific journals.

Friday 19 January 2018 Professor Andrew Gelman, remote seminar

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

This Maurice Bloch Seminar will be delivered remotely

Title: What's wrong with "evidence-based medicine" and how can we do better?

Presenter: Professor Andrew Gelman

Date: Friday 19 January 2018

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Rm 201, Flat Hall McIntyre building

Chair: Dr Jim Lewsey

Register HERE

Watch now HERE


"Evidence-based medicine" sounds like a good idea, but it can run into problems when the evidence is shaky.  We discuss several different reasons that even clean randomized clinical trials can fail to replicate, and we discuss directions for improvement in design and data collection, statistical analysis, and the practices of the scientific community.  See this paper:  


Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University. He has received the Outstanding Statistical Application award from the American Statistical Association, the award for best article published in the American Political Science Review, and the Council of Presidents of Statistical Societies award for outstanding contributions by a person under the age of 40. His books include Bayesian Data Analysis (with John Carlin, Hal Stern, David Dunson, Aki Vehtari, and Don Rubin), Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks (with Deb Nolan), Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models (with Jennifer Hill), Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do (with David Park, Boris Shor, and Jeronimo Cortina), and A Quantitative Tour of the Social Sciences (co-edited with Jeronimo Cortina).

Andrew has done research on a wide range of topics, including: why it is rational to vote; why campaign polls are so variable when elections are so predictable; why redistricting is good for democracy; reversals of death sentences; police stops in New York City, the statistical challenges of estimating small effects; the probability that your vote will be decisive; seats and votes in Congress; social network structure; arsenic in Bangladesh; radon in your basement; toxicology; medical imaging; and methods in surveys, experimental design, statistical inference, computation, and graphics.

Tuesday 28 November 2017 Professor Andrew Briggs

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Value Frameworks for Health Care: Is Oncology a Special Case?

Presenter: Professor Andrew Briggs

Date: Tuesday 28 November 

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Gannochy Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building, University Avenue

Chair: Dr Cathy Johnman


Where next for value frameworks?


In this prevention Professor Briggs will present some reflections on the obsession with value frameworks in the US.  Building on work that came out of his recent sabbatical to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, together with conceptual and empirical work with colleagues at University of Glasgow, he will look at the evidence that we should look beyond health in our elusive search for value and ask whether cancer (or indeed other diseases) should be treated differently when it comes to value assessment.


Andrew Briggs holds the William R Lindsay Chair in Health Economics at the University of Glasgow, having joined the University in 2005. Previously, he held the position of Reader in Health Economics at the University of Oxford’s Health Economics Research Centre (HERC). In addition, he spent the academic year 1999/2000 at the Centre for Evaluation of Medicines (CEM), at McMaster University and he remains a research associate of both CEM and HERC. Andrew has expertise in all areas of health economic evaluation. He has particularly focused on statistical methods for cost-effectiveness analysis, including statistical methods for estimation of parameters for cost-effectiveness models as well as statistical analysis of cost-effectiveness alongside clinical trials. Andrew recently took a leadership role as co-chair of the Joint Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) and International Society for Pharamacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Task Force on Modelling Methods. He is also the author of two successful textbooks, one published by OUP entitled Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation, and another published by Wiley entitled Statistical Methods for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. In addition to his role at the University of Glasgow, he also serves as Editor of the journal Health Economics and is on the editorial board of Value in Health.

Monday 31 October 2017 Professor Nicola Fear

Kings College LondonThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: The role of epidemiology in understanding the impact of military life on mental health and well-being: challenges, benefits and opportunities

Presenter: Professor Nicola Fear

Date: Tuesday 31 October

Time: 1pm a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Western Infirmary Lecture Theatre (WILT)

Chair: Dr Beverly Bergman



This lecture will cover the role epidemiology plays in the military mental health research with a particular focus on the work being carried out by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London.  This work includes studies on service personnel, veterans and family members (including children and partners).  


Military/occupational epidemiology; risk taking, behaviours and suicide.  Currently involved in a large cohort study examining the health (mental and physical), lifestyle and career consequences of military deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Thursday 25 May 2017 Dr S Venkatapuram

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series  

Title: Why Health Capability?  The necessity for conceptual clarity in pursuing health justice.

Presenter: Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram

Date: 25 May 2017

Time: 1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Alexander Stone Lecture Theatre, University Gardens 

Chair: Dr Richard Brunner


Abstract: The capabilities approach, initially conceived by the Nobel Prize winning economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, has had tremendous influence in various academic disciplines and policy arenas.  Most significantly, the capabilities approach has influenced economics, particularly development economics as well as political philosophy, particularly on theorizing about social and global justice.  This lecture presents the capabilities approach and how it can be extended to health, and public health.    The concept of health capability, or health as a capability to be and do certain things that constitute a life with equal human dignity, offers a potentially more productive approach to identifying and addressing the full determinants, levels , distribution patterns, and differing experiences of disease and impairments.  It also offers a pathway to shift our focus to health, rather than disease and impairments.  The conceptual framework for a health capability, grounded in the ethical theory of the capabilities approach, also offers ways to argue for health rights and health equity.  But realizing health capabilities and health justice will require far more inter-disciplinary reasoning across the social and natural sciences as well as across the empirical and normative divide.  

Tuesday 25 April 2017 Dr S Thomas

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: The first thing they do when they get a diagnosis is go to Google: Wikipedia, Health, and the Importance of Reliable Sources.

Presenter: Dr Sara Thomas

Date: Tuesday 25 April 2017

Time: 1pm, a light lunch will be served beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Seminar room, Wolfson Medical Building

Chair: Professor A Briggs




As a Wikimedian in Residence, Sara Thomas worked with museums, libraries, universities, and public sector bodies to increase their open knowledge capacity, and help to share their expertise with the world.  Whilst those engaged in this kind of work are often involved with the world of GLAM - Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums - there have been some notable projects working with scientific and health communities to improve the quality and volume of related content on the encyclopedia.  In this session, Sara argues for the necessity of outreach through Wikipedia.



Sara Thomas developed an interest in Event Management as a 16 year old first year undergraduate, volunteering at the Queen Margaret Union, getting her first job in events at the age of 17 as an Events Assistant.  After graduation she went straight to PhD, eventually studying part time whilst working full time as the Assistant General Manager at what was then the Carling Academy Glasgow.  She does not recommend this as a way to get a PhD, even it is in Rock music.

She continued working in music venues, helping to open the Picture House in Edinburgh, and working nationwide for the MAMA group of venues before getting thoroughly bored of rock stars and jumping sector to become a fundraiser.  She was a board member for Glasgow Women's Aid, and is now starting her own charity, BOOM! Community Arts, with her partner in life Barry Neeson. 

Eventually events claimed her back, in the form of the Beltane Fire Society, where she spent two years very happily leading large groups of hippies carrying flaming torches through the centre of Edinburgh.  Now she drums with them.  

In 2015, she became the Wikimedian in Residence for Museums Galleries Scotland, working nationwide to advocate for open knowledge and develop the open knowledge capacity of Scotland's museums.  During the 18 months she spent in this role, she had around 1000 recorded contact points, trained 350 individuals to edit Wikipedia, led 21 training sessions, had 27 speaking engagements (including Universitas 21 and the Learning and Teaching Conference at the University of Glasgow), had contact with around 90 cultural institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery for Scotland, the Royal Botantic Gardens of Edinburgh, Glasgow Women's Library, and Glasgow Museums, where she was on secondment for four months.  She lists "being enthusiastic at people" as a special skill. 

Also during her time in the role she ran 19 Editathons - focused periods of Wikipedia editing on a particular topic, with a group of editors.  Most of these concerned adding or expanding information about women to the encyclopedia, including Glasgow's own Mary Barbour.

Since finishing that post she's run training sessions in Maryhill Burgh Halls and the Scottish Government Library, and is currently taking an interest in Janey Godley's Wikipedia page, which seems to have been regularly visited by someone she assumes to be a Trump supporter.  

She is currently the Project Officer for Dig It! 2017, getting enthusiastic about Archaeology.  


Tuesday 28 March 2017 Professor T Barnighausen

Prof Till Baernighausen Harvard‌Title: Quasi-experiments in health systems research: value, uses, limitations

Presenter: Professor Till Barnighausen

Date: Tuesday 28 March 2017

Time: 3pm tea/coffee will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre

Chair: Professor Sally Wyke



T Barnighausen slides


Quasi-experimental designs are gaining popularity in epidemiology and health systems research – in particular for the evaluation of health care practice, programs and policy – because they allow strong causal inferences without randomized controlled experiments. I will describe the concepts underlying five important quasi-experimental designs: Instrumental Variables, Regression Discontinuity, Interrupted Time Series, Fixed Effects, and Difference-in-Differences designs. I will describe the assumptions required for each of the designs to ensure valid causal inference and discuss the tests available to examine the assumptions. I will then illustrate each of the designs with examples from health systems research and discuss future potential uses and limitations of quasi-experiments in generating generalizable knowledge for health policy.


Till Bärnighausen is Associate Professor at the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He also serves as Program Director for Health Systems and Impact at the Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in South Africa, one of the Trust’s four Major Overseas Programmes. He is also a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.

Till works on health care access, transformation of health services, and the causal impacts of HIV treatment and other global health priority interventions on population health, economic, social and behavioral outcomes.

Till and his team have established the population impact of HIV treatment – delivered under the real-life conditions of a public-sector health system in rural Southern Africa – on mortality and life expectancy, employment an educational attainment, and health seeking and sexual behavior. They have also shown that in a rural Southern African community with high HIV prevalence and incidence neither sexual partner concurrency nor large age gaps between young girls and their male partners are important drivers of the HIV epidemic. Finally, Till has introduced several methods innovations for applied, population-based HIV research: new approaches to estimate HIV incidence using cross-sectional data on recent HIV infection; Heckman selection models to remove selection bias from HIV prevalence estimates; regression discontinuity for causal inference in clinical an population-based cohorts; and novel approaches to use geographical information system data to determine distance and exposures.






Monday 6 February 2017 Professor C Pope

Prof Cathy PopeThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Putting people (back) into Personalised Medicine 

Presenter: Professor Cathy Pope Professor of Medical Sociology

Date: Monday 6 February

Time: 1pm

Venue: Yudowitz seminar room, Wolfson Medical Building

Chair: Prof Frances Mair



PRESENTATION 6 February 2017


This paper picks up on ideas surfaced in our recent Lancet Respiratory editorial (Britten, Pope, Halford, Richeldi 2016) about stratified medicine. This innovation - given various names, including 'precision' and 'personalised', and 'patient-centred' medicine - is the targeting of medicines and other interventions according to the biological characteristics of subgroups of patients. Such targeting is seen as offering the chance to revolutionise health interventions. However, much of the debate, and the science, in this space thus far has had a very narrow focus on biomedical and genetic contributions. Here I suggest that we need to take broader, more sociologically informed, view and one that puts patient experience and needs at its centre. 


Catherine Pope is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton where she leads Emergency and Urgent Care (EmU) research and is a member of the NIHR CLAHRC Wessex. Her research focuses on healthcare work and the organisation and delivery of health services. She is currently a researcher-in-residence in the Wessex regional trauma centre, and is working on a Health Foundation funded project on patient centred emergency care.  Catherine has played a leading role in developing qualitative methods and evidence synthesis in health services research.  

Thursday 12 January 2017, Professor P Aveyard

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Changing the prevalence of obesity one consultation at a time.  A randomised trial of screening for and brief intervention upon obesity.

Presenter: Professor Paul Aveyard

Date: 12 January 2017

Time: 1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Gannochy Seminar Room, Wolfson Medical Building 

Chair: Professor Sharon Simpson


Paul Aveyard Presentation


There is suggestive evidence that GPs can motivate people to lose weight but they rarely try to do this.  They worry that doing so will cause offence, take a long time, and is unlikely to work anyway.  In the first trial of its kind, we tested whether it is effective and acceptable for GPs to screen for obesity and offer a very brief intervention opportunistically.  Patients consulting 137 primary care physicians in England were screened.  At the end of the consultation, the physician randomized participants to one of two 30-second interventions.  In the active intervention, the physician offered referral to a weight management group, if accepted they ensured the patient made an appointment, and offered follow-up.  In the control intervention, the physician advised the patient their health would benefit from weight loss.  Participants rated the appropriateness and helpfulness of the physician’s intervention.  The primary outcome was weight change at 12 months.  8403 patients were screened; 2728 (32%) were obese. Of these, 83% agreed to participate.  We excluded people already or recently taking action on their weight and 1882 were eligible and enrolled.  In this presentation I will report on patients’ initial reactions to the GPs intervention and flesh these out with findings from interviews with 31 people.  We will report how many people took action and the impact on their weight at 12 months in both groups.  I will also draw on conversation analysis of consultation recordings to give preliminary insights into what makes interventions more and less effective.  Finally, modelling of UK data suggests that, on current trends, the prevalence of obesity will be 31% by 2035.  We have examined the impact on prevalence, health service costs, and QALYs if GPs used the brief intervention just once a year in every person with a BMI of at least 30.  The results suggest a surprisingly large effect, which I will describe.


Paul Aveyard is a practising GP, public health doctor, and a professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford.  Throughout most of his career, his research has been in tobacco control, particularly developing and testing interventions to promote smoking cessation and harm reduction, testing these in large trials.  Over the past few years, he has also developed a programme of research on obesity management for clinicians without a special interest in the topic.  His programme seeks to apply the methods used in smoking cessation to the field of weight control, where there are many parallels.  



Wednesday 7 December 2016 Professor D Robertson

Dave Robertson Edinburgh

‌Title: Automating Healthcare Experiments

Presenter: Professor David Robertson

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2016

Time: 1-2pm a light lunch will be served 30 mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz seminar room, Wolfson Medical Building

Chair: Professor Colin McCowan



We are massively increasing our capacity to sense and measure features of people and their environments.  This capacity enables precision medicine, where specific combinations of detailed features more precisely characterise medical conditions and their treatments. However, as our ability to classify more rapidly and specifically increases so does the need to access population health data at much larger scale in order to obtain statistically meaningful results.  We also can potentially do a much broader variety of experiments, so we need systems that allow many more analyses to be preformed to tighter deadlines. Prevailing computational methods to support this activity have not, currently, caught up with the demand for speed and scale.  I shall discuss the role that automated experiments can play in addressing this problem, and how the ability to automate interacts with governance and architecture requirements for data  repositories in healthcare, drawing on examples from current research in Farr Scotland and in European data sharing.


Dave Robertson is Chair of Applied Logic and was appointed Dean of Special Projects in Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh in 2014.  Prior to this he was Head of School of Informatics at University of Edinburgh.  During his five year tenure, working with Dr Liz Elliot, the School doubled its research portfolio and rose from 30 to 12 in the world QS rankings for computing science departments.
His computing research is on formal methods for coordination and knowledge sharing in distributed, open systems using using ubiquitous internet and mobile infrastructure.   He was coordinator of the Open Knowledge project and was a principal investigator on the Advanced Knowledge Technologies research consortium, which were major EU and UK projects in this area.  His work on the SociaM EPSRC Programme ( Smart Societies European IP ( and SocialIST coordinating action ( develops these ideas for social computation. Methods from his group have also been applied to other areas such as astronomy, simulation of consumer behaviour and emergency response but his main application focus is on medicine and healthcare. To this end, he is a member of the Farr Institute for medical data sharing and a co-director of the Centre for Medical Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

He is a Fellow of the British Computing Society and chaired the executive of the UK Computing Research Committee (the expert panel of BCS and IET); is a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for ICT and of the MRC Population Health Sciences advisory group; is on the Industry Advisory Board for Innovate UK’s ICT programme and is a member of the advisory board for the Scottish Innovation Centre in Data Science.


Monday 21 November 2016 Professor Kerry Hood

Professor Kerry Hood CardiffThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Randomised Trials & Routine Data: the promise, the reality and the potential

Presenter: Professor Kerry Hood

Date: Monday 21 November 2016

Time: 1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Seminar room, Wolfson Medical Building

Chair: Professor Sharon Simpson

Register: Kerry Hood

Randomised Trials & Routine Data - K Hood

Listen to the seminar


RCTs have become more expensive and challenging to undertake and there are concerns about the co-intervention effects of proactive data collections processes and challenges of loss to follow up. The pursuit in the NHS of single electronic records have been paired with the promise of capturing large amounts of data on participants in trials from what is collected during their usual contacts with the health service. Parallel centralised approaches to records have also been developed in other sectors.  This talk will use examples from major trials, including the Building Blocks trial of the Family Nurse Partnership in England, to explore the strengths and weaknesses of using routine data and consider what might become more possible in the future.



Friday 7 October 2016 Professor S Kinner

Prof S KinnerThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

‌Title: Prisoner health is public health: Health and health service outcomes for people who experience incarceration

Presenter: Professor Stuart A. Kinner

Date: 7 October 2016

Time: 1pm, a light lunch will be served beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Seminar room, Wolfson Medical Building

Chair: Dr Matt Maycock


Presentation: Prisoner Health is Public Health



The world prison population now exceeds 11 million and continues to grow. More than 30 million people cycle through prisons and jails globally each year. People who cycle through prisons are distinguished by profound socio-economic disadvantage and complex health problems, such that incarceration provides a regrettable but important opportunity for identifying and addressing unmet health and social needs, and improving outcomes for these vulnerable individuals after they return to the community. Prisons therefore have an important role to play in public health, but there is growing evidence of poor health, social and criminal justice outcomes for people released from prison, such that the net effect of incarceration is often health depleting. In this presentation I will review what is known about health outcomes and patterns of health service utilisation for people released from prison, and describe some promising strategies for improving these outcomes. I will conclude by arguing for increased investment in the health of ex-prisoners on human rights, public health, criminal justice and economic grounds.


Professor Stuart Kinner is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University in Australia. He also holds Honorary appointments at The University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of Queensland, and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. He sits on the Board of Directors and Co-Chairs the Research Committee in the NIDA-sponsored Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health, co-convenes the Justice Health Special Interest Group in the Public Health Association of Australia, and since 2005 has served on Australia’s National Prisoner Health Information Committee.


Tuesday 6 September 2016 Professor R Lederman

Prof Reeva Lederman University of MelbourneThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Moderated Online Social Therapy for Young People

Presenter: Professor Reeva Lederman

Date: 6 September 2016

Time: 1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Western Infirmary Lecture Theatre

Chair: Professor Andrew Gumley



This seminar will  discuss a project which has developed an on-line therapy for young people with mental illness.  Although the use and prevalence of Web-based mental health applications have grown over the past decade, many of these services suffer high rates of attrition. This is problematic, as face-to-face support for mental health is limited. To determine appropriate design guidelines for increasing engagement, we conducted a study of First-Episode Psychosis (FEP) patients and reviewed theories on the use of existing online services. We produced a set of design goals, developed an online application that combined social networking and online therapy within a clinician-moderated site, and conducted a 6-week trial with a group of young FEP patients. The seminar will discuss this trial and how we designed the on-line application through a participatory design process. It will also discuss some of the unique ethical problems which beset Information Systems  researchers working in the health domain. 


Reeva Lederman is an Associate Professor in the Computing and Information Systems department at the University of Melbourne. She leads the Computational Bioinformatics and Health Information Systems Research group in CIS. Her research includes foundational work in Information Systems theory as well as applied work in IS design. The latter includes projects such as approaches to using Information Systems to alleviate chronic diseases such as Diabetes and online support systems for young people suffering from mental health issues. She has been published in EJIS and ToCHI and was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious international  Stafford Beer Medal for IS research.



Thursday 30 June 2016 Professor J Gunn

Jane Gunn MelbourneThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Prof Gunn will speak about the uptake of digital mental health interventions in the existing diamond cohort. Diamond has been following the treatment experience and service use of group with depressive symptoms for ten years. This cohort offers an opportunity to examine the diffusion of new technologies into routine primary health care.

‌Title: Can digital health technologies replace face to face health care? Lessons from the diamond cohort study of depression. 

Presenter: Professor Jane Gunn

Date: 30 June 2016

Time: 1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Lecture Theatre, Wolfson Medical School

Chair: Professor Stewart Mercer



Monday 6 June 2016 Professor J Phelan

Jo Phelan Columbia Uni

‌Title: Social conditions as “fundamental causes” of health inequalities:  New theoretical and empirical developments

Presenter: Professor Jo Phelan

Date: 6 June 2016

Time: 1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz Lecture Theatre, Wolfson Medical School

Chair: Professor Carol Tannahill



In 1995, Link and Phelan developed the theory of fundamental causes to explain why the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and mortality has persisted despite radical changes in the diseases and risk factors that are presumed to explain it.  They proposed that the enduring association results because SES embodies an array of resources, such as money, knowledge, prestige, power, and beneficial social connections that protect health no matter what mechanisms are relevant at any given time. 

In this seminar, I will briefly explicate the original theory, review key empirical findings from the US and Europe, and discuss two recent theoretical extensions.  The first considers whether social conditions other than SES, such as racism and stigma, may also serve as fundamental causes of health inequalities.  The second proposes an explanation of how mechanisms linking social factors to disease replace one another over time.   Clouston and colleagues characterize diseases as having the potential to transition through four stages: 1) natural mortality, characterized by no knowledge about risk factors, preventions, or treatments for a disease in a population; 2) producing inequalities, characterized by unequal diffusion of innovations; 3) reducing inequalities, characterized by increased and broader access to health knowledge; and 4) reduced mortality/disease elimination, characterized by widely available prevention and effective treatment.  It is proposed that the cycling of specific diseases through these stages results in the observed pattern of persistent socioeconomic inequalities in overall mortality over time that gave rise to fundamental cause theory.


Past Research: Professor Phelan has addressed inequalities in physical and mental health; particularly those based on socioeconomic status, gender, and stigmatized statuses such as homelessness and mental illness. Her work locates the creation and perpetuation of inequalities in the interplay between social structural, cultural and social psychological processes. Phelan's contributions include calling attention to the biases introduced by the 'point-prevalence' method of estimating the homeless population’s size and characteristics and, in an analysis published in the American Sociological Review, exploring the well established and longstanding association between level of formal education and political liberalism and tolerance. In that work, she provided empirical evidence to critique the dominant theory that education increases tolerance through a process of fundamental personality change, providing support for "socialization" theory-based explanations, in which educational institutions shape attitudes to conform to the prevailing "official" or "ideal" culture. Her work illuminates how education and, by extension, social environments in general, shape political attitudes—which is relevant not just to the issue of homelessness but more broadly to other social inequalities, including those based on socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and gender.

Present Research: Phelan's current work focuses on 1) stigma and mental illness, 2) social consequences of the genetics revolution, and (with Bruce Link) 3) socioeconomic status as a "fundamental cause" of inequalities in mortality. Phelan’s scholarship (with Link) on attitudes toward mental illness, published in the Annual Review of Sociology, analyses stigma as a process encompassing prejudice and discrimination, and fundamentally based in socially-structured power hierarchies. Her use of advances in understanding stigma and mental illness to inform our understanding of the social psychological aspects of other socially significant inequalities, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, has made Phelan internationally recognized as one of the leading scholars in the area of mental-illness stigma. Phelan is also one of the few scholars to explore the sociological implications of the Human Genome Project. Her NIH-funded program of research exploring the impact of the genetics revolution on the stigma attached to serious mental illnesses has found that genetic attributions increased the perceived seriousness and persistence of mental illness as well as the belief a mentally-ill individual’s siblings and children are likely to develop the same problem, suggesting that the Human Genome Project does bear with it the possibility of spreading stigma to biological relatives of stigmatized individuals. Phelan’s new NIH-funded study explores the information and ideas that the media are disseminating to the public and analyses public understanding and response to that information, expanding her work to other stigmatized statuses that are also very likely to be influenced by changing knowledge and beliefs about genetics, such as obesity, cancers and minority racial status. The third area of Phelan’s work, supported by a prestigious Investigator Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is her widely cited collaborative research (with Link) on fundamental causes of mortality, which has both conceptualized the paths through which socioeconomic inequality creates mortality differentials and developed a body of supporting empirical work to substantiate their arguments.

Future Research: Phelan's future work on the potential impact of the genetics revolution, social conditions as fundamental causes of inequalities in mortality, and stigma includes two specific projects already underway. With support from NIMH, her study on public understandings of 'genetic risk' combines qualitative and quantitative methods and a well-developed body of theory (expectation states theory) to explore in greater depth how people understand genetic risk and how accurate information about risk can best be communicated to people. Second, she and Link will continue their work on the mechanisms through which socioeconomic inequality creates mortality differentials, exploring the proposition that one key element of this relation is that advances in knowledge about the prevention and/or treatment of the disease create mortality advantage for high-SES individuals.


Friday 13 May 2016 Mr P DePellette

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Getting the most disadvantaged back to work – what works well for whom?

Presenter: Paul de Pellette – Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland – Ingeus Ltd

Date: Friday 13 May 2016

Time:1pm, lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Hugh Fraser seminar room

Chair:  Professor Ewan Macdonald OBE

Register: Paul de


Despite near record levels of people in employment, and a labour market which survived the recession better than most predicted, there remain a stubbornly high number of individuals who are inactive in the labour market across Scotland and the wider UK.  The welfare reform landscape of successive governments over the last 20 years has sought to simplify the environment, to provide appropriate activation and support for all, and to incentivise work over benefits, with varying levels of success.0  In Scotland alone we spend upwards of £500m on employability and skills programmes each year, and to a large extent we do not really know what we get for it, and crucially do not have a consensus on where precious public financials should be steered to achieve the maximum social and economic impact.  Using operational insight and extensive data captured by Ingeus on more than half a million clients who have been supported on employability programmes over the last 15 years across the UK, this session will look at:

  • What it takes to get those who are most disadvantaged in the labour market activated, engaged and progressing into work.
  • What more can be done to build on what works to help ensure that the collective efforts of publicly funded employability services truly help individuals to achieve their potential? How does policy translate to practice?
  • Are there credibility gaps between academic consensus and operational reality?
  • What are the critical success factors in getting programmes to work effectively?  Ultimately this session will seek to answer the £500m pound question - What works well for whom? 


Paul de Pellette is Director for Scotland and Norther Ireland for Ingeus, the largest employability and skills provider in the UK and part of the international Ingeus group of companies which delivers employability services in France, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.  

Paul joined Ingeus in 2007, to lead on the establishment of the Pathways to Work programme in Edinburgh, Lothian & Borders – Ingeus’ first service delivery in Scotland. Since then Ingeus has delivered a number of employability programmes including Flexible New Deal, Stairway to Work and the Work Programme, which is delivered in partnership with more than 20 organisations from the voluntary and private sectors. Ingeus has helped more than 45,000 long term unemployed people to move back into work, including over 35,000 Work Programme clients.  

Prior to joining Ingeus Paul spent 18 years with Glasgow based social enterprise the Wise Group, initially working in marketing and public affairs before leading on the establishment of employer led programmes and latterly playing a key role in establishing the Wise Group as a nationally recognised provider of large scale back to work programmes.


Tuesday 29 March 2016 Professor A Rogers

prof Anne Rogers The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Speaker: Professor Anne Rogers

Title: The power of activating personal social networks to manage health & well-being:  optimising connections and mobilising resources

Date: Tuesday 29 March 2016

Time: 1-2pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Yudowitz seminar room, Wolfson Medical School

Chair: Professor Frances Mair



It is increasingly recognised that  increasing the effective targeting and promotion of self-care support for long-term conditions requires a focus on patient contexts and networks.  This session aims to:

i) present evidence from research which has explored how the power and capacity of personal networks can take the aspiration of self- management beyond the confines of traditional medical and health care settings.

ii)  present the development and implementation of  GENIE – a  web based tool which comprises: network mapping; user-centred preference elicitation and need assessment; and facilitated engagement with resources


I am interested in supervising in the following areas with a focus on the use of qualitative methods: Sociological approaches to understanding and implementing long term condition management .Sociology of Mental Health and Illness, including cross-cultural analysis of stigma and approaches to managing mental health, Health Policy (Mental Health/Long term condition management). The role of weak ties and pets in long term condition management.

Primary research group:  Innovative and Essential Care

Research projects

Whole System Informing Self-management Engagement (WISE)

The Health Lines Study: expanding the role of NHS Direct in the management of long-term conditions

Exploring the potential of ‘telehealth’ (internet and the telephone) to improve care for people with long term conditions.

National Evaluation of Whole Systems Demonstrator Sites


Wednesday 24 February 2016 Dr I Heath

MB speaker

‌Title: Justice and Health

Presenter: Dr Iona Heath

Date: 24 February 2016 

Time: 1pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Gannochy Seminar room

Chair: Ms Lorna Kelly



Justice and Health

Many of the world’s most pressing and clearly remediable injustices concern health and, as the UK becomes more socioeconomically polarised and socially unjust, it is important to explore the health effects of injustice.  These play out through the life stories of individual patients but are all too often concealed behind a rhetoric that individualises pathology and culminates in a culture of victim-blaming, which compounds one injustice with another

Iona Heath worked as an inner city general practitioner at the Caversham Group Practice in Kentish Town in London from 1975 until 2010. She was a nationally elected member of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners 1989 to 2009 and chaired the College’s Committee on Medical Ethics from 1998 to 2004 and the International Committee from 2006 to 2009. She has been a member of the Wonca World Executive since 1997. In November 2009, she was elected as President of the Royal College of General Practitioners for a three year term. She has written regularly for the British Medical Journal in her personal capacity. Her book ‘Matters of Life and Death’ was published in 2007.


Monday 25 January 2016 Professor S Capewell

Simon Capewell

Title: Perfecting Prevention: Pills, Policies, Politics or Partnerships with PLCs?

Presenter: Professor Simon Capewell

Date: Monday 25 January 2016

Time: 12noon, tea/coffee will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical School Building, Gannochy Seminar room

Chair: Professor Jill Pell



Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for two thirds of the 60 million global deaths each year. Over 1/3 of all NCD deaths are caused by Cardiovascular Disease (CVD -mainly heart disease & strokes. The NCD BURDEN of death and disability is thus immense.  Yet over 80% of premature CVD deaths are avoidable.

CVD and NCDs have only FOUR major risk factors.  Poor diet makes a bigger contribution than the combined effects of tobacco, alcohol & inactivity.

So the science is relatively easy.  Yet Health Planners still face a bewildering choice of prevention strategies: Pills, Policies, Politics or Partnerships with industry?

What does the effectiveness & cost-effectiveness evidence suggest??

Population-wide prevention policies are powerful, rapid, equitable and cost-saving.

Effective policies promote healthier diets and physical activity, control tobacco, and reduce alcohol intake. They have prevented far more CVD deaths than all medical and surgical interventions combined. Much the same is true for the prevention of common cancers and other NCDs.

These “upstream” population-wide policies are not just cost-effective, they are often cost saving with impressive returns on investment ranging from 5:1 up to 100:1

By contrast, “downstream “ interventions (targeting individuals for advice or preventive pills) are less effective, more expensive and worsen the inequities between rich and poor.

Prevention politics are challenging. Prevention policies therefore tend to reflect political compromises.  Scientific evidence constantly risks being outvoted by powerful vested interests manipulating media and public opinion. The current English Government advocates policy Partnerships with industry, including alcohol and food Responsibility Deals with multi-national companies (Pepsi, Unilever, Diageo etc). Companies have only one statutory duty - to maximise profit.  So the conflicts of interests are striking, and have been likened to “Putting Dracula in charge of the Blood bank”. Yet the scientific evidence confirms common-sense, evaluation of these voluntary agreements with commerce show them to be weak or ineffective.

Is it a hopeless fight? No! Public health can learn from a long tradition of successes, including safe drinking water, sanitation, clean air, seatbelts, immunisation and smoke-free buildings and spaces.  These public health triumphs demonstrate remarkably similar paths to eventual success: commencing with the science, overcoming the vested interests and then implementing effective interventions (comprehensive strategies usually including regulation an taxation) .

Our first dilemma as health professionals and citizens is therefore what to do. Silence implies approval of the inequitable status quo, and is thus difficult to justify. So what should we choose: apathy, advocacy or activism??


I qualified from Newcastle University and subsequently trained in clinical medicine (general, respiratory and cardiovascular) in Cardiff, Oxford and then in Edinburgh where I discovered Public Health. I moved to Glasgow University before being appointed as the first Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool in 1999.

  • I am valued as a public health “generalist”, with expertise that spans the clinical, health service, population and policy aspects of health and disease, notably around preventing non-communicable diseases.
  • I contribute to policy development and service work locally, nationally and internationally, including recently chairing, vice-chairing or energetically supporting committees at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the British Heart Foundation, the European Society of Cardiology, Heart of Mersey, the UK Faculty of Public Health, the UK Health Forum, NICE, and the World Health Organisation

Friday 6 November 2015 Dr D Holman

Dan Holman

‌Speaker: Dr Daniel Holman

Title: The Representation of Social Science and Social Context in Health Behaviour Interventions: a Literature Trend and Co-citation Analysis

Date: Friday 6 November 2015

Time: 1-2pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue:  Wolfson Medical School Building, Yudowitz Seminar room

Chair: Dr Christopher Bunn


ABSTRACT: In recent years Health Behaviour Interventions (HBIs) have received a great deal of attention in both research and policy as a means of encouraging people to lead healthier lives.  Such interventions have often been criticised for framing health as a matter of individual conscious choice and ignoring wider social issues, including health inequalities.  Part of this criticism is that HBIs do not draw on social science understandings of the structured and contextual aspects of behaviour and health.  Yet to date, no systematic evidence has been produced on the extent to which the HBI field has paid attention to issues of social context.  In this paper we undertake a literature trend and co-citation analysis to explore representation of social context in HBIs, and analyse changes over time.  We find that the number of HBIs has grown rapidly in recent years, especially since 2006, and that references to social science disciplines and concepts that are particularly focussed on social context are rare, and relatively speaking, constitute less of the field post-2006.  Individualised and quantifiable concepts are used most, and more theoretical or inequality-related ones least.  The document co-citation analysis revealed that pre-2006, papers referring to social context were relatively diffuse in the network of key citations, but post-2006 this influence had largely diminished.  The journal co-citation analysis showed less disciplinary overlap post-2006.  Thus despite increased attention to the promise of social science for the field and a number of potentially useful developments, it seems that HBIs have little drawn on social science understandings of social context but have rather increasingly focused on individualised approaches.


I joined the department in November 2014 to work with Alan Walker on social policy and ageing projects. I obtained my PhD in 2012 from the University of Essex, under the supervision of Joan Busfield. I was previously Research Associate at the University of Cambridge from 2012-2014.

My PhD was ESRC funded, including an Advanced Quantitative Training component. It used a mixed-methods approach, and the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, to investigate the relationship between social class and the use of talking treatments (i.e. counselling and psychotherapy) for common mental health problems. I have appeared on BBC Radio 4 to talk about this research. Publications arising from it are listed below.

My subsequent role at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge involved working on a diabetes peer support randomised controlled trial. It picked up on key themes from my PhD in three ways: 1) the substantive topic was ‘talking for the purpose of health gain’ 2) the role was interdisciplinary, engaging with perspectives from public health, psychology, and medicine 3) the research involved using a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches. This post gave me a particular interest in the juncture between the different disciplines which have a stake in health and illness, and the interplay between individual behaviour and social determinants.

I have always been excited by research which has clear practical implications, especially in relation to socioeconomic/social class health inequalities. My current role focuses on social policy and social inequalities more generally, including those related to ageing in particular. I am currently researching how the concept of social quality can do useful work in this area. Methodologically, my strengths are in survey research and the analysis of secondary datasets.


Thursday 26 November 2015 Professor P Murthy

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Speaker: Professor Pratima Murthy

Title: Addiction treatment services in India- bridging chasms, not just gaps

Date: Thursday 26 November 2015

Time: 1-2pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Seminar Room A/B - lower level

Chair: Dr Kenneth Mullen



is a flat world after all….

And with that come many unintended consequences as well.  India, like many other countries in the world, is facing a growing problem of addiction. While licit drugs like tobacco and alcohol continue to pose significant public health problems, illicit drugs are not uncommon and pharmaceutical drugs are on the rise. Our clinics are beginning to see a slow, nevertheless steady increase in behavioural addictions. 

Several factors influence the substance use scenario. Wide geographical and cultural heterogeneity, gender, socio-economic inequities, low availability, affordability and access to services all contribute to huge treatment gaps for addiction. The magnitude of the consequences of substance use is still not completely understood and the responses are still fragmented. Although the prevalence rates for substance use are relatively lower compared to many other countries at present, the numbers requiring attention are staggering. Responses and innovations exist, but there is a great need for a systematic and coherent response to address the growing problem of substance use and addiction in India. 







Friday 9 October 2015 Professor R Osborne

Prof Richard Osborne Deakin UniThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Optimising health literacy and access (Ophelia): a fresh approach generating fit-for-purpose, equitable health care service improvements

Presenter: Professor Richard Osborne

Date: Friday 9 October 2015

Time: 10am tea and coffee will be served 30 minutes beforehand this seminar will be followed by a master class.  

Venue: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, Level 5 Suite

Chair: Dr Ingrid Young

Register: Registration has options for Seminar, Masterclass or both


Professor Osborne will introduce the Ophelia (Optimising Health Literacy and Access) process which is being implemented in a wide range of settings. Ophelia, developed in Australia, is being applied in Asia and the EU. Following the release of the WHO-SEARO / Deakin Health Literacy Toolkit for Low- and Middle-income countries, Ophelia and related tools have been used in the emergency, hospital, primary care, and community settings. It is being regarded as a fresh and equitable approach to community intervention development and service improvement. 


Professor Richard Osborne is Professor of Public Health at the School of Health and Social Development, a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, and WHO Consultant based at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. 

He is an epidemiologist and health services researcher. In 1995 he completed a lab and epidemiology PhD in breast cancer survival. He then joined the Centre for Health Program Evaluation, Monash University, to develop the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) instrument. In 1996, with a NHMRC Public Health Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, he joined the Centre for Genetic Epidemiology, Melbourne University, supervised by Prof John Hopper. This included a year at the Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

He was then awarded a NHMRC Population Health Career Development Award Fellowship (2006-10). This work was recognised by the NHMRC as 1 of the 10 Best Research Projects 2012, chosen from among the thousands of NHMRC-funded medical research projects in Australia.

He has also received a Universitas 21 Solander Fellowship (1996) Lund University, Sweden, and in 2011 he was awarded the Arthritis Victoria Lorin Prentice Memorial Award for contribution to musculoskeletal research.
He joined Deakin in 2009 and holds academic leadership roles: Chair of Public Health, Co-Director of Population Health Strategic Research Centre, and Associate Head School (Research). With these responsibilities, he is a Chief Investigator (CI) on a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, NHMRC Partnership Project and a NHMRC Project Grant.

In the past 5 years he has published/in press 81 papers has an H index of 30. He was Associate Editor of the US journal, Arthritis Care & Research. He supervised 6 PhD scholars to completion, and currently supervises 6 PhD scholars. His career research income as Chief Investigator is over $18million and he has had continuous NHMRC funding since 2004.

Masterclass:             Health Literacy and the re-orientation of the concept of patient centred care – putting care and equity at the centre

Facilitated by:          Prof Richard Osborne,  Dr Alison Beauchamp, Public Health Innovation, School of Health and Social Development Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

Richard and Alison will introduce novel approaches to clinical and community consultation processes. Participants will see how their professional and personal experience (local wisdom) can be used generate fit-for-purpose and implementable interventions to improve patient experience, health outcomes and equity. 




Wednesday 16 September 2015 Professor E Anderson

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Eric AndersonSpeaker: Professor Eric Anderson 

Title: The Declining Significance of Masculinity

Date: Wednesday 16 September

Time: 1-2pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre

Chair: Dr Matt Maycock


PLEASE NOTE - video recording will take place at this event


In this evidenced-based talk, Professor Eric Anderson highlights how decreasing cultural homophobia has lead to the softening of adolescent men's masculinities. In addition to finding decreased homophobia, increased emotional disclosure with other men, his work shows increased physical tactility between straight men (kissing, cuddling and loving). Although less explored, his research also suggests that young men are less willing to take unnecessary risks, have less interest or need to fight, have less interest in organised competitive team sports, and less interest in smoking. Accordingly, his theory, Inclusive Masculinity Theory, maintains implications for those in the field of health. 


Prof Eric Anderson is Professor of Sport, Masculinities & Sexualities at the University of Winchester. He holds four degrees, has published 12 books, over 50 peer-reviewed articles, and is regularly featured in international television, print and digital media. 

Professor Anderson is recognized for research excellence by the British Academy of Social Sciences and is a fellow of the International Academy of Sex Research.  His work shows a decline in cultural homophohysteria leading to a softening of heterosexual masculinities. This permits heterosexual men to kiss, cuddle and love one another; and promotes inclusive attitudes toward openly gay athletes and the recognition of bisexuality. His sexuality work finds positive aspects of non-monogamous relationships and explores the function and benefits of cheating.

Professor Anderson also writes about sport psychology, distance running, and the social problems of organized team sports. Most recently, he is working on the problem of brain trauma in youth sports.

He is available for consultancy, training, speaking, and media requests.  

Video Wednesday 16 September 2015 Professor E Anderson

The Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Watch the VIDEO now

Monday 17 August 2015 Professor L Bauld

Prof L Bauld Stirling uniThe Institute of Health and Wellbeing Maurice Bloch Annual Lecture Series 

Title: Tobacco Harm Reduction and Electronic Cigarettes: What's Happening and Where Next?

Presenter: Professor Linda Bauld

Date: Monday 17 August 2015

Time: 11am, tea/coffee will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, Level 5 suite

Chair: Professor Laurence Moore



'Tobacco harm reduction and electronic cigarettes: what's happening and where next'

Smoking rates in the UK have halved since the 1970s, but one in five adults still smokes. In 2013, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on tobacco harm reduction, recommending alternative approaches for smokers who find it particularly hard to stop and who may benefit from cutting down en route to quitting and/or from long term access to cleaner forms of nicotine (such as NRT) to prevent relapse. The UK remains the only country in the world to have such guidance. It also touched on electronic cigarettes, new nicotine delivery devices not currently licensed as medicines and whose popularity has soared since 2010 - there are now over 2.6 million users in Great Britain alone. Both NICE and the MHRA have made it clear that using e-cigarettes is safer than continued smoking, and evidence is accumulating of their effectiveness for smoking cessation. Yet considerable controversy surrounds their use and forthcoming Scottish and EU legislation will regulate them in a number of different ways. This presentation will outline what we know about e-cigarettes, their implications for tobacco control, and speculate on what the future may hold for smokers, vapours and children who currently neither smoke nor vape. 


Linda Bauld is Professor of Health Policy, Director of the Institute for Social Marketing and Dean of Research Impact at the University of Stirling. She is also Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and serves as Cancer Research UK’s cancer prevention champion (the CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention). Linda has a background in applied policy research and her research focuses on the evaluation of public health interventions. She has conducted studies on drug and alcohol use, inequalities in health and, most notably, on tobacco control and smoking cessation. She is a former scientific adviser on tobacco control to the UK government and currently chairs a number of policy and research committees in Scotland and England. 

Research Interests: Public Health policy, tobacco control, smoking cessation, drug and alcohol policy

Screening for depression in medical settings and its alternatives 25 June 2015

Speaker: Emeritus Professor Jim Coyne 

Date: Thursday 25 June 2015

Time: 1-2pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre

Chair: Professor Helen Minnis



Screening for depression in medical settings and its alternatives

In the 1990s, it was observed that depression was generally unrecognized and untreated in patients being seen in general and specialty nonpsychiatric medical settings. Awareness of the problem led to almost universal consensus-based recommendations and mandates for routine screening for depression. The unquestioned paradigm was detect-initiate treatment-observe improvement. Twenty-five years later, we are witnessing widespread rollback of recommendations to only screening routinely for depression in the exceptional circumstances in which there are adequate plans in place for facilitating referral, diagnosis, and follow-up. Furthermore, it is increasingly being recognized that  routine screening in such a settings may add nothing to simply allowing patients and providers ready access to resources for treating depression without screening. Inadequate treatment and overtreatment are being seen as unintended consequences of simply concentrating on increasing detection and initiation of treatment. Professor Coyne’s early research helped establish that much of the depression presenting in primary care settings was going undetected and untreated. Yet, he was one of the earliest skeptics about the effectiveness of routine screening for depression for improving patient outcomes. More recently, he has been involved in systematic reviews and meta-analyses leading to revisions of practice guidelines from universal routine screening for depression to restriction of screening and greater attention to the need for better monitoring follow-up of patients already known to be vulnerable to depression

This presentation will review this progression in thinking about routine screening. It will consider the value and limitations of collaborative and integrated care, stepped care and active monitoring (watchful waiting), and use of web-based and Internet treatment and monitoring as means of improving the outcome of depression now seen as a chronic, recurrent condition with an onset in adolescence or early adulthood.

James C. Coyne, Ph.D.  Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Professor of Health Psychology, University Medical Center, Groningen, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Institute for Health Policy, Rutgers, the state University of New Jersey

Coyne of the Realm

Delivering Health Programmes: Tightropes and Other Hazards 19 June 2015


Presenter: Baroness Doreen Massey

Date: Friday 19 June

Time: 1pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Gannochy seminar room

Chair: Professor Andy Briggs



In this presentation, I shall explore some of the factors which may impede or facilitate the establishment and progress of initiatives to improve health. I shall base my illustrations on experiences of working as a teacher, as Chief Executive of a sexual health charity, as Chair of a national agency charged with tackling substance misuse, and as a Parliamentarian involved in committees and debates. I shall relate the following concerns to the above experiences:

  • The need for political will
  • Interdepartmental collaboration at national and local levels ( for example in health, education, social services and criminal justice)
  • Adequate baseline data and evidence based need
  • Value for money and an understanding of long term benefits
  • Demonstration of impact on populations
  • Analysis of the problem and a strategies to deliver and evaluate results
  • Sufficient funding and adequate timescales to make a difference
  • Appropriate and committed leadership and staffing
  • Consultation with stakeholders

I shall seek to involve seminar participants in discussion, based on their own experiences, research and perceptions and look forward to a lively exchange!


Became a Labour peer in 1999. Her main Parliamentary interests are in the health and wellbeing of children and families, and education. She chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children which carries out an annual enquiry into an aspect of importance to children and young people. The most recent was on children’s relationships with the police, the current on mental health and, during the next Parliamentary session, the group will focus on how services for children can be effective at a local level.

She sits on the House of Lords Select Committee on Affordable Childcare, which published its findings in February. She will join the EU Committee on Health and Home Affairs in the next Parliamentary session. She is a trustee of UNICEF and patron of several charities concerned with young people, including the Amos Bursary, Women and Children First and the Child Trafficking Unit at the University of Bedford. She is a Vice president of the Royal Society for Public Health.  She is a member of All Party Groups on Sexual Health, Human Trafficking, Education, Cricket (Vice Chair) and Substance Misuse. She is President of Brook Advisory Centres and a Vice President of the Royal Society for Public Health.

She holds a BA in French and an MA in Health Education. She was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Health Education by the University of Birmingham, is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire and of the Royal Society of Arts.

She began her professional career as a teacher of French and English, then moved on to be a senior teacher responsible for Health Education in an inner city school. She later became an adviser for Health Education working in boroughs across London, whilst completing an MA. She was appointed Director of the Young People’s Programme at the Health Education Authority, then Director of Training at the Family Planning Association, becoming its Chief Executive two years later. She subsequently worked as a consultant on DFID health education programmes, working with politicians, doctors and teachers, in Russia and Central Asia. She worked with police and politicians in Vietnam to improve drug policies. She has published articles and teaching resources for health education with children and young people.

She was Chair of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse in England between 2000 and 2012.

She lives in Lewes, East Sussex with her husband. They have three adult children. Her leisure pursuits include theatre, cinema, opera, reading, yoga, pilates, travel, walking and cooking. She has had short stories published and has recently completed her first novel.


A Sustainable System for Health and Wellbeing. 13 May 2015

Ruth Hussey CSO WalesTitle: A Sustainable System for Health and Wellbeing

Presenter: Dr Ruth Hussey

Date: Wednesday 13 May 2015

Time:1pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Yudowitz seminar room

Chair: Dr Carol Tannahill


All health systems are facing challenges to improve health outcomes, improve quality of services and improve value.  The session will describe how legislation and a prudent health care approach can play a role in meeting these challenges.



Provides independent professional advice to the First Minister and Cabinet, and to Welsh Government officials on health and healthcare matters.  Dr Ruth Hussey OBE was appointed Chief Medical Officer/ Medical Director for NHS Wales in September 2012.  Dr Hussey was born and brought up in the Conwy Valley, living there until she went to university.  Dr Hussey has worked as Regional Director of Public Health and Senior Medical Director at NHS North West. She led the Department of Health in the North West region.  

The CMO: leads public health policy and programmes, working across all Welsh Government policy departments and with a wide range of external partners, with the aim of improving health and reducing health inequalities leads the clinical contribution in Wales to improving the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes, leads the medical profession in Wales, having key roles in medical regulation, education and training, standards and performance, maintains appropriate UK and international links, working with other UK Chief Medical Officers, government departments and organisations.

You can follow the Chief Medical Officer on Twitter @CMOWales



Making Interventions More Effective: Are We Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places? 12 May 2015

Title: Making Interventions More Effective: Are We Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places?

Presenter: Professor Penny Hawe , Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney and The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

Date: Tuesday 12 May 2015 

Time: 2.30pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Yudowitz seminar room

Chair: Professor Jill Pell



Modest, weak and null effects are commonly observed in complex interventions although guidance and checklists to make intervention design more precise and robust is getting stronger. This presentation uses qualitative evidence from the comparison communities in a cluster randomised trial and insights from ineffective programs to argue that vital insights about how to initiate, amplify and sustain change processes are being missed because of the ways interventions are traditionally evaluated.  Some new ways forward that illustrate a systems-thinking approach are outlined.


Penny Hawe was recruited from Australia to the University of Calgary, Canada, in  2000 to take up the foundation Markin Chair in Health and Society. She became a Health Scientist of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research in 2007,  having previously been a Senior Scholar.  In 2004 Penny received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR) research to establish the Population Health Intervention Research Centre (PHIRC) and the International Collaboration on Complex Interventions. She was the Director of PHIRC from 2004-2010.  From 2006-2010 she was the Co-Chair of the Population Health Intervention Research Initiative for Canada, representing the Institute Advisory Board of CIHR’s Institute of Population and Public Health.  She returned to Australia in 2011. She is currently is a lead investigator of the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre a $25m collaboration between the National Health and Medical Research Council and other key organisations. The Centre is designed to build understanding of systems-level prevention strategies in chronic disease. She is currently a Professor of Public Health at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. Penny's undergraduate degree is in community psychology from the University of New South Wales. She has an MPH from the University of Sydney and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Penny’s research interests are in complex community-level interventions to promote health; social network analysis; theory of population health interventions; whole school approaches to mental health promotion; and methods and ethics in population health interventions.

Public Health, Health Inequalities and Neo-liberalism. 20 April 2015

Prof P Bissell University of SheffieldTitle: Public Health, Health Inequalities and Neo-liberalism. 

Presenter: Professor Paul Bissell

Date: Monday 20 April

Time: 1pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Gannochy seminar room

Chair: Dr Sara MacDonald



In this talk, Paul Bissell reflects on the one of the ironies of contemporary public health policy and practice in its engagement with form of evidence around the social shaping of unequal health outcomes. Public health, with its epistemological roots in the discipline of social epidemiology, now increasingly privileges explanations for the social gradient in health with reference to evidence of the extent of social inequality, particularly income inequality. Whilst the mobilization of this evidence has been highly successful in terms of galvanising public debate about the deleterious health and social impacts of inequality, it comes at a time when there is relatively little engagement between social epidemiology and the discipline of medical sociology, which historically and currently has much to offer those interested in understanding how inequality shapes health. In particular, there is now growing interest and scholarship in medical sociology on how neo-liberal practices discourses and practices might differentially impact the body. 

Paul Bissell summarises this literature and argues for greater rapprochement between epidemiology, public health and medical sociology. Drawing on some recent work exploring shame and dependency, he explores some of the avenues for critical dialogue – and the tensions – that a focus on neo-liberal practices and discourses may bring to debates about the causes of health inequalities.


Currently, I am a Professor of Public Health, Director of the Public Health Section and a member of the senior management team within the School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR).  I studied politics and sociology as an undergraduate (BA Econ), then completed an MA (Econ) in Applied Social Research and subsequently, a PhD in medical sociology, all at the University of Manchester.  I worked as a contract researcher on various public health (University of Salford) and public policy projects (Universities of Manchester and Cardiff) from 1988 to 2001 before getting a lectureship in social pharmacy at the University of Nottingham (2001 - 2006).  I then returned to Public Health in ScHARR at The University of Sheffield in 2006.  At the risk of sounding disingenuous, ScHARR (and The University of Sheffield) is far and away the most pleasurable academic institution I've worked in simply because there remains a strong commitment to interdisciplinary, high-quality research and teaching as ways of shaping the outside world.  Whilst at Sheffield, I have had a number of roles.  I was the Director of the Master of Public Health course as I came into post (2008-2010) and I am now the Director of the Erasmus Mundus EuroPubHealth programme and have been interested in how we might strategically develop the interface between learning and teaching and research in the School.  I am now the Section Director for Public Health.

Paradigms of Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness MB speaker 13 April 2015

Title: Paradigms of Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness Robert Scales

Presenter: Dr Robert Scales

Date:  Monday 13 April 2015 

Time: 1.30pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Yudowitz seminar room

Chair: Professor Stewart Mercer



Niccolo Machiavelli, the sixteenth century philosopher stated that “at the beginning a disease is easy to cure but difficult to diagnose; but as time passes, not having been recognized or treated at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure”. This reminds us that preventive medicine is not a new concept. Historically, preventive services have not been at the forefront of mainstream healthcare in the US. However, the healthcare system is on the cusp of a paradigm shift towards disease prevention and health promotion with the introduction of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Preventive medicine will be part of the solution as physicians consider the best options to lower the burden of chronic disease at a time when patient volumes will reach a record high. There is compelling evidence to support the inclusion of lifestyle medicine and wellness within clinical practice. When delivered effectively, physicians will not only add years to a patient’s life, but more importantly life to those years.   

Purpose: This presentation defines a paradigm for preventive medicine and offers a framework for physicians and allied healthcare professionals to apply lifestyle medicine and wellness in the clinic. Strategies are identified to improve the physician’s ability to provide effective lifestyle medicine within a busy clinical practice. This includes education in preventive medicine and ongoing support for the physician that begins in medical school and prepares them to deliver team-based models of wellness.  


Robert Scales, Ph.D. is the Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He joined Mayo Clinic in 2008 as an exercise physiologist and in his administrative role he has provided leadership in the development of a cardiology-based initiative that is designed to prevent heart disease. He has his doctorate degree in education and he holds an adjunct faculty appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University. His primary research interest is the application of effective provider-patient communication in the healthcare setting. He was the Principal Investigator in the Cardiovascular Health Initiative and Lifestyle Education Study, otherwise known as the CHILE Study, which was the first study to investigate the impact of motivational interviewing and skills-based counselling on the behaviours of patients attending cardiac rehabilitation. More recently, he was the Lead Consultant on an NIH funded study to investigate methods of teaching motivational interviewing in a health science educational program. He is an experienced trainer in motivational interviewing and he has trained both students and clinicians from a variety of healthcare disciplines to use this approach within their own clinical settings.

Dr. Scales has counselled thousands of patients in their recovery from heart disease. He is also an accomplished international speaker on the topic of disease prevention. Adaptations of his work with clinical populations have focused on the prevention and management of diabetes in Native American communities. Dr. Scales is a Fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (FAACVPR). He is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). 

Professor Jane Gunn, University of Melbourne. 12 March 2015

Title: Future Directions for Improved Mental Health in Primary Care

Presenter: Professor Jane Gunn 

Date: Thursday 12 March 2015 

Time: 1.30pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Hugh Fraser seminar room

Chair: Professor Frances Mair


In this presentation I will draw upon 10 years of longitudinal research investigating the natural history of depressive symptoms in primary care and draw lessons for future research aimed at improving health outcomes. In particular, I will explore the place of clinical prediction tools in primary care mental health and the challenges of providing tailored care which integrates health and social care. 



Professor Jane Gunn , University of Melbourne, is the Head of Department, inaugural Chair of Primary Care Research and Director of the Primary Care Research Unit.  Her research interests include depression in primary care, perinatal care, women's health, cancer screening, study design, and analysis within the primary care setting.  Jane is particularly interested in randomised controlled trials, complex interventions, and combining quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Professor Gunn has worked as an Academic GP since 1991 and has been heavily involved in research, teaching and curriculum development. Her PhD investigated the role of general practice in the provision of care to mothers and babies in the year after birth and included the analysis of routinely collected Health Insurance Commission data, a State-wide survey of GPs and a randomised controlled trial of an early postnatal visit.

She has a special interest in combining quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to fully explore the questions that face the primary health care setting.

Is it better to be precisely wrong or roughly right? Identifying causal effects in large datasets 26 February 2015


Neil DaviesTitle: Is it better to be precisely wrong or roughly right?  Identifying causal effects in large datasets

Presenter: Dr Neil Davies 

Date: Thursday 26 February 2015 

Time: 1.30pm lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Yudowitz seminar room

Chair: Mr Geoff Der



The amount of information available to researchers is increasing all the time. A wide array of study designs from cohort studies to databases of electronic medical records contain detailed information about individuals including their backgrounds, choices and importantly their health outcomes.  These datasets can help provide new evidence about the aetiology of ill-health and disease, which can be used to inform interventions.  However, as all epidemiologists know, results from observational studies can suffer from bias, and may be unreliable evidence of causation.  These biases cannot always be accounted for by measured confounders, and cannot necessarily be overcome by simply collecting more data.  This talk will focus on approaches for obtaining causal inference, such as instrumental variable analysis, which are increasingly used by epidemiologists, genetic epidemiologists and social scientists.


Neil Davies is a researcher at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol.  He has applied instrumental variable methods to biomedical problems including Mendelian randomisation and pharmacoepidemiology.  These studies have involved using data from a range of sources including the CPRD, ALSPAC, and other studies.

Dual International Speakers 15 January 2015

Presenter: 1  Professor Nancy Edwards Prof Ana Diez RouxNancy Edwards

Presenter: 2  Dr Ana Diez Roux 

Time: 9.30-10.30am tea and coffee will be provided 30mins beforehand

Date: Thursday 15 January 2015

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building Yudowitz Seminar Room

Chair:  Professor Laurence Moore

to book a place:

Abstract: N Edwards - Building the field of population health intervention research: A research funder's perspective

Since 2009, population health intervention research has been a major strategic focus for the Institute of Public and Population Health, one of 13 Institutes comprising the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  This seminar will describe efforts undertaken by the Institute to build this field of research both in Canada and internationally.  The integration of core principles of population health intervention research within a range of national and international funding opportunities will be highlighted.  Successes and lessons learned from our field-building initiatives will be presented.  The seminar will conclude with a discussion of recommendations to address key challenges that lie ahead in the field of population health intervention research.   


Nancy Edwards is a Full Professor in the School of Nursing, and the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa; Director of the Community Health Research Unit; Principal Scientist, Institute of Population Health; Senior Scientist, Élisabeth Bruyère Research Institute; and Academic Consultant, City of Ottawa (Public Health Services). Dr. Edwards obtained her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Windsor and completed graduate studies in epidemiology at McMaster University and McGill University. Nancy is the holder of a CHSRF/CIHR Chair Award in Nursing (2000-2010). The focus of her award is Multiple Interventions in Community Health Nursing Care. She took up her appointment as Scientific Director for the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health in July 2008.


Dr. Ana V. Diez Roux has been named the new dean of the Drexel University School of Public Health. She will begin her term in February 2014.  Diez Roux is a physician and epidemiologist known worldwide for seminal research on multilevel determinants of population health. Her work has had a major impact on public health research and practice.  Diez Roux will oversee the school’s plans to expand its leadership in experiential education, community engagement and cultural diversity.  In her current position at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Diez Roux chairs the Department of Epidemiology and also heads two distinguished research and training centres. Her accomplishments as department chair since 2012 include reorganizing the administrative structure, leading the development of new curricula, formalizing policies, and creating a new sense of mission and cohesiveness across a diverse faculty through shared academic activities and faculty recruitment.  Diez Roux built the Centre for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, a collaboration between Michigan and two Mississippi-based partner institutions, from the ground up into an important locus for research and training on the determinants of minority health and health disparities. She also reorganized and reinvigorated the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, which focuses on the causes of health inequalities and the policies and interventions necessary to eliminate them.  Her own research is funded at a level of more than $4 million annually, and she has led large research and training programs funded by foundations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has led research programs on health disparities and the social and physical determinants of health, the impact of neighbourhood environments on health, the role of psychosocial factors in health, environmental health and urban health issues. Her work on neighbourhood health effects has had a major impact on policy discussions by highlighting the impact of urban planning and community development policies on health.  Before joining Michigan in 2003, Diez Roux held joint appointments in medicine and public health at Columbia University. She received master’s and doctoral degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins after beginning her career as a paediatrician in her native Argentina, where she earned her medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires and served as chief resident at the Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital.  She is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.








The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills. 21 November 2014

Maurice Bloch SpeakerPresenter: Professor David Stuckler

Time: 2.30-3.30pm a light lunch will be provided 30mins beforehand

Date: Friday 21 November 2014

Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Building

Chair: Dr Vittal Katikireddi

to book a place:


The global financial crisis has had a seismic impact upon the wealth of nations. But we have little sense of how it affects one of the most fundamental issues of all: our physical and mental health.

This talk, based on Professor Stuckler's research, looks at the daily lives of people affected by financial crisis, from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to post-communist Russia, to the US foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s. Why, it asks, did Sweden experience a fall in suicides during its banking crisis? What triggered a mosquito-borne epidemic in California in 2007? What caused 10 million Russian men to 'disappear' in the 1990s? Why is Greece experiencing rocketing HIV rates? And how did the health of Americans actually improve during the catastrophic crisis of the 1930s? The conclusions it draws are both surprising and compelling: remarkably, when faced with similar crises, the health of some societies - like Iceland - improves, while that of others, such as Greece, deteriorates. Even amid the worst economic disasters, negative public health effects are not inevitable: it's how communities respond to challenges of debt and market turmoil that counts.

The Body Economic puts forward a radical proposition. Austerity, it argues, is seriously bad for your health. We can prevent financial crises from becoming epidemics, but to do so, we must acknowledge what the hard data tells us: that, throughout history, there is a causal link between the strength of a community's health and its social protection systems. Now and for generations to come, our commitment to the building of fairer, more equal societies will determine the health of our body economic.

For People Experiencing Psychosis, is it Time to Dump Descartes? 25 September 2014

Presenter: Dr David Shiers, GP (retired), North Staffordshire. Former joint lead to National Early Intervention in Psychosis Programme (2004-2010). National Mental Health Development Unit, London

Maurice Bloch SpeakerTime: 12.30-1.30pm a light lunch will be provided 30mins beforehand

Date: Thursday 25 September 2014

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building, Seminar room 3, Gannochy

Chair: Dr Daniel Smith

to book a place:


Despite twenty years of advances in understanding the nature of psychosis and its treatments, those affected still lose 15-20 years of life on average. Most of this premature mortality can be explained by physical disorders’ usual suspects, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), the single largest cause and far exceeding suicide. Health inequalities, disparities in health care and overreliance on biological treatments have meant the reductions in CVD morbidity and mortality seen in the general population over the last three decades have eluded people with psychosis, for whom the prevalence of CVD, obesity and diabetes are now of epidemic proportion (1).

Much of this epidemic can be predicted by associated antecedent risk factors which are evident from early in psychosis and its treatment. And yet these risks remain largely ignored by health professionals across primary and secondary care steeped in a tradition of Cartesian dualism. This presentation will argue for the provision of a more holistic body & mind approach from the onset of psychosis.

Declaration of Interests: current member of the Quality Standards Group for National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence reviewing the care and treatment of adults with psychosis and schizophrenia; GP advisor to the National Audit of Schizophrenia (RCPsych CCQI) paid consultancy basis (2010 ongoing); member of National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK) board.; joint editor of Wiley Blackwell publication: "Promoting Recovery in Early Psychosis" 2010; ISBN 978-1-4051-4894-8 and in receipt of royalties; received a fee for a keynote presentation on early intervention in psychosis with a particular focus on physical health issues at Jannsen Cilag; Educational meeting on September 22nd 2010 in Southampton.


As a GP in North Staffordshire, David developed particular interest in mental health from personal involvement as father to a daughter with schizophrenia from the mid 90s. From early complaints David engaged in developing a radical service redesign derived from what he felt was lacking in his daughter’s early experiences of care. He became a key contributor to the WHO Early Psychosis Declaration (2004) and jointly led the UK’s National Early Intervention in Psychosis Programme (2004-10). Retiring in 2010, David continues to engage with the Royal Colleges of Psychiatry and General Practice to promote the importance of tackling the early physical determinants which set young people with psychosis on a pathway to poor health and premature death. Most recently David has worked with the late Helen Lester and colleagues from Sydney NSW to develop Healthy Active Lives (HeAL – launched June 2013), an international consensus statement on the importance of an early intervention approach to preventing future poor physical health.

A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing. 23 October 2014

Maurice Bloch Speaker D Kuh

Presenter: Professor Diana Kuh 

Time: 1.15-2.15pm a light lunch will be provided 30mins beforehand

Date: Thursday 23 October 2014

Venue: Wolfson Medical Building Gannochy Seminar Room

Chair: Professor Jill Pell

to book a place:

Abstract: Research on the factors that determine healthy ageing has become a priority of governments and baby boomers. Healthy ageing is about optimal function for as long as possible, and about maintaining wellbeing; in other words keeping moving, keeping thinking, and keeping your spirits up! In depth studies and cross cohort comparisons of the British birth cohort studies are providing growing evidence that social and biological factors from early life onwards can affect healthy ageing. Professor Diana Kuh will be presenting some of that evidence, much of it based on the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). The NSHD is the oldest of the birth cohort studies, which has followed a nationally representative sample of British men and women since their birth in March 1946, so far for 68 years. Diana has written extensively about the findings from this cohort study. Her latest co-edited book A life course approach to healthy ageing was published by Oxford University Press In 2014. Diana is the Director of the NSHD and of the MRC University Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL.

Taking Structure Seriously: Implications of Social Practice Approaches for Public Health Research. 3 October 2014

Dr J GreenPresenter: Judith Green London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Time: 1-2pm a light lunch will be provided 30mins beforehand

Date: Friday 3 October 2014

Venue: Sir Alwyn Williams, Level 5 Suite

Chair: Dr C Gray

to book a place:


The ‘practice turn’ in social and health research has reoriented our focus away from health behaviours, as discrete and modifiable risk factors for disease, and towards social practices. There are diverse approaches to social practice theory, but most incorporate recognition of the inter-related material, social and affective contingencies of everyday life, and the composite nature of practice. In this seminar, I first highlight some examples from research on ‘active travel’ (including cycling and using public transport) to illustrate the limits of a behavioural approach to trying to increase the amount of physical activity in the population. I then want to draw on these to explore the methodological implications of taking a social practice approach in public health research. These all entail taking the role of ‘structure’ more seriously. First, we need to be more careful about uncovering tacit knowledge; that is, the ways in which structure shapes individual desires and needs. Second, we need to incorporate a greater range of structural elements in models of how change happens. This means drawing on approaches to evaluation which can include context, rather than those which attempt to control it out. Finally, we need to be alert to the truly ‘structural’ effects of systems, such as emergent properties arising from complexity.

Tobacco - Why the world needs to be smoke free. 27 August 2014

Photo of Professor Jill PellTitle: Tobacco - Why the world needs to be smoke free.

Presenter: Professor Jill Pell, Director Institute of Health and Wellbeing.

Date: Wednesday 27 August 2014

Time: 1pm, a light lunch will be served 30mins beforehand

Venue: Sir Alwyn Williams, Level 5 Suite

Chair: Dr C Johnman

To book a place please follow the link below


It is more than 50 years since the harmful effects of tobacco were first recognised yet it remains a major threat to public health. Whilst overall prevalence is decreasing in developed countries particular sub-groups, such as young women, are resistant to change. Also, in terms of global health, the falls in prevalence observed in western countries have been more than offset by increases in highly populated, newly industrialised countries such as China. With good reason, tobacco control was chosen as the focus of the WHO’s first public health treaty. Tobacco has provided us with some of the best examples of public health success whilst, in some regards, also representing a public health failure. The talk will highlight why tobacco must remain a global priority.

Jill Pell is the Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health and Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. She is also an Honorary Consultant in Public Health in Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. She was Professor of Epidemiology at the British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Centre in Glasgow before moving to her current post.

She chairs the Population Health Sciences Group of the Medical Research Council and is a member of the Medical Research Council’s Strategy Board. She is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Her research comprises epidemiology, natural experiments and record linkage of large routine databases. Her main research interests are cardiovascular disease and tobacco control. She is a member of the CLEAN collaboration; a pan-Scotland group charged with evaluating the impact of the Scottish smoke-free legislation. She was the Principal Investigator on a number of CLEAN studies including studies evaluating the impact on cardiovascular and respiratory disease and pregnancy complications. The former study was voted, by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, to be the most important research advance of 2008. She is Deputy Director of Farr Scotland; an MRC funded centre charged with advancing the use of Big Data for research.