Dr Anna Pearce
- Senior Research Fellow (MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit)
Anna is a Research Fellow in the Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health programme of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and co-leads a workstream on Reducing Health Inequalities. She joined the Unit in September 2017, with a Wellcome Trust University Award to examine why children from less advantaged backgrounds have worse health than their more advantaged peers and what might be done to prevent this. Broadly speaking, Anna's research involves the application of causal methods (including causal mediation methods and natural experiments) for understanding health inequalities. In her Wellcome Trust funded work she is drawing upon linked health records to create an 'administrative cohort' of Scottish children to examine three questions crucial to the reduction of child health inequalities: What factors lie on the causal pathway between socio-economic circumstances and children’s health and which are most likely to reduce health inequalities? Can we better predict which population sub-groups are most likely to benefit from additional support? To what extent might early years’ interventions, if rolled out under different scenarios of effectiveness, eligibility and uptake, reduce health inequalities?
Anna has degrees in Geography & Population Studies (BSc), Demography & Health (MSc), and Child Public Health (PhD). Between 2004 and 2017 she was based at the UCL Institute of Child Health, where she carried out a range of research relating to child health inequalities, primarily using cohort data (e.g. the Millennium Cohort Study, Growing Up in Australia, the Southampton Women’s Survey) and with a focus on informing policy. Anna has collaborated with colleagues from the Public Health Research Consortium and the Children's Policy Research Unit, and spent twelve months working alongside the Better Start team (lead by Professor John Lynch, University of Adelaide), during a three-year MRC post-doctoral fellowship.
Anna is a Co-I of the UKPRP Maternal and Child Health network, MatCHNet, Honorary Treasurer the Society for Social Medicine, Honorary Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Child Health, and Chair of the Unit Public Engagement and Communications delivery group.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Quinquennial Funding for Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
Medical Research Council
2020 - 2025
- Predicting the impacts of universal basic income on mental health inequalities in the UK population: a microsimulation model
2019 - 2022
- Harnessing cross-country administrative data to evaluate national policy impacts on maternal, infant and child health and health inequalities-MatCHNet
Medical Research Council
2019 - 2023
- Improving life chances & reducing child health inequalities: harnessing the untapped potential of existing data
2017 - 2022
Elaine Robertson: Parenting and childcare in the early years: Barriers, supports, and consequences for child health inequalities in Scotland
Michal Schimonovich: Evidence synthesis for establishing causality in population health
Amrit Kaur Purba: Social media use in young people: what are the consequences for health, wellbeing and inequalities?
Rachel Thomson: Predicting the impacts of universal basic income on mental health inequalities in the UK population: a microsimulation model
Yi Lu. Ethnic differences in the trajectories of physical growth in contemporary children in the United Kingdom: development and early life influences (UCL).
Francesca Solmi. Eating disorders, behaviours and diagnoses: epidemiology and comorbidity in the general population (UCL).
Within the University of Glasgow, Anna teaches on the MPH Advanced Epidemiology module and the Wellcome Trust Integrative Infection Biology programme PhD scheme. She carries out lectures on life course epidemiology and child health inequalities in her capacity as Honorary Lecturer at University College London. She has also run a number of internal and external workshops on causal methods and mediation analysis for understanding and reducing health inequalities.
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 2018: (Scottish Crucible member)
- 2017 - 2022: Wellcome Trust University Award Fellowship
- 2013 - 2015: MRC Population Health Scientist fellowship
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- : Wellcome Trust Social Science and Bioethics interview committee, 2020
- 2014 - 2017: Journal of Child Health Care
Professional & learned societies
- 2016: Honorary Treasurer, Society for Social Medicine and Population Health
Selected international presentations
- 2019: European Public Health Conference pre-conference one-day workshop: Demystifying causal inference and mediation methods for public health researchers (Marseille, France)
- 2019: Society for Social Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting:Workshop on public engagement for population health researchers (Cork, Ireland)
- 2016: International Network for Research on Inequalities in Child Health annual meeting. Will early years’ interventions to improve cognitive and/or ‘non-cognitive’ skills reduce inequality? (Barcelona, Spain)
- 2015: South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.Barriers to childhood immunisation in Australian children. (Adelaide, Australia)
- 2020: International Population Data Linkage Network conference. Predicting childhood overweight in linked administrative data: are there lessons for targeting early years interventions? (Virtual)
- 2018: European Public Health Conference workshop presentation: How might improvements to maternal mental wellbeing reduce inequalities in child health in the UK? A simulation of hypothetical interventions using a causal mediation method. (Ljubljana, Slovenia)