The University of Southampton

Dr Kate A Ward PhD, BSc(Hons)

Associate Professor

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I am an Associate Professor at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton and an Honorary Senior Scientist at MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory in Cambridge. My research focusses on muscle, bone and joint interactions and the use of imaging as a biomarker to study whole body physiology. My current work aims to understand the definition, development and maintenance of, a healthy musculoskeletal system to ensure healthy ageing and how environment, particularly nutrition and physical activity, may impact muscle bone and joint interactions. My work and collaborations focus on the UK and in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly The Gambia.

I have been a researcher in bone physiology for over twenty years, and started my research career in 1999 at the University of Manchester and spent eight years at MRC EWL in Cambridge before joining Southampton.

I am Secretary and a Trustee of the Bone Research Society UK (BRS), served as an Ordinary member of the Committee and was a co-founder of the now established BRS special interest group for Muscle and Bone. I have worked for over 5 years as a member of the National Osteoporosis Society advisory committees serving on; Research Grants Committee, Conference Program Committee, Nutrition and Lifestyle Forum and the Vitamin D and Exercise working groups. I was a member of the International Society of Clinical Densitometry Paediatric Task Force in 2007 and 2014.  

I have authored 91 peer-reviewed publications and 11 book chapters.  To date, I have supervised 8 PhD students and 2 MPhil students, and mentored several post-doctoral scientists. I am a member of the Editorial boards of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, JBMR Plus, Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions and Frontiers in Bone Endocrinology, and act as a peer reviewer for many other journals.

I have given invited lectures/ Meet the Professor session’s at the following meetings: NOS; BRS; International Conference for Children’s Bone Health; Nutrition and Growth; Rank Foundation Vitamin D Mechanisms Symposium; All Parties Parliamentary Group – Implementing Vitamin D guidelines; International Society for Clinical Densitometry Paediatric Guidelines Task Force Meeting.  She regularly Chairs sessions at the Annual meetings of NOS, BRS and International Childrens Conference on Bone Health.



BSc(Hons) Biomedical Technology, Sheffield Hallam University, 1995

PhD, University of Leeds, 1999


Appointments held:

2008-2015 Senior Research Scientist, Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, UK

2008-2011 Honorary scientist, University of Manchester

1999-2008 Senior Scientist (04-08), Research Associate (99-04),  Clinical Radiology, Imaging Science & Biomedical Engineering,  University of Manchester

1993-1994 Research assistant, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Manchester




Research group

Human Development and Health Academic Units

Affiliate research group

Honorary Senior Scientist, Nutrition and Bone Health, MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge, UK



Dr Kate A Ward
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, SO16 6YD


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