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The University of Southampton
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Dr Nisreen A Alwan MBChB, MRCP, FFPH, FHEA, PGCAP, MPH, MSc, PhD

Associate Professor in Public Health

Dr Nisreen A Alwan's photo

I am an Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Southampton and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. I have a particular interest in the area of maternal and child health. I attempt to address research questions around how to optimise the health and wellbeing of women before and during pregnancy leading to better long-term health for them and their children.

My vision is to contribute knowledge towards a healthier and happier mother and child journey throughout the world.

Dr Nisreen Alwan qualified in Medicine from the University of Baghdad in Iraq, and initially pursued training in clinical medicine in the UK which led her to obtaining the membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP UK). She pursued a career in Public Health Medicine by obtaining a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Nottingham and then joining the Public Health Specialist Training Programme in the Yorkshire and Humber Region. During that time, she secured a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship based at the University of Leeds, obtaining an MSc in Statistical Epidemiology and a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology as part of that. She is a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health (FFPH).

Research interests

Nisreen’s research interests include:

  • investigating the lifecourse aetiology of non-communicable diseases and exploring trans-generational influences on their epidemiology, in particular in relation to diet and nutritional status as risk factors;
  • translating the findings from biomedical research studies which explore the early-life determinants of important public health outcomes such as childhood obesity into improvements in routine healthcare services and public health;
  • investigating the effectiveness of public health interventions in reducing non-communicable disease risk and reducing health inequalities through tackling lifecourse risk factors, and the role of web-based and smartphone tools as interventions in these studies;
  • improving dietary assessment methods to enhance the validity and reliability of exposure measurement in these relationships;
  • exploring the wider social and cultural determinants of physical and mental health in women and children;
  • preconception and interpregnancy health;

PhD research

Title of PhD thesis: "The effect of maternal iron status and intake during pregnancy on cardiovascular disease risk in the offspring"

Funding: Wellcome Trust

Other research projects

SLOPE (Studying Lifecourse Obesity PrEdictors)

The Wessex FRIEND Toolbox (Family Risk IdEntificatioN and Decision)



Research group

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Affiliate research group

Population Health Sciences Research group

Research project(s)

Partnership for Improvement & Innovation in Dietary Assessment Technology (DIET@NET)

A UK on-line 24h dietary recall tool for population studies: development, validation and practical application (myfood24)

Utilising routinely-collected individual and area-level maternal and early life data to quantify childhood obesity risk

In this project, we aim to explore whether we can predict which children are at high risk of becoming overweight and obesity at an early stage from examining attributes of their mothers, their first years of life and where the family lives.

The Wessex FRIEND Toolbox (Family Risk IdEntificatioN and Decision)

Faculty of Medicine

  • Module Lead: Epidemiology: Concepts, Analysis and Application: MSc Public HealthMSc Global Health
  • Faculty Intersectionality Champion
  • Co-chair of the mini-Athena SWAN committee for the Academic Unit of Primary Care and Population Sciences.
  • Member of the Faculty of Medicine Equality, Diversity, inclusion and Intersectionality Committee, leading the Intersectionality Portfolio area.
  • PhD supervision (currently 5 students)


  • Member of the University of Southampton Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team

National responsibilities


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Book Chapters



Module Lead: Epidemiology: Concepts, Analysis and Application: MSc Public Health & MSc Global Health

Dr Nisreen A Alwan
Primary Care and Population Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Mailpoint 805 Room AC23, Public Health Sciences and Medical Statistics, South Academic Block, Level C Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton, UK SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH/AC23/MP805

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