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Professor Janis Baird MBBS, PhD, FFPH

Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health

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Janis Baird is Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

My research aims to improve population health by taking a behavioural systems approach. This means that I consider all of the influences on people’s health behaviours, not just at individual level but also within families, communities and the environment.

Janis Baird is Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton. Her research focuses on the translation of evidence of the developmental origins of health and disease into public health policy and practice. Currently, Janis leads an MRC programme focused on improving cardiometabolic health across the lifecourse. Her research incorporates epidemiological studies examining the factors and predict cariodmetabolic health, and the mechanisms that link them with later disease, and complex intervention studies which aim to improve health and nutrition before conception and during pregnancy, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities.

Janis has contributed to the development of evidence-based practice, both locally through effective knowledge translation, and nationally through committee work including a leadership role at NICE. Locally, she works closely with colleagues at the city council to influence plans for obesity prevention. Nationally, she has been a core member of a NICE Public Health Advisory Committee since 2016 and, in 2018, was appointed as vice chair of the committee. As well as having extensive experience of systematic review, she also has an interest in evaluation of complex interventions. She led the development of the 2015 Medical Research Council guidance on process evaluation of complex intervention studies.

Janis graduated in medicine from Cardiff in 1987. She initially trained in General Practice before entering Public Health Medicine in 1993. She was a research fellow at the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit (EEU) between 1994 and 1997 during which time she carried out her doctoral studies exploring the environmental and genetic origins of blood pressure and glucose tolerance in a cohort of adult twins. Having completed specialist training in Public Health Medicine she returned to the MRC EEU in 2001. In 2002 she was awarded an MRC Special Training Fellowship in Health of the Public Research during which she carried out a series of linked systematic reviews to explore the association of infant growth with health and well-being across the life course and to assess the implications of this evidence for public health policy.


MB BS, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff (1987)
DCH Royal College of Paediatrics (1992)
DRCOG, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (1993)
MFPH, Faculty of Public Health (2001)
PhD Epidemiology, University of Southampton (2001)
FFPH, Faculty of Public Health (2007)

Appointments held

2017 to present Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology and Honorary Consultant in Public Health, University of Southampton, University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton General Hospital
2014-17 Associate Professor of Public Health Medicine and Honorary Consultant in Public Health, University of Southampton, University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton General Hospital
2012-14 Senior Lecturer in Public Health Medicine and Honorary Consultant in Public Health, University of Southampton, University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton General Hospital
2006-11 Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine, University of Southampton, University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton General Hospital
2002-06 MRC Special Training Fellow in Health Service and Health of the Public Research and Honorary Consultant in Public Health, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton General Hospital


Research interests

Affiliated research groups

Public Health
Food Environment Special Interest Group

My research takes a behavioural systems approach to improving cardio-metabolic health across the lifecourse, with an emphasis on preconception and pregnancy. The Southampton Women’s Survey and our other observational studies at the MRC LEU underpin our programme of research allowing us to understand the factors that influence health and the mechanisms that link them with disease. This enables the development of complex interventions that aim to improve health behaviours before conception and during pregnancy.

Postgraduate Student supervision
Current supervision

Ravita Taheem, University of Southampton 2018-
Monique Campbell, University of Southampton 2018-
Chris Bretherton University of Oxford, PhD 2019-
Emma Phelps, University of Oxford, post-doc 2016-
Personal Tutor for five undergraduate medical students

Past supervision

Ilse Bloom, University of Southampton PhD 2015 –2019
Taylor Rose, University of Southampton PhD 2016-2019
Rachael Marsh, MSc in Public Health 2017
Taylor Rose, MSc in Public Health 2015
Christina Black PhD 2014
Ilse Bloom, MSc Public Health Nutrition 2013
Beatrice Paganini MSc Public Health Nutrition 2011
Ross Kenny MSc Public Health Nutrition 201
Jeanette Keyte MSc Public Health Nutrition 2008


Research group

Human Development and Health

Affiliate research group

Human Development and Physiology

National and International responsibilities

NIHR Public Health Research Programme 2019-
Society for Social Medicine Senior Career Researcher Committee, Chair 2019-
NICE Public Health Advisory Committees (PHAC) vice-chair of PHAC C, 2018-
Expert Adviser NICE Centre for Guidelines 2017-2019
Archives of Public Health, section editor methodology 2016-18
NICE Public Health Advisory Committees (PHAC) core member of PHAC C, 2016-
NICE Public Health Advisory Group on safe sunlight exposure 2013-15
University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine Athena Swan Committee 2015-
Human Development and Health Athena Swan sub-committee 2016-
NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Regional Advisory Committee for the South Central and South East region 2014-2018
Chair of MRC PHSRN Process Evaluation in Complex Interventions Guideline Development Group 2011-14
International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity 2015-
Society for Social Medicine, committee member 2012-15
Member of Faculty of Public Health Child Health Interest Group 2002-
Member of NCCHTA college of experts
Archives of Public Health - member of editorial board 2011-
NIHR peer reviewer 2008-
Co-author of BMA report: Early Nutrition and Lifelong Health 2009
NICE consultation on maternal and child nutrition – Faculty of Public Health representative September 2005
FPH annual scientific meeting – organisation of child public health conference sessions (peer review and abstract selection) 2003-06
Member of Health Development Agency low birth weight reference group 2002-03.
WHO advisory group on nutrition and low birth weight – rapporteur for scientific meeting 2003.

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BM5 Year 4 Research for Health and Medicine
lecturing on systematic review and meta-analysis

MSc in Public Health
lecturing on systematic review and meta-analysis

PGT Research Skills and Statistics Module:
Lecturing on systematic review

BM 4/5:
Finals annual marking of critical appraisal exam

  • Selector undergraduate medical students – BM4, BM5 and BM6.
  • Postgraduate teaching and supervision – MSc Public Health, PhD students, Public Health Registrars.
  • Epidemiology for Clinicians – lecturer and facilitator.
  • Supervisor – currently two PhDs and two postdoctoral students
  • Educational supervisor for Wessex Deanery
  • Mentor for Faculty of Medicine – three undergraduate medical students.
  • Member of Faculty of Medicine postgraduate mentoring scheme.
  • Mentor for Society for Social Medicine.
  • ARCP clinical academic assessor since 2012.
  • PhD and MD examiner
Professor Janis Baird
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit University of Southampton Mailpoint 95 Southampton General Hospital SO16 6YD


Room Number : SGH/MRC/MP95

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