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The University of Southampton
Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute
0238076 4044

Professor Hazel Inskip MSc, PhD, FFPH

Professor of Statistical Epidemiology, Deputy Director, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit

Professor Hazel Inskip's photo

Hazel Inskip is Professor of Statistical Epidemiology and Deputy Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Getting the right start in life is vital, and that means even before conception. If we can get it right, we can reduce the burden of obesity and non-communicable diseases in the community

I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first class degree in Mathematics and Statistics then did an MSc and PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where I worked for six years. I subsequently worked for the International Agency for Research in Cancer (WHO) at the MRC Laboratories in The Gambia on the Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study, a trial of Hepatitis B vaccine in 124,000 infants. I moved to Southampton in 1991 to work at the MRC Unit.

Since 1998, I have been running the Southampton Women’s Survey (SWS) and contributing to and coordinating some of the resulting intervention studies that are now on-going. The SWS is an internationally-renowned cohort study, which, uniquely in the western world, recruited young women who were not pregnant and characterised them in detail before following up those who subsequently became pregnant. Some 12,583 women were recruited, of whom 3,158 went on to deliver a live-born infant. The children have been followed up regularly. The 11-13 year follow-up of the children started in August 2013 and the 17-19 year follow-up is being piloted.

Findings from the SWS have led to intervention studies assessing measures to improve public health. Notably, (1) we conducted a trial (MAVIDOS) of maternal vitamin D supplementation and showed that it improved bone health of the baby if it was born in the winter months.  The children are continuing to be followed-up (2) the observation that maternal health behaviours have a profound influence on the diets and health of the children has led to developing a ‘Healthy Conversation Skills’ training for staff in Southampton SureStart Children’s Centres, and an initiative for teenagers in schools known as LifeLab, based at Southampton General Hospital. LifeLab has been extended in EACH-B which I co-lead with Professor Mary Barker to including Healthy Conversation Skills for teachers and a digital app for the school students to use to encourage them to improve their health behaviours. The effects of vitamin D supplementation and/or Healthy Conversation Skills are being assessed in the SPRING trial, a factorial trial in pregnant women in Southampton.


BSc Mathematics and Statistics, University of Edinburgh (1978)
MSc Medical Statistics, University of London (1979)
PhD Epidemiology, University of London (1985)
FFPH Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health

Appointments held

2003 - Deputy Director MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit , University of Southampton

2007 - Chair in Statistical Epidemiology , University of Southampton

1991- Senior statistician , MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit

1986-1991 Statistician/Programmer (and from 1990 Programme Leader) for the Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study.  Employed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO)

1979-1986 Research Fellow (and from 1985 Lecturer) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London

Research interests

My research interests focus on the influence of health and health behaviours before and during pregnancy on the development of the offspring. I run a large cohort study, the Southampton Women’s Survey (SWS), which recruited women when not pregnant and we are following up their children (now aged 12 to 20 years). We have developed various intervention studies based at least in part on SWS findings, with the aim of improving preconception and pregnancy health behaviours, body composition and health in parents.  A particular interest is in adolescent health as teenagers will become parents of the next generation.

For further details about the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit please visit the MRC website and twitter @MRC_LEU. My personal twitter account is @HazelInskip.

Research group

Human Development and Health

Affiliate research group

Human Development and Physiology

Postgraduate student supervision


1997 Catherine Linaker (PhD)
2004 Sarah Crozier (PhD)
2005 Muhammed Kassim Javaid (PhD)
2016 Georgia Ntani (PhD)
2017 Camille Parsons (PhD)


2018- Chandni Jacob (PhD)

Annual supervision of MSc dissertations for the MSc in Statistics with Applications in Medicine

Personal Awards/Achievements

President of the Society of Social Medicine, 2019-2020
Vice Chancellor’s Award for International Engagement – EpiGen Global Research Consortium, 2017
Vice Chancellor’s Award for Collegiality – LifeLab team, 2016
Honorary Life Membership of the Society of Social Medicine, 2016-
Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, 2009-

National and international responsibilities

Member of MRC/ESRC/Wellcome Trust Population Research Resource Steering Group, 2019-
Member of the Strategic Advisory Board for the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), 2019-
Member of MRC’s Multimorbidity Panel, 2019
Co-opted member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group on Population Health, 2018-2019
Member of MRC’s Nutrition Research Partnership Collaborative Awards Expert Review Panel, 2018-2019
Invited member of the MRC-PHE Centre International Scientific Advisory Board, 2018
President Elect of the Society of Social Medicine, 2018
Chair – International Scientific Advisory Board for the COSMOS Study, 2016-
Chair International Scientific Advisory Committee for the MRC Biostatistics Unit, 2016
Chair of ESRC/MRC Life Study Audit Panel, 2015
Member of Scientific Steering Committee, CDC Ebola Prevention Vaccine Trial, 2015-2017
Member of the CLOSER leadership team, 2013-
Deputy Chair – MRC’s Population and Systems Medicine Board, 2013-2017
Chair – ENABLE London Steering Committee, 2013-2018
Member of the ARUK Clinical Studies Subcommittee, 2012-2016
Acting vice-chair of the NIHR Clinician Scientist Panel, 2011
Member of the MRC’s Cohort Strategy Review Group, 2011-2017
Member of the MRC’s Population and Systems Medicine Board, 2011-2017
Member of the Arthritis Research UK Trials Progress Review Committee, 2009-2012
International Editorial Board member Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 2009-
Member of Southampton Children and Young People’s Trust Board, 2008-2012
Member of MRC’s Clinical Training and Career Development Panel, 2007-2011
Member of the NHS South Central Research for Patient Benefit Committee, 2006-2011
Member of MRC’s Consultation on Personal Data Steering Group, 2006-2010
Member of the Investment Subcommittee for the MRC Pension Trust, 2006-2013
Director of the MRC Pension Trust (appointment renewed by MRC Council 2006, 2011), 2001-2016
Statistical advisor for the British Medical Journal, 1999-2008

MATH 6033 : Annual lectures for the Epidemiological Methods module of the MSc in Statistics with Applications in Medicine; previously module coordinator.

BM5 : Occasional lectures on the Southampton Women’s Survey

BIOL 3044 : Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Physiology: Seminar session

Annual teaching on the Epidemiology for Clinicians course for external participants, and previous organiser of the course.

Professor Hazel Inskip
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital Southampton SO16 6YD
Tel: +44 (0)23 8076 4044

Room Number : SGH/MRC/MP95

Facsimile: (023) 8070 4021

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