Skip to main content

UK – The National Center for Social Research (NatCen) has appointed Dr Laura Johnson to lead its new Center for Health Research.

The new center will bring together the organization’s biomedical inquiry and health and social care policy teams, using a variety of methods to stimulate research exploration and function as an interface for research in the health sciences and in social science that works for society.

Led by Johnson, (illustrated) the center will build on NatCen’s long history of conducting research that informs government policy and advances understanding of the nation’s health. This includes data collection and analysis work for major studies such as the Health Survey for England, the Scottish Health Survey, the National Food and Nutrition Survey, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Child and Young People’s Mental Health Survey, National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. and, most recently, the investigation into coronavirus infections.

Johnson joins NatCen from the University of Bristol where she was an associate professor in public health nutrition. A leading nutritional epidemiologist, Laura’s previous research focuses on the role of food and dietary habits in the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

She brings her expertise leading the innovation of passive dietary assessment methods, including wearable devices and biomarkers, as well as extensive experience in studying the range of biological, social and psychological factors that influence food intake and appetite control.

NatCen Chief Executive Guy Goodwin said, “NatCen has a long tradition of leadership in health-related research innovation. Our experienced researchers, nurses and biomedical investigators carry out some of the most complex and high-profile biomedical investigations in the country.

“We will now enhance our portfolio of health and social protection and biomedical work policies with a greater focus on the health legacy of Covid-19, health inequalities and behavior change, global health , social care research and through innovative use of data and analysis. Laura brings considerable leadership strength and expertise to the field and I am delighted that she is leading our new Center for Health Research.