Senior Investigator Scientist
Current work and interests
Amy Ahern is a Senior Investigator Scientist and Deputy Programme Leader for the Prevention of Diabetes and Related Metabolic Disorders group. Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of behavioural interventions for weight management in adults, to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes and related risk factors. Much of this work focuses on increasing the scalability of effective behavioural programmes by using trained non-specialists and eHealth technology to deliver them. Amy is also interested in understanding more about the determinants of weight loss and weight loss maintenance in order to improve the long term efficacy of existing behavioural programmes and to develop new ones.
Amy is Chief Investigator on the NPRI-funded WRAP trial, which evaluates the clinical and cost effectiveness of referral to commercial open-group behavioural weight loss programmes, which are delivered by trained lay people in large groups in community venues at relatively low cost. She is also joint Principal Investigator on an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research that will develop and evaluate scalable behavioural weight management programmes for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes This programme of research includes the GLoW trial and the development of a new acceptance-based behavioural programme for weight loss maintenance.
Background and experience
Amy was awarded a PhD in Psychology from the University of Liverpool in 2008 and went on to complete postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford Centre for Research on Eating Disorders (2008-2009) and the MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit (2009-2016). She joined the Prevention group as a Visiting Worker in 2014, and was appointed as Senior Research Associate in 2016.
Amy is the Treasurer of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity and co-chair of the East of England regional group. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool Institute of Psychology Health and Society.
- AL Ahern, GM Wheeler, PN Aveyard, EJ Boyland, JCG Halford, AP Mander, et al. Extended and standard duration weight-loss programme referrals for adults in primary care (WRAP): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2017, 389 (10085), 2214-2225
- AL Ahern, P Aveyard, EJ Boyland, JCG Halford, SA Jebb. Inequalities in the uptake of weight management interventions in a pragmatic trial: an observational study in primary care. Br J Gen Pract 2016, 66 (645), e258-e263
- JT Allen, SR Cohn, & AL Ahern. Experiences of a commercial weight-loss programme after primary care referral: a qualitative study. Br J Gen Pract 2016, 65 (633), e248-e255
- SA Jebb, AL Ahern, AD Olson, LM Aston, C Holzapfel, J Stoll, et al. Primary care referral to a commercial provider for weight loss treatment versus standard care: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2011, 378 (9801), 1485-1492