Senior Investigator Scientist
MRC Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group
Current work and interests
Gail is a Senior investigator Scientist in the MRC Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group (NBH) led by Professor Ann Prentice. The NBH Group is currently hosted by the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on studies conducted in the UK, The Gambia, Uganda and Bangladesh.
Her research interests include:
- The influences of dietary (including supplementation), lifestyle, body composition, and HIV on bone health
- Health implications of a low calcium intake and/or low vitamin D status
- Physiology and nutritional requirements of pregnancy and lactation
- Breast milk composition
- Public health nutrition
- The nutrition transition
- Dietary intake methodology
- Aetiology of rickets
- Human energy and macronutrient requirements
Professional membership and roles
Gail is an Honorary Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She teaches regularly on MSc courses Nutrition for Global Health (LSHTM) and Nutritional Medicine (University of Surrey), and mentors a team in India working on indigenous foods. She has published over 150 papers and book chapters, and has edited two journals and two books. She has been a member of trial steering groups, was co-opted onto the NICE Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee and was a member of the Programme Development Group on Maternal and Child Nutrition, She is currently on the NICE Expert Committee for Guidelines. She has also served in a number of roles for the Nutrition Society and regularly participates in Cambridge Science Week and other public engagement events.
Background and experience
2003-present, MRC Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group, Cambridge and The Gambia (formerly based at MRC Human Nutrition Research, Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge)
1999-2003, British Nutrition Foundation, London. Knowledge transfer and public engagement activities in public health nutrition for a wide range of audiences and stakeholders; Editor of Nutrition Bulletin and Editor of Task Force report on Plants: diet and health (both Blackwell Publishing); Action Leader for health professionals, and UK National Network Leader for Flair-Flow Europe 4 (5th Framework Concerted Action project producing tailored information about EU-funded food and nutrition projects disseminated to health professionals, food producers, and consumer groups in 24 countries; national and local radio, TV and print media interviews.
1983-1999, Medical Research Council Dunn Nutrition Unit, Cambridge. 1983 Assessment of micronutrient status of adults, children, and infants in the UK and The Gambia. 1984-1999 Mechanisms of human energy and macronutrient balance regulation under free-living and experimentally imposed conditions (including pregnancy, lactation, obesity, exercise, under- and-overfeeding) using whole-body calorimetry, stable isotopes (2H, 18O, 13C), long-stay metabolic facilities, body composition methodologies (total body water, body volume, DXA, bioimpedance, anthropometry), weighed dietary records, heart rate and activity monitoring.
1982 BSc (hons) Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia
1999 DPhil The regulation of human energy balance: insights from whole-body calorimetry and doubly-labelled water measurements (thesis based on selected published work), University of Ulster