Director of Research in Global Public Health Research
Nigel Unwin leads the Unit’s Global Public Health Research initiatives, and is also visiting Professor of Population Health Sciences at the Chronic Disease Research Centre, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, University of the West Indies.
Nigel is a public health physician, with track record in studying the burden, prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Much of this work has been in low and middle income country settings. His academic career began at Newcastle University, UK, in 1993, and he’s worked with the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization, including 2 years as medical officer in Geneva. In August 2010 he moved to the University of West Indies as Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology where, at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, he’s helped to develop graduate public health training, including a new MPH and PhD programme and research addressing the prevention and control of diabetes and CVD.
From September 2014 he moved to the Chronic Disease Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, to a new chair of Population Health Sciences, and in November 2014 he joined the Unit as Strategic Lead for Global Public Health Research. He moved back to the UK in April 2016, but continues at the University of the West Indies as a visiting Professor.
Current research activities include, but are not limited to: investigating the relationships between local food production and nutrition and health with partners in the Caribbean and Pacific; establishing a research network (Global Diet and Activity Research, GDAR) with partners in Africa and the Caribbean to investigate and intervene on the upstream determinants of diet and physical activity; collaborating with historians to investigate the evolution of food environments in urban centres in the Caribbean (specifically in Kingston, Jamaica and Port au Prince, Haiti) and how this has contributed to the current epidemiology of nutritionally related diseases; using systems thinking and modelling to engage with stakeholders and inform the design and evaluation of cross-sectoral interventions aimed at the prevention of non-communicable diseases.