Growth and Development, Physical Activity Epidemiology
Has now left the Unit
Work and interests
Dr Alessandra was a visiting researcher with the Growth and Development and Physical Activity Epidemiology programmes, based at the Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU) in Soweto, South Africa. Alessandra is currently working on a large scale, long term, multi-country preconception intervention aimed at reducing childhood obesity. Her research focus is on physical activity measurement, determinants and correlates. She is particularly focused on movement behaviours (physical activity, sleep, and sedentary behavior) in the first two years of life.
Alessandra’s postdoctoral research focused on measuring physical activity levels in the first 1000 days of life (during pregnancy, postpartum, and infancy), and examining the consequent effects on growth, development, adiposity and later life health in collaboration with researchers at the MRC Epidemiology Unit.
Background and experience
Alessandra has a background in exercise physiology, and completed her PhD in the School of Physiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she examined the effects of physical activity on disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. She also has a keen interest in bone health, body composition, and sedentary physiology throughout the lifecourse.
Alessandra has received funding from the Claude Leon Foundation and the Centre of Excellence in Human Development, as well as the National Research Foundation and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust.