MRC Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group
Current work and interests
Sarah is a visiting scientist at the MRC Epidemiology Unit whose research interests lie across the fields of nutrition and global health. She has a particular interest in understanding dietary and lifestyle transition in rural and urban contexts, as well linkages between the two. She aims to conduct research which contributes to policy and the development, implementation and evaluation of food and nutrition strategies which seek to address the global challenge of nutrition-related chronic disease in low income settings.
Sarah also works across several projects in NBH, assisting with research studies in The Gambia, with a particular focus on bone densitometry and dietary data. She has developed new collaborations in the University of Cambridge and the MRC Gambia Unit, and is a co-applicant in: ‘MillNETi’ – Millets and Nutritional Enhancement Traits for Iron bioavailability; a BBSRC (GCRF) project, funded under ‘Food and nutrition research for health in the developing world: bioavailability & nutrient content’ (PI: Prof Howard Griffiths, 2019-2021).
Her research interests include:
- Global health
- Nutrition transition
- Sub Saharan Africa
- Rural-urban linkages, food remittances, migration and urbanisation
- Public health promotion and prevention of NCDs at multiple levels
- Nutrition and bone health and body composition
- Sustainability, food security and food systems that influence food choice
- Family and community relationships, social capital and networks
- Nutrition and health literacy, communication strategies for behaviour change
- Inter/cross/transdisciplinary research to tackle complex, multifaceted food, nutrition and health research questions
- Qualitative and mixed methods
- Translational and applied research
- Co-creation and participatory methods
Background and experience
Sarah completed her first degree in Human Nutrition before receiving an MRC PhD studentship at MRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, to undertake her doctoral project, ‘Bone health in Gambian women: impact and implications of rural-to-urban migration and the nutrition transition.’ She was a member of the former MRC Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group (NBH) led by Professor Ann Prentice at the Unit.
During her PhD, Sarah developed an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to research, and has developed her skills in this area through involvement in the Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre and Global Challenges Strategic Research Initiative in the University.
In 2016, she undertook a 4-week course in qualitative and mixed methods for international health, through the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp and was also awarded MRC Flexible funding to undertake a 5-month interdisciplinary placement at Centre of Diet Activity Research (CEDAR), University of East Anglia, Norwich (April 2017). This included working on a mixed-methods evaluation of a community-based physical activity intervention in England with Professor Andy Jones.
She is a member of the European Nutrition Leadership Platform, the UK Nutrition Society and was invited to attend the Rank Prize Mini Symposium 2018 “The impact of Ethnicity on Diet-Related Diseases”.
2018 PhD Biological Science, University of Cambridge
2011 BSc (hons) Nutrition (1st), Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh