Clinical Director of Research
Global Diet and Physical Activity Research Group
Current work and interests
Tolullah Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, and leads the Global Diet and Physical Activity Research Group at the Unit.
Background and experience
She completed her medical training at University College London, postgraduate medical training in the UK and Australia, a Masters in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town, and her research doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She spent 11 years conducting research in South Africa, where she also completed her public health medical specialty training. She established and leads (as an Honorary Associate Professor) a Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE) at the University of Cape Town, conducting transdisciplinary urban health research focused on generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa. Research activities include Systems for Health projects: investigating how urban systems (e.g. housing, food) can be harnessed for health; and Health Systems projects: integrated heath systems responses to changing patterns of disease and multimorbidity in the context of urbanisation.
She continues this planetary health focus within the unit, focusing on meso- and macro-level determinants of diet and physical activity in the contexts of urbanisation and climate change worldwide.
She has published over 80 manuscripts in high-impact journals, and has given presentations at international academic (urban health, HIV, TB) and non-academic meetings including the United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, New York; and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos 2018.
Professional memberships and roles
Tolullah serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, the Journal of Urban Health and PLOS Global Public Health. Profiled in the Lancet journal in 2016, she is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.