Marko Tainio

MarkoTanioFeb16-2 Senior Research Associate (Health Impact Assessment)

UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR)
MRC Epidemiology Unit
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge, CB2 0QQ

Research area and background

Marko Tainio studies the linkage between public health policies and public health using Health Impact Assessment (HIA) modelling. Since joining the CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Unit in autumn 2013 he has focused on active transport (walking, cycling) and how increases in cycling and walking will impact health when physical activity, air pollution and injury risks are combined. This research has included for example updating of the Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling Tool (ITHIM), developed originally by Dr James Woodcock. Earlier Marko has studied health effects of air pollution (especially fine particulate matter, PM2.5) and other environmental health factors. In coming years the focus will be on developing HIA methods for physical activity & diet.

Before joining CEDAR Marko was Assistant Professor in the Systems Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland (2009-2013) and researcher in the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland (2002-2011). In summer 2006 he participated Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP) on the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria (2006). During his studies he was an exchange student in the Wageningen University, the Netherlands.



Health Impact Assessment, Public Health Modelling, Integrated assessment, System Analysis, Monte-Carlo simulation, Intake fraction (iF), Risk Assessment, Risk Analysis, Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA), Life-Table, Multistate Life Table (MSLT), Disability-adjusted life-years (DALY), Elicitation of expert opinion.

Pathways/risk factors:

Air pollution (fine particulate matter, PM2.5), physical activity, sedentary behaviour, diet, traffic injuries, noise,


Docent (Environmental Health Impact Assessment, University of Eastern Finland, Finland), PhD (Environmental Health, University of Eastern Finland, Finland), MSc (Environmental Science, University of Eastern Finland, Finland).


  • All models are wrong but some are useful.” According to Wikipedia first published by George Box in his 1976 paper in the Journal of the American Statistical Association.
  • An approximate answer to the right question is worth a great deal more than a precise answer to the wrong question.” John Tukey. First (?) published in The future of data analysis article.


 Selected key publications (from newest to oldest):

 Current and previous grants

  • Environmental Health Effects of Local Transportation in Warsaw. Duration: 2012-2014. Role in the project: Principal investigator (personal grant). Funded by: Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland.
  • Transportation, air pollution and physical activities; an integrated health risk assessment programme of climate change and urban policies (TAPAS). Duration: 2009 – 2013. Role in the project: Coordinator of Warsaw work package. Funded by: Coca Cola Foundation.
  • Integrated assessment of Health Risks of Environmental Stressors in Europe (INTARESE); Health and Environment Integrated Methodology and Toolbox for Scenario Assessment (HEIMTSA). Duration: 2005-2011. Role in the projects: Supporting investigator. Funded by: European Union.
  • An integrated model for evaluating the emissions, atmospheric dispersion and risks caused by ambient air fine particulate matter (KOPRA); Health risks from nearby sources of fine particulate matter: domestic combustion and road traffic (PILTTI). Duration: 2002-2008. Role in the project: Principal investigator. Funded by: the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Ministry of the Environment, Finland.