Prevention programme

Current/previous studentships in the programme:
  • Modifiable lifestyle factors and cardiovascular risk in high risk populations
  • Pragmatic approaches for identifying and treating individuals at high risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Optimising cardiovascular risk management early in the diabetes disease trajectory
  • The impact of personalised risk information about physical activity and risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Population strategies to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes
Examples of possible future topics for doctoral research:

Identifying the determinants of long-term behaviour change and their impact on health outcomes
One of the key challenges for chronic disease prevention is the lack of sustained effects of interventions on habitual behaviours and disease risk. To improve the effectiveness of interventions, we need to understand the multi-level determinants of long-term behaviour change and health outcomes. Doctoral research in this area could include evidence synthesis, secondary data analysis, and qualitative studies. Quantitative data is available from a number of large observational studies and randomised controlled trials, with longitudinal data, objective clinical measurements, and detailed measures of behavioural, psychological, social and environmental factors. Many include objective measures of diet and physical activity. Potential topics include (but are not limited to): facilitators and barriers to weight loss maintenance, determinants and consequences of physical activity among older people; the impact of health behaviours on cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.

Development and evaluation of scalable individual-level interventions for primary and secondary prevention
Much of our research focuses on the systematic development and evaluation of behavioural interventions to prevent chronic disease. We focus on individual-level interventions that can be delivered at scale in the population. We are undertaking a number of randomised controlled trials which present opportunities for secondary data analysis of what works, for whom, how, and in what context. Doctoral research in this area might involve secondary analysis of existing datasets, evidence synthesis and qualitative research. There may be opportunities to be involved in primary data collection and/or the development of new interventions.
For more information about our ongoing research, the research team, and the datasets we use our research group page.

For further information about PhD opportunities, please contact Prof Simon Griffin ProfGP@medschl.cam.ac.uk, or Dr Amy Ahern Amy.Ahern@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk