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Ailsa Welch

Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology, University of East Anglia

Ailsa Welch is a Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology leading research into the effects of nutrition on aging, based at Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia. A particular focus is on understanding the protective factors in diet for musculoskeletal health, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, fractures, and frailty. Ailsa’s research aims to understand the effects of micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) and diet quality (dietary patterns, fatty acids, protein & acid-base load) on musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health. More recent research is in developing proxy measures for identifying malnutrition in large health care databases with the aim of earlier identification of malnutrition in populations.

Ailsa leads or chairs a number of committees. She chaired the ‘Nutrition & Lifestyle Forum’ and was a member of the ‘Clinical Scientific Committee' of The Royal Osteoporosis Society (2013-2019). She is a member of the National Malnutrition Task Force, and of the management group of the Norwich Epidemiology Centre. Ailsa is a State Registered Dietitian.

Ailsa has 221 peer-reviewed published journal articles. Citations: 21, 596. h-index: 82 (Scopus 2023) Top 1% world researcher (Thompson Reuters, 2014).

Prior to joining UEA, in 2007, Ailsa was based at the University of Cambridge where she developed dietary assessment methodologies and nutritional biomarkers for the European Prospective Investigations into Cancer and Nutrition Study. She also worked at the Royal Society of Chemistry compiling the UK food composition databases and was at King’s College London, based in Somalia and Nigeria. Ailsa is a State Registered Dietitian.

Research Interests:
Nutrition and musculoskeletal health (osteoporosis, fractures, sarcopenia & age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function)
Diet and aging
Dietary methodology
Dietary fat and protein composition, micronutrients, dietary patterns and acid-base load
Public health nutrition


  • –present
    Professor, University of East Anglia