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Principal Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

Amy Ahern is a Principal Research Associate and Programme Leader for the Prevention of Diabetes and Related Metabolic Disorders in High Risk Groups. Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions to prevent and treat obesity and diabetes, with an emphasis on translating understanding of the psychology of eating behaviour and weight management into scalable cost-effective interventions that have sustained effects on behaviour and improve mental and physical health. Amy leads a portfolio of experimental, observational, and qualitative studies, including large randomised controlled trials with long-term follow up.

Amy is Chief Investigator on the NPRI-funded WRAP trial, which evaluates the clinical and cost effectiveness of referral to commercial open-group behavioural weight loss programmes, which are delivered by trained lay people in large groups in community venues at relatively low cost. She is also joint Principal Investigator on an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research that will develop and evaluate scalable behavioural weight management programmes for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes This programme of research includes the GLoW trial and the development and feasibility evaluation of a new acceptance-based behavioural programme to support weight loss maintenance (SWiM).

Background and experience
Before joining the unit, Amy was awarded a PhD in Psychology from the University of Liverpool in 2008 and went on to complete postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford Centre for Research on Eating Disorders (2008-2009) and the MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit (2009-2016).


  • –present
    Principal Research Associate, University of Cambridge