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Senior Research Associate in Behavioural Epidemiology, University of Cambridge

Dr. Andrea Smith is a Senior Research Associate at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge. By background, Andrea is a mixed-methods public health scientist and now contributes to the Behavioural Epidemiology and Interventions in Young People Research Group. Andrea’s research focuses on studying the health behaviours of young people, particularly the interplay between diet, eating behaviours, physical activity, and mental/physical health during adolescence. At present, Andrea is involved in developing digital family-centred interventions to promote health behaviour change. She is also a College Postdoctoral Research Associate at Jesus College, Cambridge.

Andrea holds a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Sussex and an MPhil in Public Health from the University of Cambridge. She joined the Obesity Research Group in the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL in 2014 to pursue an MRC-funded PhD on the genetic and environmental aetiology of dietary preferences, and relationships with adiposity in young adults. From 2017-2020, Andrea worked as a postdoc in the NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit at UCL where she led on research on various studies into the prevention of childhood obesity specifically within the UK public health policy context.

Andrea has experience in behavioural genetic modelling (twin analyses), meta-analytic techniques (e.g., dose-response modelling), design and conduct of behaviour change interventions, and mixed methods research approaches. She also is a core member of the UCL-based Gemini twin study team (a longitudinal birth cohort of 2400 families studying the origins of appetite and growth in early childhood into adolescence).


  • 2018–present
    Research Fellow , NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit (UCL)
  • 2021–present
    Senior research associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge
  • 2014–2018
    PhD candidate in Epidemiology/Public Health, UCL


  • 2018 
    University College London, PhD in Epidemiology/Public Health
  • 2014 
    University of Cambridge, MPhil in Public Health
  • 2013 
    University of Sussex, BSc in Biomedical Science

Professional Memberships

  • Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)
  • Society for Social Medicine & Population Health
  • International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity