After completing my BSc in Sociology at the University of Leicester, I studied for my MA and PhD in Sociology at Brown University in the USA. In 2012 I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from Umeå University in Sweden.
My first academic position was at the MRC Medical Sociology Unit (now MRC Social and Public Health Science Unit) at the University of Glasgow, where I worked as a researcher on the West of Scotland 2007 Study of health in the community. Thereafter I joined Warwick University as a lecturer and subsequently the University of Leicester as Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Sociology, before coming to York as Professor and Head of Department in 2013.
Between 2004 and 2012, I was Editor-in-chief of the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Between 2013 and 2015 I was a Vice President of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and Chaired ESA's Postgraduate Committee.
With Maria Carmella Agodi I am co-editor of the ESA Book Series Studies in European Sociology, published by Routledge.
With Xiaodong Lin, I am co-editor of the Book Series Global Research in Gender, Sexuality and Health, published by Palgrave.