Places & communities programme
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Health Policy, Policy Analysis, System Dynamics, Agent-Based Modelling, Operational Research, Management Science, Systems Thinking, Complex Systems.
What has been your career journey so far?
I am interested in applying system methodologies in the public health field, such as System Dynamics and Agent-Based Modelling, to help decision-makers understand and predict a wide range of potential health effects and capture their dynamic behaviour in support of the development of effective policy actions.
What is your research focused on?
The purpose of my research is to explore and simulate the impact of interventions aimed at reducing exposure to the food retail environment with a focus on decreasing consumption of foods and beverages high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS food). The goals of the research are to understand how individual interaction with the food retail system produces unequal patterns of health in the population by using agent-based models and to explore how food purchasing behaviour changes under the application of policies that encourage a healthier food retail environment.
Why is it important?
Firstly, it explores how inequalities in exposure to the food retail environment are related to inequalities in dietary behaviour. Secondly, it uses methods that consider and appropriately deal with complex systems by taking into account individual-level characteristics and neighbourhood characteristics in a dynamic environment. Thirdly, it provides policymakers with a tool that can be used to test different strategies to help encourage a healthier food environment.
What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?
I like that I am part of a unique collaboration between leading academic centres with excellence in applied public health research. A partnership that supports early-career researches by providing many development activities and training opportunities and allows you to gain experience in developing and leading your research project and to build your network. NIHR SPHR has a strong and diverse international network of academics, alumni, students and partners that you can work jointly with.
What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?
I had no previous experience in the Public Health field, so everything I have learned so far comes as a result of the PhD journey. This program has provided me with new perspectives on how to structure and analyse complexity and has given me an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge in different areas within the field. Also, it has helped me to further develop other skills such as academic research and interpersonal skills and communication skills for teaching and presenting research findings.
What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?
Specifically, I don’t know yet. One thing I do know is that I want to continue working as a Public Health researcher and apply system methodologies throughout my research.