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MRC Epidemiology Unit

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MRC Epidemiology Unit
Brief descriptionThe MRC Epidemiology Unit studies the genetic, developmental and environmental factors that cause obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders. The outcomes from these studies are then used to develop strategies for the prevention of these diseases in the general population.
Year establishedOctober 2003
History/ backgroundThe MRC Epidemiology Unit was established in October 2003 by the Medical Research Council with the appointment of Professor Nick Wareham to the position of Director. The Unit originally consisted of four scientific programmes all run by Nick Wareham:

- Diabetes and obesity aetiology
- Growth and development
- Physical activity epidemiology

In 2005, Dr Simon Griffin was recruited as group leader for the Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes programme and Dr Ken Ong as group leader for the Child Growth and Development programme.

In the autumn of 2007, Dr Ulf Ekelund was appointed to head up the Physical Activity Epidemiology programme and Dr Ruth Loos took up the role of head of a new separate programme looking at the Aetiology of Obesity.

The Unit is currently developing an independent Nutritional Epidemiology programme led by Dr Nita Forouhi.
Main fundersMedical Research Council (MRC)
DirectorNick Wareham
StructureThe Unit is split up into Research Groups:

- Aetiology of Diabetes
- Genetic Aetiology of Obesity
- Child Growth and Development
- Nutritional Epidemiology
- Physical Activity Epidemiology
- Prevention of Diabetes and Obesity

And Functional Groups

- Operations Team
- Information Technology Team
- European Union Projects Team
- Study Coordination Team
- Field Epidemiology Team
- Anthropometry Team
- Physical Activity Technical Team
- Technical Team
- Data Management Team
- Statistics Team
StaffThere are 5 Unit Directors as well as multiple other staff inside the research and functional groups
LocationThe Unit is on Level 3 of the Institute of Metabolic Science with additional field sites at Ely, Peterborough and Wisbech.

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