Researchers and staff engaged on the first GDAR Grant 2017-2021. Jump to:


Health of Populations in Transition Research Group (HoPiT), University of Yaoundé 1

  • Jean Claude Mbanya. Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Consultant Physician; Director of the Health in Transition Research Group; Director of the National Obesity Centre University of Yaoundé; Chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Unit at the Hospital Central in Yaoundé. Professor Mbanya’s research mainly focuses on cultural diabetes-related factors, which are often unique to the African countries and communities he studies.
  • Felix AssahDeputy Director and Clinical Fellow. Dr Assah is undertaking a population-based study of the links between objectively measured physical activity, metabolic disease risk and rural and urban living in Cameroon.
  • Clarisse Mapa
  • Eugene SobngwiProfessor of Endocrinology and Metabolism; Consultant Endocrinologist at Yaoundé Central Hospital; Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Metabolism at the Biotechnology Centre of the University of Yaoundé I. His main research areas are epidemiology and pathophysiology of diabetes in Africa, clinical trials, and diabetes in pregnancy.
  • Yves Wasnyo. A physician practicing at Yaoundé Central Hospital, Yves has an interest in prevention of non-communicable diseases, the health of adolescents, as well as other health supply issues including the motivation of health professionals and health services research. He has joined several research teams in studying the prevention of non-communicable diseases among adolescents in schools. He has contributed to the production of a guide on good nutritional practices, and a nutrition atlas (a catalogue of different foods found in Cameroon) for secondary schools. He also advised an ongoing nationwide study on the determinants of health worker migration. He is currently working in the outpatient COVID-19 care unit.


Université d’État d’Haïti (UEH)

  • Predner Duvivier
  • Leika Pabeli
  • Marilise Rouzier
  • Marie Josie Valcin


Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies (UWI)

  • Marshall Tulloch-Reid. Director of the Epidemiology Research Unit, Caribbean Institute for Health Research, UWI, Mona & Co- director of the Cochrane Caribbean. His current research interests include obesity, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes & cardiovascular disease aetiology, prevention and treatment in Caribbean populations.
  • Alafia Samuels. Research Fellow. Alafia is a medical doctor with interests in policy and practice in NCD prevention and control, clinical quality of care, evaluation of NCD programmes and translation of evidence into practice.
  • Nadia Bennet. Lecturer in Epidemiology at the Caribbean Institute for Health research, UWI Mona & Co-Director of Cochrane Caribbean. Epidemiologist, and Internal Medicine Physician. She has in interest in 1) synthesizing the existing evidence through systematic reviews and 2) gathering evidence which shows how lifestyle choices contribute to NCD outcomes and then using social and community support groups as a platform to improve health related outcomes using appropriate intervention programmes.
  • Ishtar Govia. Lecturer in Epidemiology. Research psychologist with expertise in mixed methods and qualitative methodology. She leads the mental health programme at CAIHR, UWI Mona and her work focuses on integrated wellness approaches in health services and systems, healing from trauma, healthy aging, dementia care, gender, and the social determinants of health.
  • Nathalie Guthrie Dixon
  • Ian Hambleton. Biostatistician, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre. Ian has specific expertise in the design, conduct, and analysis of randomised clinical trials, population surveys, and cohort studies.
  • Joanne Smith. Lecturer in Epidemiology. Her research examines assessments of energy intake and the holistic development of children.
  • Stephanie Whiteman. PhD candidate


Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

  • Charles Obonyo. Chief Research Officer. Epidemiologist with an interest on evidence synthesis, physical activity and dietary determinants of NCD and childhood obesity.
  • Charles Lwanga. Social Scientist /Study Coordinator. Interested in determinants of diet and physical activity in Low and Middle Income Communities.
  • Rosemary Musuva. Has an interest in neglected tropical diseases
  • Vincent Were

Kisii University

  • Pamela WadendePsychologist & Senior Lecturer. Pamela has an interest in issues of education and social development and the prevention of NCDs.

South Africa

SAMRC / Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

  • Shane NorrisUnit Director, DPHRU
  • Lisa MicklesfieldReader and Deputy Director DPHRU. Honorary Associate Professor, UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM), UCT. Associate Professor Lisa Micklesfield  has 16 years post-doctoral experience and her research expertise and interests include: (i) physical activity epidemiology and its association with body composition and metabolic disease outcomes, (ii) musculoskeletal health during the various life stages; and (iii) the role of physical activity in interventions to reduce the risk and prevalence of non-communicable diseases; (iv) biological, environmental and behavioural determinants of multi-morbidity. To date she has published 125 scientific papers/chapters, supervised/mentored 14 postgraduate students and mentored 2 postdoctoral fellows.
  • Clement KufeResearcher. Research interest in population-based study of body fat distribution, impact of HIV status and objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour on diabetes risk in aging African men and women.
  • Gudani Mukoma. PhD candidate. Current research interests include obesity, dietary and physical activity behavior, preconception health, prevention and treatment of NCDs.
  • Molebogeng Motlhatlhedi

Priority Cost Effective Lessons for Systems Strengthening South Africa (PRICELESS SA), University of the Witswatersrand (Wits)

  • Karen HofmanDirector of PRICELESS SA
  • Agnes ErzseResearch Fellow
  • Sue Goldstein
  • Petronell Kruger
  • Safura Adbool Karim. Senior Researcher
  • Lee Randall

School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town (UCT)

  • Prof Vicki Lambert. Head of Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM).
  • Maylene Shung KingAssociate Professor in the Health Policy and Systems Division. Has a special interest in child health and her recent child health policy and research focus has been on school health and the furtherance of the National Integrated School Health Programme goals.
  • Nicole McCreedy. Masters student
  • Kufre Okop
  • Feyi Odunitan Wayas. Research Fellow, Health through Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Sport (HPALS) Research Centre. Dr Odunitan-Wayas has a PhD in Food Security. She is presently a research fellow at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research focus is on assessing and improving the food and built environment to alleviate food insecurity obesity, physical inactivity, especially in underserved communities for healthier lifestyle and lower risk to NCDs. She is a NIH-Fogarty fellow and a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Our Voice Global Research Network.
  • Amy WeimannJunior Research Fellow at the African Centre for Cities, and a Public Health PhD candidate at the School of Public Health & Family. Medicine at UCT. Research interest in intersectoral policies and approaches to addressing urban health challenges, particularly in the context of informal settlements.


MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

  • Nick Wareham. Director for GDAR, Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit, Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and Co-Director of the Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge. His principal research interests are the aetiology and prevention of obesity and diabetes.
  • Tolullah Oni. Joint Lead for GDAR. Focusing on the determinants of diet and physical activity in informal urban settlements. Also leads the Research Initiative for Cities and Health (RICHE), with the goal of developing policy relevant research on urban health and equity.
  • Louise FoleyGDAR Senior Research Associate. Has an interest in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and the measurement of health-related behaviour.
  • Ebele Mogo. GDAR Research Associate. Has a research interest in the urban transition and the rise of non-communicable diseases, critical and inter-related phenomena taking place on a global scale which need to be better managed to produce health and wellbeing.
  • Nigel Unwin. Part time (30%) at GDAR; part time (20%) Professor of Diabetes at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter; Honorary professor of Population Health Sciences at the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre.
  • James WoodcockReader in Transport and Health Modelling, and Programme Leader for the Public Health Modelling group. Works with models to help understand both the health impacts of changes to how we travel and how we eat and to understand how such changes might occur.
  • Camille MbaPhD Student. Her interest is to understand the link between biomarkers of nutrition and cardiometabolic risk factors in a population based study in Cameroon.
  • Lambed Tatah. Phd Student. His PhD focuses on quantifying the health impacts of active transport resulting from different transport policies in LMICs.
  • Clare Hodkinson. GDAR Research Coordinator. A Biomedical Scientist with more than 10 years of experience in nutritional biochemistry and NCD research, with expertise in research goverance and data management.
  • Annie Schiff. GDAR Administrator. Annie has a background in research study coordination.
  • Colin FarrGDAR Research Assistant. Cardiometabolic disease and cardiovascular risk and prevention in childhood and adulthood.
  • Rebecca Stratford. Head of Strategic Projects in the MRC Epidemiology Unit, which encompasses implementation of strategic initiatives.
  • Oliver FrancisHead of Communications & Knowledge Exchange for the MRC Epidemiology Unit. Leads on work to promote our science to many partners and audiences, helping to bridge the gap between academic research and its application in practice, policy and wider society.

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge

  • Gabriel Okello. Research Associate. Interested in human exposure science with interests in the health effects of air pollution on human health, disease and environment. Focus on translational research on air quality measurement and interventions relating to air pollution.
  • Florence Nabwire. Research Associate. Her research investigates the influence of diet and nutrition on maternal and child health.

The European Centre for Environment & Human Health, University of Exeter

  • Conny GuellSenior Lecturer. A medical anthropologist researching healthy living practices and policies, Conny’s work focuses on how healthy living is shaped across the lifecycle, within population groups, and in various socio-cultural, political and economic contexts.