'We are committed to communicating with the public and policymakers'

September 30, 2005

Carol Dezateux is excited at the prospect of heading a new MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health

Carol Dezateux became interested in epidemiology through her research into the impact of viral chest infections on children's lungs. She went on to train in epidemiology, conducting further research that showed the damage caused to babies' airways by mothers smoking during pregnancy. She is now professor of paediatric epidemiology at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.

The ICH and the Medical Research Council this week announced that Professor Dezateux will head a new £1.62 million MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health. "This is an exciting development," she said. "We are committed to communicating our findings not just to scientific journals, but also to the public and to policymakers."

The centre will forge links between its epidemiologists and statisticians, and experts in informatics, genetics, paediatric pharmacy and policy research. Research will focus on the health of children born through assisted conception and on the safety of medicines for children. "(This research) is particularly timely. Children are not small adults, and we cannot assume that medicines that work for adults also work for them," Professor Dezateux said.

Another concern is childhood obesity and physical activity; recent data show that there are more overweight three-year-olds today than a decade ago. "Research on large populations of children has a vital contribution to make to our understanding of current patterns of obesity and physical activity," Professor Dezateux said.

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