Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Researchers and Key Collaborators


Ms Chengyi Ding
Research Associate
Email: chengyi.ding.17@ucl.ac.uk


Background: Chengyi is a postdoctoral researcher. Previously, Chengyi completed an MPH at Peking University. She joined the Whitehall II team in 2017 to pursue a PhD on the longitudinal alcohol use and prognosis in cardiovascular disease patients.

Current area of research: Chengyi’s research interests include understanding how determinants of health over the life course affect disease risk and shape ageing outcomes. 

Key publications: 

  1. Ding C, O'Neill D, Britton A.   Trajectories of alcohol consumption up to 30 years before and after the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases: a longitudinal case-control study of 12 502 participants. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2022 Epub ahead of print. (PMID: 34965970)
  2. Ding C, O'Neill D, Bell S, Stamatakis E, Britton A. Association of alcohol consumption with morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease: original data and meta-analysis of 48423 men and women. BMC Med. 2021;19(1):167. (PMID: 34311738)
  3. Yang Z, Wang H, Edwards, D, Ding C, Yan L, Brayne C, Mant J. Association of blood lipids, atherosclerosis and statin use with dementia and cognitive impairment after stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Res Rev. 2020;57:100962. (PMID: 31505259)
Dr Severine Sabia
Research Associate
Email: s.sabia@ucl.ac.uk

Background: After a degree in data sciences and a PhD in epidemiology at University of Paris-Saclay, I joined UCL in 2010 as a post-doctoral fellow. I am currently senior research associate both at UCL and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

My longstanding research interest is on the impact of modifiable factors on health during ageing with focus on behavioural factors over the lifecourse – smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary behaviour, physical activity, and sleep. I am also interested in methods and statistical analysis such as longitudinal analyses with repeated data and missing data.

Since 2012, I lead the accelerometer project in the Whitehall cohort study, including data collection, algorithm development in collaboration with Dr van Hees (accelerometer data processing with GGIR) and research activities.

Current area of research: My current research is on: 1) the nature of the association between modifiable risk factors and dementia using an innovative approach that considers time between a putative risk factor and dementia onset 2) the impact of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep, assessed objectively, on health during ageing. I also take part to various projects on drivers of health at older age through supervision of post-doctoral and PhD researchers.

Key Publications: 

  1. Sabia S, Fayosse A, Dumurgier J, van Hees VT, Paquet C, Sommerlad A, Kivimäki M, Dugravot A, Singh-Manoux A. Association of sleep duration in middle and old age with incidence of dementia. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):2289. (PMID: 3387978)
  2. Yerramalla MS, MC Gregor DE, van Hees VT, Fayosse A, Dugravot A, Tabak AG, Chen M, Chastin SFM, Sabia S. Association of daily composition of physical activity and sedentary behaviour with incidence of cardiovascular disease in older adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2021;18(1):83. (PMID: 34247647)
  3. Bloomberg M, Dugravot A, Dumurgier J, Kivimaki M, Fayosse A, Steptoe A, Britton A, Singh-Manoux A, Sabia S. Sex differences and the role of education in cognitive ageing: analysis of two UK-based prospective cohort studies. Lancet Public Health. 2021;6(2):e106-e115. (PMID: 33516287)
  4. Sabia S, Dugravot A, Dartigues JF, Abell J, Elbaz A, Kivimaki M, Singh-Manoux A. Physical activity, cognitive decline, and risk of dementia: 28 year follow-up of Whitehall II cohort study. BMJ. 2017;357:j2709. Highly cited paper. (PMID: 28642251)
  5. van Hees VT*, Sabia S*, Anderson KN, Denton SJ, Oliver J, Catt M, Abell JG, Kivimaki M, Trenell MI, Singh-Manoux A. A Novel, Open Access Method to Assess Sleep Duration 

    Using a Wrist-Worn Accelerometer. PLoS One. 2015;10(11):e0142533.*co-first authors. (PMID:  26569414)

Severine Sabia
Mr Martin Shipley
Associate Professor (Emeritus) 
Email: martin.shipley@ucl.ac.uk
Interests are in statistical methodology for the analysis of cohort studies. These include the analysis of repeated exposures on event outcomes and the estimation of risk factor trajectories before and after specified events.
Martin Shipley
Professor Dr Adam Tabak
Clinical Research Associate
Email: a.tabak@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Dr Tabák holds a medical degree and a PhD in diabetes epidemiology from Semmelweis University in Hungary. He shares his time as a research professor at Semmelweis University (Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology and Department of Public Health) and at UCL.

Current area of research: His research interests include clinical aspects of diabetes mellitus including the risk factors and consequences of diabetes complications and gestational diabetes as well as the efficacy of novel diabetes medications. His research in the Whitehall study focuses on the natural history of diabetes before and after the diagnosis of diabetes using the repeated measures available in this database. He is also interested in natural history of diabetic vascular complications.

Key Publications: 

  1. Barbiellini Amidei C, Fayosse A, Dumurgier J, Machado-Fragua MD, Tabak AG, van Sloten T, Kivimäki M, Dugravot A, Sabia S, Singh-Manoux A. Association Between Age at Diabetes Onset and Subsequent Risk of Dementia. JAMA. 2021;325(16):1640-1649. (PMID: 33904867)
  2. Wagner R, Heni M, Tabák AG, Machann J, Schick F, Randrianarisoa E, Hrabě de Angelis M, Birkenfeld AL, Stefan N, Peter A, Häring HU, Fritsche A. Pathophysiology-based subphenotyping of individuals at elevated risk for type 2 diabetes. Nat Med. 2021;27(1):49-57. (PMID: 33398163) 
  3. Kivimäki M, Nyberg ST, Batty GD, Kawachi I, Jokela M, Alfredsson L, Bjorner JB, Borritz M, Burr H, Dragano N, Fransson EI, Heikkilä K, Knutsson A, Koskenvuo M, Kumari M, Madsen IEH, Nielsen ML, Nordin M, Oksanen T, Pejtersen JH, Pentti J, Rugulies R, Salo P, Shipley MJ, Suominen S, Theorell T, Vahtera J, Westerholm P, Westerlund H, Steptoe A, Singh-Manoux A, Hamer M, Ferrie JE, Virtanen M, Tabak AG; IPD-Work consortium. Long working hours as a risk factor for atrial fibrillation: a multi-cohort study. Eur Heart J. 2017;38(34):2621-2628. (PMID: 28911189)
  4. Tabák AG, Herder C, Rathmann W, Brunner EJ, Kivimäki M. Prediabetes: a high-risk state for diabetes development. Lancet. 2012;379(9833):2279-90. (PMID: 22683128)
  5. Tabák AG, Jokela M, Akbaraly TN, Brunner EJ, Kivimäki M, Witte DR. Trajectories of glycaemia, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion before diagnosis of type 2 diabetes: an analysis from the Whitehall II study. Lancet. 2009;373(9682):2215-21. (PMID: 19515410
Prof Adam Tabak

Key Collaborators

Dr Tasnime Akbaraly
Senior Researcher, INSERM
Honorary Staff, UCL
Email: tasnime.akbaraly@inserm.fr
Tasnime is an epidemiologist with a biochemistry background. Tasnime joined the Whitehall II team in 2007. Her research focuses on the role of diet and nutrition in mental health and aging outcomes. She currently works as a permanent researcher at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and is still actively carrying out nutritional epidemiology projects in the Whitehall II Study.
Tasnime Akbaraly
Professor David Batty
Professor of Epidemiology
Email: david.batty@ucl.ac.uk

An epidemiologist, the focus of David's research is to understand how social, psychological, biological, behavioural and genetic factors from across the life course, and between generations, influence the risk of chronic diseases of major public health importance in adulthood, such as cardiovascular disease, selected cancers, and mental health problems.

The ultimate aim of this research is disease prevention.

David Batty
Dr Jane Ferrie
Honorary Staff
Email: j.ferrie@ucl.ac.uk
Jane was employed on the Whitehall II study from 1992 until 2011 when she left to become the Academic Editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Having been awarded an honorary position in the department, she is still actively involved in writing papers using the Whitehall II data on topics including the labour market, inequalities in health, and sleep epidemiology.
Jane Ferrie

Dr Andrew Sommerlad
Principal Research Fellow
Email: a.sommerlad@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Andrew Sommerlad is a Principal Research Fellow at UCL Division of Psychiatry funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship and a Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.

Current area of research: His research investigates the nature, causes and consequences of social functioning impairment in people with dementia, and his previous projects using the Whitehall II study data have included examining the links between mid- and late-life social participation and dementia risk.

Key publications:

  1. Sommerlad A, Sabia S, Livingston G, Kivimäki M, Lewis G, Singh-Manoux A. Leisure activity participation and risk of dementia: 18 year follow-up of the Whitehall II Study. Neurology. 2020 Nov 17;95(20):e2803-e2815.  (PMID: 33115773)
  2. Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al, Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet 2020. 396(10248):413-446. (PMID: 32738937)
  3. Sommerlad A, Sabia S, Singh-Manoux A, Lewis G, Livingston G. Association of social contact with dementia and cognition: 28-year follow-up of the Whitehall II cohort study. PLOS Medicine 2019. 16(8): e1002862. (PMID: 31374073)
  4. Sommerlad A, Perera G, Singh-Manoux A, et al. Accuracy of general hospital dementia diagnoses in England: Sensitivity, specificity, and predictors of diagnostic accuracy 2008–2016. Alzheimer's and Dementia 2018. 14(7):933-943. (PMID: 29703698)
Andrew Sommerlad