Institute for Global Health


Tanja Houweling


Senior Research Associate


Tanja's work focuses on generating and synthesising epidemiologic and other scientific evidence for public health policy-making in low and middle income countries, in particular with regard to socio-economic inequalities in health. Tanja's research on the linkages between society and health builds on her background in the social sciences (MA cultural anthropology and non-western sociology, cum laude) and medical sciences (MSc epidemiology, PhD public health). 

Tanja is employed as a Senior Research Associate at the UCL Institute for Global Health, where she is principal investigator of a project entitled Socio-economic inequalities and the MDGs: building evidence to support equitable improvement in maternal and newborn health in Asia & Africa, (£450k), funded by a joint ESRC-DFID scheme. She also holds a post as senior researcher at the Dept. of Public Health, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where she was awarded a fellowship for research on the political and economic foundations of health inequality. Tanja is involved in teaching at universities internationally. 

Prior to her current positions, she spent five years as senior research fellow at University College London. She worked for three years at Prof. Sir Michael Marmot's Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, where she was a member of the scientific secretariat of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH). She worked closely with WHO and research institutes worldwide, to generate and synthesize the global evidence base on the social determinants of health. She is lead author of four chapters of the CSDH Final Report. Subsequently, she worked for two years at the UCL Institute of Child Health as scientific coordinator of several large intervention studies on maternal and newborn mortality in India and Bangladesh, funded by the Big Lottery Fund (£5 million). The studies included community randomized trials and controlled before-after studies, in a population of half a million in Bangladesh and nearly half a million in two states in India.

Research at IGH

Socio-economic inequalities and the MDGs (Equinam)

Improving maternal, newborn and child health in low-income countries