Meet The Team
Professor Judith Stephenson
Judith Stephenson is the Margaret Pyke Professor of Sexual & Reproductive Health at UCL and Programme Director for Maternal Health, UCL Partners (Academic Health Science Partnership). Judith’s research in sexual and reproductive health has changed policy and practice nationally and internationally, particularly in relation to chlamydia screening. Her current research focus is on improving use of contraception, how women plan and prepare for pregnancy and how early intervention can improve mother and child health across the life course. She received the UCL prize for Leadership in Public Engagement in 2012, an NIHR Senior Investigator Award in 2014 and Women of Achievement in Healthcare from Women in the City, 2015.
Dr Jennifer Hall
Jennifer Hall is a Clinical Associate Professor and NIHR Advanced Fellow at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health. She is an Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine at UCLH and PHE and has been working as a Senior Epidemiologist in PHE on COVID-19 since March 2020. She is a mixed-methods researcher with skills and expertise in quantitative, qualitative and psychometric methodologies and holds a PhD in Maternal Health and Epidemiology. She has national and international experience of working with clinical, public health and academic colleagues, particularly around the measurement of pregnancy intention, preconception care and the detection and management of unplanned pregnancies, bringing a lifecourse approach to reproductive health services and research. Her work on the measurement of pregnancy intention is internationally renowned, and she currently works with collaborators on every continent. Her work aims to improve health and social outcomes for women of reproductive age around the world.
Dr Geraldine Barrett
Geraldine Barrett, a Principal Research Associate, joined the team in 2017. Geraldine is a social scientist who has worked in public health/health services research since the early 1990s. Her research interests relate to women’s sexual and reproductive health and research methodology. She has skills in quantitative and qualitative methods, particularly survey techniques, psychometric measure development and validation, and depth interviewing applied to sensitive topics. She developed the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy (LMUP), which is now used internationally. Her current work primarily focuses on pregnancy planning, preconception health, and psychometric measurement evaluation, including ongoing methodological research on the LMUP.
Dr Bola Grace
Bola Grace is an Honorary Fellow. She obtained her PhD in Population Health and Epidemiology, where she used quantitative and qualitative mixed-methods research to evaluate knowledge and awareness of reproductive health; socioeconomic factors influencing decision-making and to identify improvement opportunities to enable men and women achieve their desired SRH intentions. Bola has over a decade of senior leadership experience in the biotech Industry, providing strategic, commercial and technical direction to highly skilled cross-functional teams on complex programmes; pioneering new systems and processes to bring greater value; and delivering numerous innovative award-winning products to the consumer marketplace. She also holds an Executive MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School. Bola’s research interests lie in, Digital Health, Translational Research, Global Health, and Inclusive Innovation.
Dilisha Patel is currently working on her PhD investigating how digital health interventions can support men whilst preparing for conception and fatherhood. She has a Master's degree from LSHTM in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research. Dilisha has been working with the SRH group in the research area of preconception care since 2012 and led the Start at the Beginning trial, which explored the use of a digital intervention to improve diet, nutrition and lifestyle behaviours in women preparing for conception. Dilisha is greatly interested in using mixed methods to explore how couples can improve their health before pregnancy.
Caitlin Bawn is currently pursuing a PhD, designing a digital intervention aimed to improve contraception choice, uptake and use in Botswana. After working on various health projects in India and Nepal alongside her undergraduate degree, she completed a fellowship with the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting, exploring the relationship between HIV and cancer in Botswana, and the re-emergence of Victorian-era diseases among the UK’s homeless population. Caitlin has a MSc in International Relations from Bristol University, and an MS degree in Journalism, focusing on Global Health, from Boston University.
Annette Thwaites is an Academic Clinical Fellow in Community Sexual and Reproductive Health (CSRH) and a senior registrar in CSRH at Kings College Hospital, London. Annette is currently working towards her MD(Res) into the contraceptive needs of women post assisted conception having completed a clinical fellowship with Public Health England, in 2018, exploring views of women and health care professionals on the provision of immediate postnatal contraception. Prior to studying graduate medicine, Annette worked as a business analyst for Andersen Business Consulting and Deloitte and has masters’ degrees in Engineering (Cambridge University) and Computing (Imperial College, London).
Sergio A Silverio
Sergio Silverio is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute for Women’s Health. He has a Masters of Psychological Sciences (Clinical & Health Psychology) from the University of Liverpool and an MSc in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology from Brunel University London. Sergio has worked on qualitative research in various academic departments and originally joined the IfWH as a Research Assistant in Qualitative Methods on the VESPA Study, evaluating women’s experiences of early pregnancy assessment units [EPAUs].
Carla Logon-Bishop is PA to Professor Judith Stephenson and the Team Administrator for the Dept of Sexual and Reproductive Health. She provides support to the team in all aspects of research project work.
Dr Zeynep Gurtin
Dr Zeynep Gurtin is a Lecturer at the Institute of Women’s Health. She is a reproductive sociologist, specialising in qualitative research on the social, ethical and relational aspects of assisted reproductive technologies. Her past research includes assisted reproduction in the Muslim Middle East; egg donation and egg-sharing; and cross-border reproductive care. Currently, her research focuses on ‘social’ egg freezing; single women using fertility services, and older motherhood, and in particular the ways in which these new reproductive choices are impacting our ideas around gender and intimate relationships, reproductive responsibilities and anxieties, and expectations and experiences of motherhood. Zeynep lectures both at UCL, and at the University of Cambridge (where she completed her PhD, and trained with Professor Susan Golombok and Professor Sarah Franklin). As well as academic articles, Zeynep also writes for The Guardian and is a regular contributor to media debates on assisted reproductive technologies.