Janis Baird is Associate Professor of Public Health Medicine at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton. Her research focuses on the translation of evidence of the developmental origins of health and disease into public health policy and practice.
After graduating in medicine from Cardiff in 1987, she trained in General Practice before entering Public Health Medicine in 1993. She was a research fellow at the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit (EEU) between 1994 and 1997 during which time she carried out her doctoral studies exploring the environmental and genetic origins of blood pressure and glucose tolerance in a cohort of adult twins. Having completed specialist training in Public Health Medicine she returned to the MRC EEU in 2001. In 2002 she was awarded an MRC Special Training Fellowship in Health of the Public Research during which she carried out a series of linked systematic reviews to explore the association of infant growth with health and well-being across the life course and to assess the implications of this evidence for public health policy.
Currently, Janis co-leads a series of complex intervention studies which aim to improve the health and nutrition of women of childbearing age, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities. As well as having extensive experience of systematic review, she also has an interest in process evaluation and between 2011 and 2014 Janis chaired a group of researchers, funded by the Medical Research Council, who developed guidance on process evaluation within complex intervention studies.
Since 2009, Janis Baird and Christina Vogel have carried out research to characterise the food environments of women living in Southampton and explore their influence on women’s dietary quality. Their observational work is now informing the development of multi-level interventions which aim to improve diet by combining environmental strategies with individual-level behaviour change.
Between 2011 and 2014 Janis chaired a group of researchers who, with funding from the MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network, developed guidance on process evaluation within complex intervention studies. The guidance has been endorsed by the Medical Research Council and published in the British Medical Journal. Janis is a member of a NICE Public Health Advisory Committee and a board member of the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit South Central Advisory Committee.