Professor Virginia Berridge BA PhD FRHistS FAcSS Hon FFPH Hon FRCP

Professor of History

About Virginia Berridge

Director,Centre for History in Public Health


Social historian with a first degree and a PhD in history, both from the University of London. I have worked in historical and non-historical settings, at the Addiction Research Unit,(National Addiction Centre) Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. I was scientific secretary to the cross department and research council Drug Addiction Research Initiative. I joined the School in 1988 as Co-Director of the AIDS Social History Programme The current School History Centre has developed from that initial programme.




I  lecture on the History and Health module, and on Drugs,Alcohol  and Tobacco.


My personal research interest is in the changes in post World War Two public health policy. Topic based research includes smoking policy;drug policy (illicit); alcohol policy; the role of the media;HIV/AIDS policy ;and the relationship between evidence, incuding history , and policy. The History Centre which I head works on these issues across a variety of different subject areas.

The Centre was initially funded by  Wellcome Trust 5 year awards which also fund aspects of my own research on public health and  on the role of expertise in policy making.

I  have been work package leader for an EU framework 7 programme ALICE-RAP on addiction and lifestyles which ended in March 2016.We  researched addiction through the ages, specifically cross national differences in the terminology of addiction from the mid nineteenth century ;and the role of international agencies such as WHO and EMCDDA in establishing core concepts.A book has just been published based on this research.--: eds Hellman,Berridge Duke and Mold,Concepts of Addictive substances across time and place (OUP,2016)

I am now taking part in the Wellcome Trust funded programme of research on 'Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000' led by Professor Hilary Marland of the University of Warwick and Dr Catherine Cox of University College Dublin. The LSHTM research,which I supervise, is examining the recent history of HIV/AIDS in prisons in England and Ireland.

Research areas

  • Alcohol
  • Environment
  • Health policy
  • Methodology
  • Public health
  • Public health history
  • Research : policy relationship
  • Science policy
  • Sexual health
  • Smoking
  • Substance abuse
  • Substance use
  • Tobacco control


  • History
  • Policy analysis
  • Social Policy
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Addiction
  • Chronic disease
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Sexually transmitted infection


  • Euro area
  • European Union


  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Archives
  • Cannabis
  • alcohol use
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