Steven Cummins BSc MSc PhD

Professor of Population Health


Steven, a geographer (BSc) with training in epidemiology (MSc) and public health (PhD), joined LSHTM after holding posts at Queen Mary, University of London and the MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow.

Steven has been Academic Visitor at The Pennsylvania State University (2004) and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Social Epidemiology & Population Health, University of Michigan (2005–06). He has served on the committee of the RGS-IBG Geography of Health Research Group and the BSA Sociology of Food Group and, at various times, has undertaken expert advice to the Food Standards Agency, Department of Health, Department for Transport, Canadian Insititutes for Health Research, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Scottish Government, US National Cancer Institute and the US National Academy of Science. He has been a full committee member of the Society for Social Medicine (2006–2009), an appointed member of the Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee (2008–11), and a member of the NICE PDG on the Population Prevention of Diabetes (2009–15). He was a founding member of the NIHR Public Health Research Funding Board, on which he served for the maximum term of 6 years (2009-2015).

Steven’s research has been supported by a wide range of funders including ESRC, Department of Health, MRC, NIHR, NIH, The Leverhulme Trust and The Wellcome Trust. Steven’s primary research interests are in the contextual and socio-environmental determinants of health (particularly diet, physical activity and psychological wellbeing); the design and evaluation of community social and policy interventions to improve population health; the consumer consequences of food retail restructuring; and the public policy implications of geographical research. In recognition of this work Steven has been awarded a Phillip Leverhulme Prize (2007) and the Association for the Study of Obesity Young Achiever Award (2009).

Steven current external roles include sitting on the MRC Strategic Skills Fellowship Panel, the NIHR Doctoral Fellowships Panel, ESRC Future Leaders Funding Panel, and the Prevention Expert Review Panel of the CRUK Population Research Committee. He is also a member of The Movember Foundation's Global Advisory Commitee for Men's Health, with a particular responsibility for physical inactivity strategy, and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Epidemiology & Population Health.




Steven is Director of the Healthy Environments Research Programme (HERP) which was founded through the award of a recently completed 5-year NIHR Senior Fellowship (2010-2015). HERP is focused on understanding the effect of the social, physical, and built environment on health and health inequalities and currently comprises of 15 staff and students.

Current research is focused in two areas:

i) empirical research investigating the effect of the built and social environment on health

ii) evaluation of the impacts of social and environmental interventions on health

Major funded projects include ORiEL, a 5-year prospective study of the health and social legacy of London 2012 Olympics (NIHR, 2011-16); the National Evaluation of the Healthy Towns Programme (DH PRP, 2009-13); evaluation of the Forestry Commission Scotland's Social Forestry programmes (NIHR, 2012-16); active design and physical activity (NIHR, 2015-2017) and the evaluation of the effect of the levy on added sugar drinks in Jamie's Italian restaurants (NIHR, 2016). In addition, HERP is lucky to host the recepients of a number of personal research and training fellowships from MRC (Dr Daniel Lewis, Dr James Lopez-Bernal), Wellcome Trust (Dr Claire Thompson) and CIHR (Dr Martine Shareck) who focus on a range of topics including active travel, food security, food environment and diet and ITS methods in public health evaluation.

HERP is affiliated to the NIHR School of Public Health Research as LSHTM (SPHR@L), the LSHTM Centre for Evaluation, and the LSHTM Centre for Global Non-communicable Disease.

Please visit the HERP website for updates

Research areas

  • Adolescent health
  • Behaviour change
  • Complex interventions
  • Environment
  • Equity
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence use
  • Food
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Health inequalities
  • Housing
  • Impact evaluation
  • Inequalities
  • Physical activity
  • Public health
  • Social and structural determinants of health
  • Spatial analysis
  • Transport


  • Epidemiology
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic disease
  • Diabetes
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Obesity


  • European Union
  • North America


  • Canada
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Other interests

  • Neighborhood effects; built environment;
Back to top