Dr Laura Oakley BSc MSc PhD

Assistant Professor in Epidemiology


I am an epidemiologist with a particular interest in maternal, reproductive and child health. After an undergraduate degree in Sociology (London School of Economics) I spent several years working as a researcher on adolescent health at the Centre for Research in Primary Community Care, University of Hertfordshire. A NHS Health Services Research Fellowship funded my MSc in Epidemiology (LSHTM, 2002) and my PhD (LSHTM). My PhD thesis focused on the determinants of infertility in women and involved secondary analysis of two datasets. Between 2009 and 2014 I worked as a researcher at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (University of Oxford) on a number of projects relating to infant mortality, maternity care, and breastfeeding.  

My research work is balanced alongside my role as academic coordinator for the PHFI-UK (Public Health Foundation of India) consortium, which is a Wellcome Trust funded capacity building programme for public health in India (http://wtp-india-ukc.com/).




I have taught on the MSc Epidemiology by distance learning (DL) since 2004. I currently  co-organise the MSc Epi core module EPM101 “Fundamentals of Epidemiology”. I also teach on the London-based MSc modules “Basic Epidemiology” and “STEPH”. I am a personal tutor for MSc Reproductive and Sexual Health Research (RSHR) and supervise projects for MSc RSHR and DL MSc Epidemiology. 


I work on a number of small research projects in the field of reproductive epidemiology. My main area of work is the epidemiology of adverse perinatal outcomes in the UK. I use a number of clinical and routine datasets for this research.  A particular topic of interest is risk factors for perinatal and infant death.  I have a long standing interest in the epidemiology of infertility in high income countries and the longer-term impact of assisted reproductive treatment.  I am also interested in the socio-economic determinants of breastfeeding in low, middle and high income countries.  

Research areas

  • Child health
  • Fertility
  • Health inequalities
  • Maternal health
  • Neonatal health
  • Perinatal health
  • Social and structural determinants of health


  • Epidemiology


  • Euro area
  • European Union


  • India
  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Breastfeeding
  • Member Of MARCH
  • Neonatal Mortality
  • capacity building
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