Steven Cummins


of Population Health

Room 223

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

020 7927 2741

Steven, a geographer (BSc) with training in epidemiology (MSc) and public health (PhD), joined LSHTM in 2012 after holding posts at Queen Mary, University of London and the MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow.

AT LSHTM, he is Head of the Department of Public Health, Environments & Society, Co-Director of the Population Health Innovation Lab and Lead/PI of LSHTM's membership of the NIHR School for Public Health Research. He has also been Chair of the LSHTM/MRC Strategic Skills Development Fellowships Scheme, Theme Lead for Complex Public Health Interventions, LSHTM-SGUL MRC Doctoral Training Partnership and member of the LSHTM REF2021 Strategic Advisory Group.

Research interests include the social and environmental determinants of population health and health inequalities; evaluation of complex population health interventions, complex systems thinking, use of natural experiments in evidence-based policy, and the research-policy interface. Much of this work is focused on understanding impacts of food retail system transformation on healthy and sustainable population diets, particularly the impact of technology-driven changes (delivery, advertising/media, retail, sustainability). Other projects are focused on green infrastructure and health and the physical activity and environmental benefits of active transportation. His team is increasingly making use of large-scale consumer and public secondary data, and exploring machine-learning and agent-based modelling approaches to better understand and intervene in food and transport systems.

Externally he currently serves as Panel Chair for the NIHR Doctoral Fellowships Programme and member of the Editorial Board of Health & Place, and acts as a Mentor for NIHR and the Society for Social Medicine & Population Health. Previously he was a member of The Movember Foundation's Global Advisory Committee, the CRUK Prevention Panel, the NIHR Public Health Research Programme Funding Panel and the MRC Skills Development Fellowship Panel.

His 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. His work has been recognised by the award of a Phillip Leverhulme Prize, the Association for the Study of Obesity Young Achiever Award and he is a two time recepient (with others) of the European Society for Prevention Research Presidents Award.  


Department of Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Global Chronic Conditions
Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health


I am a Seminar Leader for Principles of Social Research (MSc Public Health) and contribute lectures to the Social Epidemiology (MSc Epidemiology) modules.

I also supervise MSc tutees and a number of PhD students. Current PhD students include Alexandra Klabus, Amanda Karapicci, Robert Greener, Denise Ndlovu and Ada Humphrey.


Steven is Co-Director of the Population Health Innovation Lab with Laura Cornelsen. PHI|Lab aims to use insights from epidemiology, economics, sociology and geography to understand and change the social, economic and environmental system drivers of population health.

The group has particular expertise in diet and physical activity and maternal and child health and are using findings from our research to test and evaluate social and environmental policies and interventions that have the potential to improve health at the population level. Current major projects include MANDALA and SALIENT (two large-scale consortia investigating the health and sustainability impacts of food system interventions); CLEVER (an ADRUK-funded project that creates an e-cohort of 14 million children to look and the environment and childrens health) and COPPER (co-designing economic policies for for healthy People and Planet)

To achieve this the team works collaboratively with leading researchers, policymakers and practitioners locally, nationally and internationally.

In addition, over the years PHI-Lab has been lucky to host the recepients of a number of personal research and training fellowships from MRC, Wellcome Trust, CIHR and NIHR. Current fellowship holders include Dr Laura Cornelsen (MRC CDA) and Dr Emilie Courtin (MRC SDF) with Dr Courtin about to take up a new 5-year ERC Starting Grant. These fellowships focus on a range of topics including the food environment and diet, the economics of food pricing and the impact of social policies on child and maternal health and biological aging.

PHI-Lab is also 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 and the LSHTM Centre for Climate Change & Planetary Health.

Please visit the PHI-Lab website for updates

Research Area
Complex interventions
Health inequalities
Public health
Social and structural determinants of health
Adolescent health
Behaviour change
Evidence use
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Impact evaluation
Physical activity
Spatial analysis
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Cardiovascular disease
Chronic disease
Non-communicable diseases
United Kingdom
United States of America
European Union
North America

Selected Publications

The health, cost and equity impacts of restrictions on the advertisement of high fat, salt and sugar products across the transport for London network: a health economic modelling study.
Thomas C; Breeze P; Cummins S; Cornelsen L; Yau A; Brennan A
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Evaluation of public health interventions from a complex systems perspective: A research methods review.
McGill E; Er V; Penney T; Egan M; White M; Meier P; Whitehead M; Lock K; Anderson de Cuevas R; Smith R
Social Science & Medicine
Changes in soft drinks purchased by British households associated with the UK soft drinks industry levy: controlled interrupted time series analysis.
Pell D; Mytton O; Penney TL; Briggs A; Cummins S; Penn-Jones C; Rayner M; Rutter H; Scarborough P; Sharp SJ
BMJ (Clinical research ed.)
Patterns of beverage purchases amongst British households: A latent class analysis.
Berger N; Cummins S; Allen A; Smith RD; Cornelsen L
PLoS medicine
COVID-19: impact on the urban food retail system and dietary inequalities in the UK
Cummins S; Berger N; Cornelsen L; Eling J; Er V; Greener R; Kalbus A; Karapici A; Law C; Ndlovu D
Cities & Health
Anticipatory changes in British household purchases of soft drinks associated with the announcement of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy: A controlled interrupted time series analysis.
Pell D; Penney TL; Mytton O; Briggs A; Cummins S; Rayner M; Rutter H; Scarborough P; Sharp SJ; Smith RD
PLoS medicine
The effect of moving to East Village, the former London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Athletes' Village, on physical activity and adiposity (ENABLE London): a cohort study.
Nightingale CM; Limb ES; Ram B; Shankar A; Clary C; Lewis D; Cummins S; Procter D; Cooper AR; Page AS
The Lancet. Public health
An Olympic Legacy? Did the Urban Regeneration Associated With the London 2012 Olympic Games Influence Adolescent Mental Health?
Clark C; Smuk M; Cummins S; Eldridge S; Fahy A; Lewis D; Moore DG; Smith N; Taylor SJC; Stansfeld SA
American journal of epidemiology
Interrupted time series regression for the evaluation of public health interventions: a tutorial.
Bernal JL; Cummins S; Gasparrini A
International journal of epidemiology
The Local Food Environment and Fruit and Vegetable Intake: A Geographically Weighted Regression Approach in the ORiEL Study.
Clary C; Lewis DJ; Flint E; Smith NR; Kestens Y; Cummins S
American journal of epidemiology
'Dark logic': theorising the harmful consequences of public health interventions.
Bonell C; Jamal F; Melendez-Torres GJ; Cummins S
Journal of epidemiology and community health
See more Publications