Prof Betty Kirkwood
Prof of Epidem & International Health
Betty is an epidemiologist with a statistical background. Her research is driven by a desire to improve the health of young children in low and middle-income countries, and to increase access to known effective interventions. It is focussed on informing priority policy issues through tackling gaps in evidence to enable effective decision making for maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition policies and programmes. She has made major contributions in the following areas: (i) Cluster randomised controlled trials evaluating the delivery through community-based workers of key known effective interventions for (a) newborn and child survival, and (b) early child development and growth; (ii) Definitive trials evaluating vitamin A supplementation strategies; (iii) Evaluating key maternal, newborn and child health interventions (including breastfeeding, access to facility births, water supply and sanitation) (iv) Increasing access to treatments for common mental disorders; (v) Understanding the epidemiology of childhood diarrhoea and pneumonia. My substantive research has been accompanied by a commitment to translating research findings into health policy and programme action, to teaching, to research capacity strengthening, and to making complex epidemiological and statistical methods accessible to public health researchers and policy makers. The latter is exemplified by the success of the “Essential Medical Statistics” textbook she first wrote in 1988, which is widely used and continues to receive accolades for the clarity in which it presents methods using a practical framework, while maintaining statistical integrity.
Module Organiser, Epidemiology in Practice, Core module term 1 for Epidemiology & Veterinary Epidemiology students.
Current - 2 students.
Completed 17 students - 5 of whom were awarded prizes: 3 LSHTM Woodruff Medal for best thesis in tropical medicine; 2 Cicely Williams Prize for an outstanding research student completing a doctoral thesis, on a topic which advances the health of vulnerable populations
Essential Medical Statistics Textbook (Kirkwood & Sterne)
Increasing access to key known effective maternal, newborn or child health interventions and child development outcomes.
Inequalities in maternal, newborn & child health, and the role of early child adversity in early child development, including an interest in early child care in urban slums.