Dr Laura Oakley
BSc MSc PhD
I am an epidemiologist focusing on maternal, reproductive and child health. My main interests are the epidemiology of infertility, ill-health during pregnancy and adverse perinatal outcomes, the effects of in-utero exposures on infant and child health, and infant feeding.
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.
I hold an affiliated researcher position at the Centre for Fertility and Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Oslo, Norway) (https://www.fhi.no/en/more/research-centres/Centre-for-fertility-and-he…).
My research work is balanced alongside my role as academic coordinator for the PHFI-UK 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.
Since rejoining LSHTM in 2014 I have worked on a number of research projects.
Using routine clinical datasets I have investigated the epidemiology of adverse perinatal outcomes in the UK. I am collaborating on several other projects looking at ill-health pre- or during pregnancy and birth outcomes in the UK and elsewhere.
I have a long standing interest in the epidemiology of infertility in high income countries and the longer-term impact of assisted reproductive treatment. Along with colleagues at the Centre for Fertility and Health in Norway I have been investigating the association between infection during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children.
I am also interested in the socio-economic determinants of breastfeeding in low, middle and high income countries. I have recently conducted research on the impact of urbanisation on traditional breastfeeding practices using data from the APCAPS cohort in southern India (http://apcaps.lshtm.ac.uk/).