Public Health

Focus of research

Together with Prof dr Karien Stronks, I am leading the research line on Social Epidemiology.

This research line aims to contribute to the scientific evidence that is needed to support policies aimed at improving the health of populations at local, national and international levels. Particular attention is given to the health situation of socio-economically deprived groups, including migrants. These groups face a higher burden of disease, disability and early death. To address health inequalities, we need to know their causes. We aim to study the role of risk factors for specific diseases (such as smoking and overweight) and the underlying “social determinants of health” (such as working and living conditions). We also aim to assess which policies and interventions are effective in improving population health, and especially the health of disadvantage groups. Our line includes HELIUS (multi-ethnic cohort study among three generations), URBAN40 (quasi-experimental study on the health impact of neighbourhood programs), and ABCD (multi-ethnic birth cohort study since 2002). We are leading several EU-funded projects, including SILNE (smoking inequalities: learning from natural experiments) and RODAM (research on obesity and diabetes among African migrants).