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Prof Janis Baird


Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Southampton
Honorary Consultant in Public Health, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

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Prof Baird’s research focuses on the translation of evidence of the developmental origins of health and disease into public health policy and practice. 

She leads research that aims to improve cardiometabolic health across the lifecourse. Her research incorporates epidemiological studies examining the factors that predict cardiometabolic health and the mechanisms that link them with later disease, alongside complex intervention studies which aim to improve health and nutrition before conception and during pregnancy, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities.

Prof Baird has contributed to the development of evidence-based practice, both locally through effective knowledge translation, and nationally through committee work including a leadership role at NICE. As well as having extensive experience of systematic review, she also has an interest in evaluation of complex interventions. She led the development of the 2015 Medical Research Council guidance on process evaluation of complex intervention studies, and recently contributed to 2022 update of the MRC guidance on development and evaluation of complex interventions.

Landmark publications:

A new framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions: update of Medical Research Council guidance. Kathryn Skivington, Lynsay Matthews, Sharon Anne Simpson, Peter Craig, Janis Baird, Jane M Blazeby, Kathleen Anne Boyd, Neil Craig, David P French, Emma McIntosh,  Mark Petticrew, Jo Rycroft-Malone, Martin White, Laurence Moore. BMJ 2021;374:n2061

Stephenson, J., Heselhurst, N., Hall, J., Schoenaker, D. A. J. M., Hutchinson, J., Cade, J., Poston, L., Barrett, G., Crozier, S., Kumaran, K., Yanjik, C., Barker, M., Baird, J. & Mishra, G. Before the beginning: nutrition and lifestyle in the preconception period and its importance for future health. 16 Apr 2018 In :The Lancet. 29 p.

Rose T, Barker M, Maria Jacob C, Morrison L, Lawrence W, Strommer S, Vogel C, Woods-Townsend K, Farrell D, Inskip H, Baird J. A Systematic Review of Digital Interventions for Improving the Diet and Physical Activity Behaviors of Adolescents. J Adolesc Health2017;61(6):669-77.

Vogel C, Lewis D, Ntani G, Cummins S, Cooper C, Moon G, Baird J. The relationship between dietary quality and the local food environment differs according to level of educational attainment: A cross-sectional study. PLoS One 2017;12 (8) (no pagination)(e0183700).

Vogel C, Ntani, G, Inskip H, Barker M, Cummins S, Cooper C, Moon G, Baird J. Education moderates the association between supermarket environment and diet. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2016 Aug;51(2):e27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.02.030.

Moore G, Audrey S, Barker M, Bond L, Bonell C, Hardeman W, Moore L, O'Cathain A, Tinati T, Wight D, Baird J. Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance. BMJ 2015;350;h1258 doi:10.1136/bmj.h1258.

Baird J, Jarman M, Lawrence W, Black C, Davies J, Tinati T, Begum R, Mortimore A, Robinson S, Margetts B, Cooper C, Barker M, Inskip H. The effect of a behaviour change intervention on the diets and physical activity levels of women attending Sure Start Children’s Centres: results from a complex public health intervention. BMJ Open 2014 4:doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-20140005290

Black C, Ntaini G, Inskip H, Cooper C, Cummins S, Moon G, Baird J. Measuring the healthfulness of food retail stores: variations by store type and neighbourhood deprivation. IJBNPA 2014;11:69.

Baird J, Fisher D, Lucas P, Kleijnen J, Roberts H, Law C. Being big or growing fast: a systematic review of size and growth in infancy and later obesity. British Medical Journal doi: 10.1136/bmj.38586.411273.E0 (14 October 2005).

BMA Board of Science: Early life nutrition and lifelong health February 2009. British Medical Association. (Authors of report:  Caroline Fall, Sian Robinson, Janis Baird and Mark Hanson).

Major grants:

Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12011/4) Development, body composition and health (programme grant within MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit) Hazel Inskip, Keith Godfrey, Sian Robinson, Clive Osmond, Janis Baird, Mary Barker 2015 – 2021 £4 million

NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research - Engaging adolescents in changing behaviour (EACh-B): improving the diets and physical activity levels of teenagers (PI: M Barker, Co-I J Baird) 2017-2022. £2.4 million

NIHR HTA. SCIENCE. Wright J, Dritsaki M, Achten J, Perry D, Baird J, Ferguson D, Stevenson R, Dutton S, Costa M, Jess S. 2019-22 £1.9 million.

NIHR PHR. Nudging healthier dietary habits: evaluation of a supermarket placement strategy in the WRAPPED study. Vogel C, Baird J (co-PIs), Crozier SR, Cooper C, Ball K, Moon G, Cade J, Lord J, Lawrence WT 2019-22 £629,165.

NIHR ARC Wessex – APPROVE Study (Attention to Product Placement ObseRved in WOmen in a Virtual Supermarket Environment) (PI: J Baird, Co-PI: C Vogel) 2019-2021 £42,131

Impact examples:

Prof Baird led the development of the 2015 Medical Research Council guidance on process evaluation of complex intervention studies. This has been widely used in the evaluation of complex interventions internationally with citations of around 3,000.

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