Debbie Lawlor, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Bristol, has been awarded a CBE for her services to social and community medicine research.
Professor Lawlor is a renowned epidemiologist and translational research expert whose interests span understanding how biological (including genetic), social and environmental exposures from across life affect the risk of disease and how, therefore, disease can be prevented and health improved.
Based in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ School of Social and Community Medicine, her main areas of research are perinatal, reproductive and cardio-metabolic health, in particular understanding how a woman's reproductive health affects her later cardio-metabolic health and that of her children and grandchildren.
Professor Lawlor heads one of the University’s MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit programmes which investigates the causes of diseases and the factors underlying their spread within populations, and has worked on Bristol’s Children of the 90s study for over 15-years, most recently on a follow-up study of the original women who were recruited during pregnancy in the early 1990s and recruiting their grandchildren (children of the children of the 90s) into the study.
She also leads the Perinatal and Reproductive Health theme in the recently launched £21m National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) which carries out research into a wide range of diseases to help develop new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients, and she is one of 12 faculty staff to have been awarded a prestigious Senior Investigator status by the NIHR.
In 2015 and 2016, Professor Lawlor was named by Thomson Reuters as one of nine University of Bristol academics among the top one per cent of scientists who are “the world’s most influential scientific minds” and whose publications have been deemed as having exceptional impact.
One example of the impact her work has achieved includes the development of IVF predict, an online calculator considered by clinicians as one of the most accurate tools for predicting live birth in couples undergoing IVF treatment. The tool has been used by over 80,000 individuals.
Professor Lawlor, said:
“I am delighted to have received this recognition. Being able to work in a Unit and School at the University of Bristol that is truly collaborative and supportive, with colleagues who are motivated to undertake the best science that can make a real difference to people’s lives and well-being is one of the best rewards. This recognition is truly an honour, but would not have been possible without input and support from many colleagues and study participants.
“Population health interventions are key to improving public health, the high-quality research and teaching led at Bristol is ultimately helping to shape the future of that.”