01 February 2011

Researchers to work with Nobel Prize winning economist

Colchester Campus

Professor Stephen Pudney and Professor Amanda Sacker from the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) are to join forces with Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman on a multi-million pound ground-breaking health research project.

Nine academics, all leaders in their field, are joining forces to produce an interdisciplinary developmental approach to health that brings together the study of the origins and the evolution of health inequalities and the role played by cognition, personality, genes and environments.

It’s hoped that Understanding Health Across The Lifecourse: An Integrated Developmental Approach will result in a complete new approach to the socio-biological determinants of health and lay the groundwork for an integrated approach to health which the researchers say is currently lacking in public policy.

The project, which has received €3.5m of European Union funding, brings together an interdisciplinary team of world-class researchers including the Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman from University College Dublin and George Davey Smith from the University of Bristol.

Commenting on the award Stephen Pudney said: "It is a tremendous honour to be part of such an exciting and important project and to be working alongside such a distinguished and outstanding group of academics."

He added: "Health policy is currently treated as a distinct realm from education policy or family policy. This piecemeal approach neglects important policy synergies and ignores the connections which exist among different lifecourse processes. We hope to overcome this limitation of current research and public policy and advocate a more complete approach to human health and development which encompasses social, economic and biological determinants."

The research project expects to guide the design of current and prospective experimental and longitudinal studies and policy formulation and will provide opportunities to train young scholars in frontier methods of research.

...more news releases