Nicholas Wareham

Professor Nick Wareham


Nick is a Clinical Academic specialised in epidemiology and public health who leads a major research programme into the causes and prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Nicholas Wareham

Nick has been Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit since 2003. He was formerly a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science in Cambridge. He qualified from St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, London and trained in internal medicine in London before studying epidemiology and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, USA and at the University of Cambridge.

In addition to being the Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit, Nick is also Co-Director of the University Institute of Metabolic Science with Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly. He is Director of CEDAR, the UKCRC-funded Centre of Diet and Activity Research and the NIHR Global Health Group on Diet and Activity (GDAR). He is the lead of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre theme in Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle which has established a measurement platform for these behaviours in population-based studies and surveys including the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Research interests

Nicholas's main research interests are understanding the aetiology and mechanisms that lead to obesity and diabetes, particularly the interplay between genetic and behavioural risk factors and the translation of that understanding into preventive action. He is the Principal Investigator on the Fenland and EPIC-Norfolk study and co-PI of trials including the ADDITION study.

His group has a longstanding interest in physical activity epidemiology, particularly in objective measurement. He has chaired the committee overseeing the implementation of wrist-worn accelerometry in the UK Biobank study. He is the Co-ordinator of the InterAct project, an EU-funded study of the interaction between genetic and lifestyle factors on diabetes risk which ascertained more than 12,000 incident cases of type 2 diabetes in a population with 4 million person years of follow-up.

He established the UKCRC Centre of Public Health Research Excellence on Diet and Activity in Cambridge in 2008, which conducts research on the upstream determinants of population-level physical activity and dietary behaviour and the evaluation of interventions that operate at that level. He is now also the Director of an NIHR Global Health Group which is conducting similar research in low- and middle-income countries.