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Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Wolfson Fellow

Professor Carolyn Summerbell

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40071
Telephone: 0191 33 41483
Room number: 107, 42 Old Elvet
Room number: A106, Holliday Building, Queen's Campus, Stockton on Tees, TS17 6BH
Principal of John Snow College
Professor of Human Nutrition in the Obesity Related Behaviours (ORB) Research Group

Contact Professor Carolyn Summerbell (email at carolyn.summerbell@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Professor Summerbell works (50%) within the Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity (SEPA) group within the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS). She is also the Principal of John Snow College (50%).

She joined Durham University in September 2008 from Teesside University where she was Head of Research for the School of Health and Social Care, and previously at UCL and also QMUL as a lecturer.

Professor Summerbell’s current research focuses on 1) the collation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults, and dissemination and translation of this evidence into policy and practice, 2) the development of community-based interventions to prevent childhood and adult obesity, 3) the development of tools to assess dietary intake and physical activity levels at population level. The need to assess and reduce health inequalities underpins this programme of work.

Professor Summerbell has a strong record of attracting research grants from a variety of funding sources. For example, she is a co-applicant on the UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence (Fuse) and the School for Public Health Research 2 (Fuse) that includes all five Universities in the North East of England; Professor Summerbell is the Deputy Director of Fuse. Professor Summerbell is currently a co-applicant on a number of research projects, including those funded by NIHR, SPHR2, BIG Lottery and MRC. Professor Summerbell was a member of the Research Funding Board of the NIHR Public Health Research Programme from it’s inception to 2013.

Prof Summerbell has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed research papers and many Cochrane reviews, and is regularly invited to give keynote lectures at international conferences. She is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Obesity.

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2015: Invited speaker:
    12th European Nutrition Conference FENS, Berlin, Germany - talk entitled “Weighing up the evidence: the characteristics and approaches of effective public health interventions to tackle inequalities in obesity”
  • 2014: Organiser: of symposium on ‘Early Life experiences and obesity at the UK Association for the Study of Obesity Annual 2-day conference in Birmingham
  • 2013: Invited speaker and chair: Association for the Study of Obesity national meeting ‘Healthy Communities: Tackling Obesity in Local Areas’. London
  • 2012: Invited speaker: Childhood obesity: prevention in school years. A one day conference – Obesity in Mothers and Children: What are the links and what can we do about them? LSHTM, London
  • 2011: Invited speaker:
    International Conference on Childhood Obesity - CIOI 2011 (www.cioi2011.org) Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2010: Invited speaker: The 30th Great North Run Think Tank International Conference, Newcastle
  • 2009: Invited speaker: Danish Nutrition Society 'Interventions in childhood - to prevent/treat childhood obesity', Copenhagen
  • 2009: Invited speaker: 17th European Congress on Obesity. Geneva
  • 2009: Invited speaker: International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, Lisbon
  • 2009: Invited speaker: Wellcome Trust Frontiers meeting 'Environmental and Behavioural Determinants of Childhood Obesity'. Cambridge
  • 2009: invited speaker: Tackling Obesity Conference, London
  • 2009: Invited speaker: Department of Health - Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives Annual Horizon Scanning Workshop on the Evidence for Tackling Obesity, London
  • Editorial Board Member:
    Board of the International Journal of Obesity, Board of the British Journal of Nutrition 2006-2008, Board of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Reviews Editor 2001-2006.
  • Member: Research Funding Board of the NIHR PUblic Health Research Programme (2008 - May 2014)
  • Member: EPODE European Network (EEN) Scientific Evaluation and Dissemination Committee (2008 ongoing)
  • Trustee of First Steps Nutrition (national charity): ongoing

Research Groups

School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

Research Projects

Department of Geography

  • Tackling Inequalities in Obesity, NIHR, £207,000 (2011 - 2014)

Research Interests

  • The collation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults
  • Dissemination and translation of evidence for the prevention of obesity in children and adults into policy and practice
  • The development of community-based interventions to prevent childhood and adult obesity
  • The development of tools to assess dietary intake and physical activity levels at population level

Selected Publications

Book review

Chapter in book

  • Summerbell, CD. & Hillier, F. (2010). Community Interventions and Initiatives to Prevent Obesity. In Obesity Epidemiology: From Aetiology to Public Health. Crawford, D., Jeffery, R., Ball, K. & Brug, H. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 395-408.
  • Summerbell, C.D. & Shield, J. (2009). Obesity in Childhood. In Obesity: science to practice. Williams, G. & Frühbeck, G. Chichester: John Wiley. 509-539.
  • Thorogood, M., Hillson, M. & Summerbell, C.D. (2006). Changing behaviour. In Clinical Evidence. BMJ Publishing Group.
  • Edmunds, L., Summerbell, C., Waters, E., Campbell, K., Kelly, S. & Ashton, V. (2004). A Summary of findings from the two Cochrane Systematic Reviews for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity. In Childhood Obesity from Basic Science to Public Health. Caroli, M.A., Chandra, R.K. & Frelut, M.L. Naples: Giuseppe de Nicola Editore. 197-202.
  • Garrow, J. & Summerbell, C. (2004). Obesity. In Health Care Needs Assessment: the epidemiologically based needs assessment reviews. Stevens, A., Raftery, J., Mant, J. & Simpson, S. Oxford and San Francisco: Radcliffe Medical Press. 1 and 2.
  • Thorogood, M., Cowburn, G. & Summerbell, C. (2002). Nutrition and health promotion. In Nutrition through the life cycle. Shetty, P. Leatherhead, Surrey: Leatherhead Food International Royal Society of Chemistry.

Journal Article

Report

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Nutrition: Nutrition
  • Obesity: The prevention of obesity

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Exploring the nature and acceptability of local authority actions to restrict proliferation of hot-food takeaways in England: preparation for a large-scale evaluation. FUNDER: School for Public Health Research (SPHR)2. Principal Investigator Jean Adams (Cambridge); C Summberbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £115,207. DURATION: 1st November 2017 for 16 months
  • 2017: Improving healthy energy-balance and obesity-related behaviours among pre-schoolers in Malaysia: feasibility of adapting the Toybox-study. FUNDER: MRC and Newton Fund. Principal Investigator Leigh Gibson (Roehampton); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £98,994. DURATION: 1st Jan 2017 for 2 years
  • 2017: NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR 2) FUNDER: NIHR. Principal Investigator Ashley Adamson (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £2.25M. DURATION: 1st May 2017 - 2022 (5 Years)
  • 2017: Using Islamic Religious Settings to prevent childhood obesity. FUNDER: NIHR Programme Development Grant. Principal Investigator Sally Barber (Bradford NHS Trust); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £100,000. DURATION: 1st July for 12 Months
  • 2016: Formative evaluation of the First Wave of the national implementaion of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in England. FUNDER:Department of Health(DH England) through NIHR SPHR. Principal Investigator Falko Sniehotta (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £217,776 DURATION:1st June 2016 for 10 Months
  • 2015: Evaluation of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme Demonstrator phase in England. FUNDER: DH through NIHR SPHR. Principal Investigator Falko Sniehotta (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investogator. FUNDING £246,319. DURATION 1st Sept 2015 for 18 Months
  • 2015: Update of the Cochrane review 'Prevention of Childhood Obesity'. FUNDER: World Health Organisation. Principal Investigator Carolyn Summerbell; Tamara Brown is Co-Investigator. FUNDING: £91,344. DURATION:1st May 2015 for 8 Months
  • 2014: Community pharmacy interventions for public health priorities: a systematic review of community pharmacy delivered smoking, alcohol and weight management interventions. FUNDER: NIHR PHR. Principal Investigator Carolyn Summerbell. FUNDING: £141,904 DURATION 1st March 2014 - End of Feb 2015
  • 2013: A Better Start Evaluation and learning contract. FUNDER: BIG Lottery. Principal Investigator Jane Barlow (Warwick); Co-Investigator is C Summerbell. FUNDING: £11M. DURATION: 2013 1 Year
  • 2013: SPHR Capacity Building Fellowship (bridging funding to start of Foodscape Project) (£36324.00 from NIHR)
  • 2013: The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health (Fuse) FUNDER: UK Clinical Research Collaboration (funded by BHF, CRUK, ESRC, MRC and DH). Principal Investigator Martin White; C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING:£2M DURATION:May 2013 - 2018
  • 2013: Transforming the 'foodscape': development and feasibility testing of interventions to promote healthier take-away, pub or restaurant food. FUNDER: SPHR. Principal Investigator Ashley Adamson (Newcastle) C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING:£446,646 DURATION: 1st Oct 2013 - end of Sept 2016
  • 2012: Determinants of diet and physical activity in infants and young children.FUNDER: SPHR. Principal Investigator Raj Lakshman (Cambridge) DURATION August 2012 for 3 Years
  • 2012: NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) FUNDER: NIHR. Principal Investigator Martin White (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £2.25M. DURATION:2012-2017(5 years)
  • 2012: NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) FUNDER: NIHR. Principal Investigator Martin White (Newcastle); C Summerbell is Co-Investigator. FUNDING £2.25M. DURATION:2012-2017(5 yera
  • 2012: Physical Activity and Wellbeing in Schools (£6843.90 from ESRC)
  • 2012: Pre-schoolers in he Playground - a cluster randomised controlled trial of a physical activity intervention for children aged 18 mths to 4 years old (£21452.00 from NIHR)
  • 2012: School for Public Health (£131676.00 from NIHR)
  • 2011: Tackling inequalities in obesity (£178062.00 from NIHR)