Human Nutrition Research Centre

Staff Profile

Professor Ashley Adamson

Professor of Public Health Nutrition and NIHR Research Professor



After graduation in 1987 I worked as a dietitian in the NHS before moving to Newcastle University as a Research Associate to work on the Northumberland cross sectional cohort studies. I was awarded PhD from Faculty of Medicine Newcastle University in 1993. From 1992-95 I worked in clinical practice in a number of community dietetic posts and in primary care in London. I returned to Newcastle University in 1995 to take up a post as Lecturer in the then newly created Human Nutrition Research Centre to develop a research programme in Public Health Nutrition. The Human Nutrition Research Centre is now an established University Research Centre directed by Prof John Mathers. As deputy director of the Human Nutrition Research Centre I lead a thriving and vibrant team in Public Health Nutrition Research. In 2009 I joined the Institute of Health & Society where I led the Public Health Improvement research theme until 2017. I was awarded a personal chair in 2010, Fellowship of Faculty of Public Health in 2011, an NIHR Professorship in 2012 and appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2018.  I was appointed Director of Fuse in 2014 and National Director of NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) in 2017.

Roles and Responsibilities

Programme Director of HNRC Public Health Nutrition Research
Deputy Director of Human Nutrition Research Centre

Director of  Fuse (UKCRC funded Centre for Translation Research in Public Health)
National Director of NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR)
Member of Department of Health Public Health Research Consortium


BSc Dietetics with distinction, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh
PhD, University of Newcastle

Professional Registration

Registration with Health Care Professions Council (Dietetics) From 1987 

Previous Positions

NIHR Public Health Career Scientist 2005-2010
Visiting Senior Lecturer, University of York 2006-2007
Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
Lecturer, Newcastle University
Senior Community Dietitian Haringey and Enfield NHS Trust
Research Associate, University of Newcastle
Dietitian, Northwick Park Hospital, Middlesex 


Member of The Nutrition Society
Member of Association of Study of Obesity
Member of British Dietetic Association

Honours and Awards

NIHR Senior Investigator 2018

NIHR Research Professorship 2012

Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), through distinction since 2011

Department of Health (NIHR) Public Health Career Scientist 2005-2010




Research Interests

Nutritional epidemiology
Dietary assessment methods
Diet of children and adolescents
Childhood obesity - prevention
Nutrition and ageing
Intervention studies

Research Roles

Research led for Public Health Nutrition Research in Human Nutrition Research Centre and the Institute of Health & Society

Postgraduate Supervision

PhD student supervision in major areas of research interest especially tracking diet from childhood to adulthood, diet in children, and diet and obesity


5 April 2017 - New Director of the National School for Public Health Research

13 March 2017 - In response to published article Farooq MA, Parkinson KN, Adamson AJ, Pearce MS, Reilly JK, Hughes AR, Janssen X, Basterfield L, Reilly JJ: (2017) Timing of the decline in physical activity in children and adolescence: Gateshead Millennium Cohort Study. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Doi 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096933





   BBC TV Breakfast news - Interview -  also used later in BBC Look North
   BBC Newcastle Radio [Live in the breakfast show at 08.25am, Drive show between 4/5.30pm]

Cohort studies 

Gateshead Millennium Study 

Newcastle 85 study

Esteem Indicators

Member of Public Health England National Child Measurement Programme group from June 2014
British Nutrition Foundation Scientific Governor and Council member from June 2014
Member of Public Health England Obesity Priority Programme Board from Sept 2013
Member of School Food Plan Expert Panel from Sept 2012
British Nutrition Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee Member - 2011-2014
Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), through distinction from 2011
Member of Department of Health Public Health Research Consortium 2005-2016
Department of Health Public Health Career Scientist 2005-2010 'Meeting the challenge of Obesity Epidemic in Children and Young Adults'
Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Obesity Forum from 2006-2008
Member of Food Standards Agency to Project Management Panel for Front of Pack Signposting Jan 2007 Member of Editorial Board for Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics from June 2007
Member of Joint Taskforce of British Dietetic Association and Nutrition Society Public health nutrition career framework to develop a nutrition career framework with special reference to public health, within the context of the developing National Public Health Career Framework as guidance to Dept of Health, from April 2007
Elected member of Nutrition Society Programmes Committee 2004-2007
Invited member of DFES school meals study advisory group 2002-2005
Invited member of British Dietetic Association National Campaign Planning Group 2006


Department of Health
Food Standards Agency
Medical Research Council
National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI-MRC)
National Institute of Health Research
Wellcome Trust
The Children's Foundation  


Undergraduate Teaching

Food and Human Nutrition BSc (Hons)
Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry  

Postgraduate Teaching

Masters in Health Sciences
PhD Supervision