Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Ruth Bell

Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Public Health


I trained in medicine, specialising in public health. My research is in the field of maternal and perinatal health, with a particular focus on the problem of maternal obesity and diabetes. My work seeks to improve outcomes for women and infants by investigating the determinants of adverse outcome and developing and evaluating interventions to improve outcomes. Particular interests include diabetes and obesity in pregnancy, and smoking in pregnancy.

Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Public Health England. 

Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health

GMC accredited specialist in Public Health


  • 1988 BA(Hons) Medical Sciences Cambridge University
  • 1991 BMedSci(1st Class Hons) Newcastle University
  • 1992 MBBS Newcastle University
  • 1996 MSc Health Sciences (Distinction) Newcastle University
  • 2005 MD Newcastle University

Area of expertise

  • Maternal and infant public health


My research focuses on the effects of maternal chronic disease and health related behaviours on pregnancy and infant outcomes. In particular, I have investigated obesity and diabetes in pregnancy and smoking in pregnancy. I am also interested in the impact of low income and money difficulties during the transition to motherhood.

Postgraduate Supervision

I supervise PhD and Masters students in a range of topics relating to maternal and infant health.



Postgraduate teaching

Module lead, Applications of Epidemiology to Public Health. MPH/MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research