Professor Nita Gandhi Forouhi is a physician-scientist, Head of the Nutritional Epidemiology Programme, MRC Investigator and Professor of Population Health and Nutrition at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge. She is also National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. She is a Public Health physician with the UK government’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and the Director of Organisational Affairs at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.
Nita’s research focuses on defining the link between diet, nutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic disease, and in informing strategies for the prevention of these conditions nationally and globally. As a principal investigator of several large longitudinal cohort studies she has applied both subjective assessment of dietary intakes and the use of objective assessment in the form of nutritional biomarkers to investigate diet-disease associations. Nita’s research has contributed to understanding both within- population and between- population differences in NCD risk, particularly by ethnicity and geography.
She has published more than 300 peer reviewed scientific articles, and she was series adviser for the “Science and Politics of Nutrition” series of the BMJ (British Medical Journal) in 2018 and 2020. Research generated by her and colleagues in collaborative team science has been cited extensively and been incorporated into dietary guidelines and public health policy.
Nita has been a member or adviser of several national and international committees related to health, including National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Public Health England, Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), medical charities (Diabetes UK), and International Diabetes Federation (IDF), serving on the Diabetes Atlas committee. She is a Trustee of the Public Health Genomics Foundation and co-lead of the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) theme on Nutrition, Obesity, Metabolism and Endocrinology and for the Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle Theme.
Committed to building capacity for public health research, Nita has trained and mentored numerous Masters and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and specialist trainees in public health.
Having moved to the UK from India as a teenager, she trained as a physician in Newcastle and Edinburgh qualifying with a BMedSci (First Class Honours), MBBS and MRCP. She then trained as an epidemiologist during a Wellcome Fellowship in London, achieving a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She subsequently trained as a Public Health physician in London and Cambridge, achieving Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health. Nita is an avid champion for equality, diversity and inclusion.