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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Public Health and Prevention

Meet the Team

Public Health and prevention is a specialty that is endorsed by Public Health England in order to protect us from threats to our health such as antimicrobial resistance, air pollution and outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Public health as a specialty also has a priority to reduce inequalities in health and care, promoting studies in relation to obesity, lifestyle choices, chronic disease prevention, screening, mental health, environmental factors in relation to health, sustainable development in areas of inequality and social determinants of health.

Sharon Dorgan

Senior strategic manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Balsam Ahmad

Public health specialty group co-lead

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Emma Giles

Public health specialty group co-lead

Teesside University

Laura Renwick

Senior manager for public health research

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Sharon Dorgan's research experience

I have worked in research since 2000 and for the Clinical Research Network since 2008 in a variety of roles including lead research and management manager and research operations manager. I am currently the senior strategic manager and workforce development lead for CRN North East and North Cumbria.

From April 2022 until April 2024 I will be on a secondment as a clinical fellow with the NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Council. I am passionate about providing opportunities for NMAHPs to continually grow their research knowledge and skills.

Tips for getting involved in public health research: Join the public health specialty group meetings. Sign up to be on the public health specialty group email distribution list. Talk to others within the public health specialty group who have been successful in applying for funding to support their areas of research interest

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Balsam Ahmad's research experience

I am a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and have completed accredited public health training in England (the North East Region) in 2018. My academic background is in pharmacy, environmental epidemiology and public health. In 2013, I obtained a PhD in public health from Newcastle University, where I have been an associate lecturer for the last ten years.

On the 1st of June 2020 I joined the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as a consultant in public health. I have passion for and experience in leading capacity building activities, improving the quality of care, embedding equity in services, health in all policies and a culture of research into practice. I have published widely on a variety of topics. Most in recent years were with service and practice partners.

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Emma Giles's research experience

I was awarded my PhD from Newcastle University in 2010. My PhD explored the links between diet, alcohol, and physical activity in young adults, focusing on social marketing as a method to achieve lifestyle behaviour change.

I joined the School of Health and Life Sciences (formerly School of Health and Social Care) in April 2015 as senior research lecturer in public health, and I am now an associate professor in public health.

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Areas supported:

Public health research

Connect with Laura Renwick

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How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Spread the word

Familiarise yourself and your colleagues with the public health research programme. The primary objective of this programme is to evaluate interventions that have the potential to be delivered at scale, in order to generate substantial evidence to support sustainable decision making and meaningful change.


Register to become a peer reviewer or a committee member of the public health research programme

Join the committee

Join the public health research prioritisation committee by completing this form. Members of the committee will advise on the prioritisation of submitted research proposals based on the importance of public health.