Profile: Mai Stafford

Dr. Mai Stafford, Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK. Her background is in medical statistics, and her research focuses on neighbourhood determinants of health and health inequalities.

Mai Stafford was born in Leicester, England, and spent most of her childhood in Wales. Like many who enter the health field, Mai became interested in epidemiology after a chance meeting with an epidemiologist while she was in a training programme to become an NHS financial manager. Following her lucky escape from accounting, her interest in neighbourhoods and health grew out of reading about Sampson, et al ‘s work on the Public Health and Development in Chicago Neighbourhoods study. Her early university field of study took her into medical Statistics (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1993). In 2004, she earned her PhD at the University of London, with a dissertation on neighbourhood social capital and health. She has worked in her present position since 1994, where she contributes to teaching on the MSc program in Health and Society, with courses in social epidemiology as well as organising basic and advanced statistics courses for postgraduate students throughout University College London.

In her current research, Mai is interested in local social and economic effects on health, indluding concentrated deprivation, social capital, ethnic density and segregation. Her work also has a methodological focus on multilevel modelling to investigate contextual effects on health. She works on a range of UK datasets, including the Health Survey for England, the English Longitudinal Study for Ageing, as well as the Whitehall II study. She is also interested in comparative work across countries, having been part of the European Science Foundation network on Social Variations in Health Expectancy in Europe. She will be a visiting fellow at McGill University (Canada) in 2009.

Mai’s publications are found in a variety of journals, including Social Science Medicine, Health Place, the Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, the American Journal of Public Health, and the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Mai may be contacted at

Updated: June 2008