Dr Georgina Cairns

Senior Clinical Lecturer

Undergraduate Medicine, School of Medicine

Senior Lecturer

Undergraduate Medicine, School of Medicine

Portrait photo of Georgina Cairns
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I currently contribute public health, global health and international health teaching and learning on the university's MPH and MBChB programmes. The scope of my research includes good practice of population health teaching and learning, as well as identifying and generating evidence to support the development of public policy focused on pro-health behaviour change. I started my career as a research dietitian for the Epidemiology Unit of the Medical Research Council. This was followed by research and capacity building posts in the not-for-profit, higher education and consultancy sectors in the UK, Asia and Scandinavia. I received an MBA in 2003, and Ph.D. by published works in 2106, both from the University of Stirling.


Research interests are broad, integrating behaviour science, health communications, public health policy, nutrition and food safety, and health promotion using mixed methods. Key research outcomes I have led, include a programme of pan-Asia research on the impacts of health communications on consumer perceptions and behaviours for the Asian Food Information Centre, a global systematic review for the World Health Organisation on the effects of food and drink marketing on children’s diets, a programme of strategic review and developmental research to support Scottish Government policy development aimed at reducing harmful impacts of food and drink marketing on children’s diets, a programme of behavioural research on the effects of communications on communicable disease prevention and control for the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and most recently an EU-wide programme of research on children’s exposure to the marketing and drinks high in fat, salt and/or sugar for the European Union (DG SANTE).

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Teaching and training / capacity building interests are equally broad and cross-disciplinary but are mainly focused around health communications (especially risk perception and risk communications), science and health literacy, behaviour change, organisational change, and public health. Key initiatives include designing and leading as Founding Programme Director an MBA in Social Marketing and Behaviour Change, RCGP accredited Continuous Professional Development courses in ‘Changing Lifestyle Behaviour in Practice’, and ‘Talking Nutrition in Chronic Disease’, Train the Trainer programmes in ‘Behaviour Change in Hospital Infection Prevention and Control’ and ‘Promoting Antibiotic Stewardship’ for the International Federation for Infection Prevention and Control, and Food Safety capacity building missions to SE Asian and South Asia government departments on behalf of the European Union (Special Delegation of the European Union to Thailand).

Most recently, I completed a review of the public health and evidence-based medicine components of the University of Dundee’s MBChB programme and am now involved in progressing some of the developmental opportunities identified by the review.