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Strengthening advocacy and research impact to improve food and health policy
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Strengthening advocacy and research impact to improve food and health policy

Associate Professor Jacqui Webster, Institution: University of New South Wales

2018 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2019-2022

Diet-related chronic diseases account for the majority of disease and death globally and overwhelm health budgets. A major focus of my research to date has been on strengthening the effectiveness of food policy interventions to tackle the burden of diet related diseases. In my role as Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Population Salt Intake, I play a key role in research translation. My goal now is to utilise this experience to support other cardiovascular health research programs. Firstly, I will continue to support advocacy and policy implementation on salt reduction through trials of innovative interventions. Secondly, I will expand my globally recognised research program on salt reduction initiatives to tackle other priority areas of nutrition and noncommunicable disease prevention. This will include implementation science research working with governments to strengthen and monitor implementation of food policy interventions in the Pacific Islands, evaluation of Australian Federal government food policy initiatives and a new collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health on identifying unmet need for prevention and treatment of cardio-metabolic diseases. Thirdly, I will strengthen research translation through evidence synthesis and targeted dissemination and develop a global health research impact framework for cardiovascular health researchers. The overarching objective of this program is to optimise the impact of research on cardiovascular health outcomes. At the end of four years, my program of research at TGI will be internationally recognised, with a team of world class PhD students to assist with succession planning, and with senior research fellows leading each of the three research streams with their own funding. As such, I will be perfectly positioned as an independent global leader on advocacy and research translation, supporting effective establishment and implementation of public health policies globally

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