ALPHA People

The LSE Alpha research unit is a multidisciplinary centre incorporating staff from across LSE.  Staff profiles include details of research conducted by staff members.


Dr Mauricio Avendano

Principal Research Fellow and Deputy Director,
LSE Health

AvendanoM 

Mauricio Avendano is Principal Research Fellow and Deputy Director at LSE Health. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public health. He has appointments as adjunct faculty at the Erasmus University Medical Center, and he is research associate at the McArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. 


Background.
Dr Avendano is an epidemiologist with an interest in the causal impact of social and economic factors and policies on healthy ageing from a cross-national comparative perspective. His research focuses on understanding how social exposures outside the health care system influence physical and cognitive function in old age, as well as the development of cardiovascular disease and other age-associated chronic diseases. His work has also examined the causes of differences in mortality and life expectancy at age 50 and above between European countries and other high-income countries. His research has focused primarily on the use of longitudinal survey and administrative data from a cross-national comparative perspective. He has been involved in several major European collaborative projects to study health inequalities in Europe. He was also responsible for coordinating and designing the health module of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), a comparative study of 18 countries examining the links between healthy ageing and social and economic dimensions of life.  His current research integrates econometric and epidemiological approaches to examine the causal impact of social policies on healthy ageing exploiting variations in policies across European countries and the United States, with recent applications to low- and middle-income countries particularly in Latin America.


Current research.
Dr. Avendano has between awarded a VENI’ early investigator fellowship from the Dutch Scientific Council (2007), a David Bell Fellowship from Harvard University (2008), and a VIDI mid-career fellowship from the Dutch Scientific Council (2010). In 2011, Dr Avendano was awarded a Starting European Research Council (ERC) grant to use data from international ageing surveys to study how economic conditions over the life-course from early life to adulthood influence the risk of physical and cognitive decline and shape ageing trajectories of Europeans in 18 countries. Dr. Avendano is also co-investigator in a US National Institute on Ageing (NIA) grant to study the causes of differences in mortality and life expectancy at age 50 between European countries and the United States, with a focus on the role of social policies; and a second NIA grant to develop a comprehensive theory of the causes of social disparities in health. His work also examines health inequalities and the impact of social and health care policies on health and mortality in Latin American and other low- and middle-income countries. 

Contact details:
m.avendano-pabon@lse.ac.uk
LSE Health and Social Care,
Cowdray House 

More information:
LSE Health
LSE Experts
Harvard

Kieron Barclay

Research Officer

KieronBarclay 

Background. Kieron Barclay is a PhD student in Demography and Sociology at Stockholm University, and received his Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Oxford. During his PhD he has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University and Lund University. He has also studied at Tsinghua University, the University of Surrey, and the University of Maryland at College Park. In January 2015 he will join the LSE as a member of Professor Mikko Myrskylä’s ERC funded project investigating how the postponement of parenthood influences the long-term outcomes of the offspring.


Current research. Kieron’s research addresses a variety of demographic questions. His current work focuses upon how the sibling constellation and other factors within the family of origin can affect later life outcomes such as educational attainment, cognitive ability in adulthood, labour market outcomes, marital stability, and mortality. In practice this means examining the long-term impact of birth order, family size, the gender composition of the sibling group, birth intervals, and parental age at the time of birth. More generally he is also working on several studies examining the impact of kin on mortality, and has previously studied the potential influence of sex ratio imbalances on demographic outcomes.

Contact details:
kieron.barclay@sociology.su.se
Department of Sociology
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

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Stockholm University
 

Emilie Courtin

Research Officer, PhD Candidate

Emilie Courtin is a Research Officer and PhD student at LSE Health and Social Care.

Current research. Her research focuses on ageing and mental health, in a comparative perspective. Her current projects look at the impact of social isolation and loneliness on physical and mental health outcomes in old age; the association between intergenerational support and mental health in old age in Europe and the US; and informal care. In previous projects, she has investigated the provision of support services for informal carers across the European Union; and access to LTC services. In addition, Emilie is working towards her PhD at the Department of Social Policy at LSE. Emilie’s doctoral research is about the living arrangements of older people in England and France and their association with depression and it is supervised by Professors Martin Knapp and Emily Grundy.

Background. Emilie holds an MSc in Health, Population and Society (LSE), and a BSc in Political Science (Sciences-Po Strasbourg)

Contact details:
e.courtin@lse.ac.uk
LSE Health and Social Care,
Cowdray House

More information:
LSE Health profile
LSE Experts

 

Jon Cylus

Research Fellow, PhD Candidate 

Jon Cylus is a Research Fellow at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and LSE Health. His research spans a number of topics, including measuring health system efficiency, access barriers, and financial protection and assessing the effects of the financial crisis on health care systems in Europe.


Background.
Before joining the Observatory, Jon worked as an economist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the United States where he conducted research in a variety of areas, including health care spending projections over the short-term (10 years) and long-term (75 years), hospital sector multifactor productivity, and health care spending estimates by age and gender. He has also acted previously as a consultant to multiple nongovernmental organisations and international agencies. Jon obtained a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and is working towards a PhD at the London School of Economics.


Current research.
Currently, Jon’s primary research linked to ALPHA is using causal methods to understand how unemployment benefit programs in the United States affect health and health behaviours.

Contact details:
j.d.cylus@lse.ac.uk 
LSE Health and Social Care,
Cowdray House

More information:
LSE Health profile
LSE Experts

Dr Alice Goisis

Research Officer

Alice holds a Ph.D. in Demography/Population Studies from the LSE. Her Ph.D. work investigates the association between maternal age at first birth and child well-being, with a particular focus on how this link varies across subgroups of the population in the U.K. Prior to joining LSE in September 2014, Alice worked at the ESRC Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health at UCL on a project on social inequalities in youths.

Background. Alice also holds a BSc in International Economics and Management and an MSc in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University (Italy), where, before becoming a full-time Ph.D. student, she worked as a research assistant at the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamic.

Current research. Alice is currently working on an ERC funded project entitled 'COSTPOST' led by Professor Mikko Myrskylä. The project aims to investigate the consequences of fertility postponement on a range of outcomes for children and their parents. 

Her general research interests include: family demography, ethnic/health inequalities, life-course health and social processes.

Contact details: 
a.goisis@lse.ac.uk    
8th Floor, Tower 1
Tower 1, 8.01

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Dr Alice Goisis



 Professor Emily Grundy

Professor of Demography and Director of ALPHA

 EmilyGrundy

Emily Grundy joined LSE as Professor of Demography in October 2013. Nearly all of Emily’s work has focussed on aspects of individual or population ageing. Her main research interests are families, households and kin and social networks in later life, especially in relationship to health, associations between family life courses and health and well-being at older ages, and trends and differentials in later life health, disability and mortality. Emily is past President of the British Society for Population Studies, a member of the Council of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population and on the scientific advisory boards of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the Understanding Society longitudinal study. From 2001-2012 she directed the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information and User Support with which she remains associated. She has published over 200 journal articles, books chapters and books. Emily is current leader of the ALPHA research unit.


Background.
 Emily trained in Demography at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where she was also employed from 1998 to 2012 and where she currently holds an Honorary Professorship. Other previous appointments have been at Cambridge University; King’s College, London, where she helped set up the UK’s first multidisciplinary MSc course in Gerontology; The City University and University of Nottingham Medical School.


Current research
. Emily is leader of the FAMHEALTH project funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant. She is also working with colleagues at LSHTM and the Institute of Education on the ESRC National Centre of Research Methods node on Pathways: biosocial influences on health which she leads. As part of the MODEM project led by Professor Martin Knapp (LSE) she is engaged in research on social networks over the life course and later life cognitive function in collaboration with Professor Ann Bowling (Southampton University). 

Contact details:
e.m.grundy@lse.ac.uk 
Department of Social Policy
Old 1.11, OId Building

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LSHTM
Professor Emily Grundy

 

 Dr Ursula Henz

 Associate Professor

Background.  Ursula Henz is Associate Professor in Sociology and Social Research Methods in the Sociology Department. She holds a degree in Mathematics from Trier University, Germany, and a PhD in Sociology from the Free University of Berlin. Prior to joining the LSE, she held research fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin, Germany, at Stockholm University, Sweden, and at King’s College, London. Her research has been concerned primarily with longitudinal aspects of compulsory and post-compulsory educational participation, poverty, labour-market participation, family dynamics and informal caregiving using a number of large-scale surveys. Most of her work addressed the interrelationship between the spheres of the family and education or the labour market and pays special attention to gender differences.

Current research.  Her current research comprises a study into the long-term trends in homogamy among British couples and a study on work-life balance in Britain with a special focus on the different ways in which family circumstances affect work-life balance for men and women. She continues her recent research into fatherhood through her involvement in the FP7 project “Families And Societies – Changing families and sustainable societies: policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations”. As part of its research package into the new roles of men she examines, together with researchers from France, Italy and Sweden, patterns and trends in the time that fathers spend with their children. She is also starting work on a small funded project on ‘Forty years of changing households – pseudo-cohort analyses of children’s and adults’ living conditions in Britain’. This research will trace transformations of the life courses of adults and children in Britain with a particular focus on objective indicators of well-being.

Contact details:
u.henz@lse.ac.uk 

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LSE Experts

 

 Dr Katherine Keenan

Research Officer

 

Katherine Keenan is a Research Officer on the “FAMHEALTH” project led by Professor Emily Grundy. Her research focuses on the relationship between fertility and marriage patterns and later life health and well-being, using data collected in different European countries.

Background. Katherine holds a BSc in Social Anthropology from LSE, an MSc in Demography and Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and a PhD in Epidemiology, also from LSHTM. Most of her previous research relates to health in post-Soviet countries, particularly Russia. She completed her PhD thesis on the longitudinal relationship between alcohol use and family processes in Russia.  In addition, she has been involved with qualitative research exploring the social context of male heavy drinking in the Urals, Russia.

Contact details:
k.keenan1@lse.ac.uk
8th Floor, Tower 1
Tower 1, 8.01

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LSE Experts
Dr Katherine Keenan

 

Professor Øystein Kravdal

Professor of Demography

 KravdalOystein

Øystein Kravdal (born 1959) has been Professor of demography at the Department of Economics, University of Oslo since 1994. He also has a part-time position at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Before 1994 he was a researcher in Statistics Norway and at the Norwegian Cancer Registry. He is interested in how socio-economic resources influence and are influenced by fertility and family behaviour, and how all these sets of factors are associated with health and mortality. Most of his work has been based on register or survey data from Norway, but he has also done research on India and sub-Saharan Africa. He has used event history analysis in most of his studies, and has taken a special interest in multiprocess and multilevel modelling.

Øystein has been co-editor of Population Studies from 2004 to 2013 and member of the Editorial Board for European Journal of Population since 2001. He is currently member of the Council of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

Contact details:
oystein.kravdal@econ.uio.no 
Department of Economics
University of Oslo
Moltke Moes vei 31
Eilert Sundts hus
blokk B
0851 OSLO

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University of Oslo

 

Professor Mikko Myrskylä

Professor of Demography

myrskylaMikko

Background.  Mikko Myrskylä is Professor of Demography at the London School of Economics and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. He is the head of the LSE Population Cluster and chairs the Pathways to Health Research Panel at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. Prof. Myrskylä has a PhD in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Helsinki.

Current research.  Professor Myrskylä’s research focuses on population health and fertility trends in the developed world. His recent work includes studies on the impact of early life conditions on old-age health; the role of gender equality in explaining cross-national variation in fertility; the influence of children on parental well-being; and fertility forecasting. Mikko Myrskylä’s research team in the ALPHA group focuses on analysing how postponement of parenthood to advanced ages influences the health and cognitive ability of the children. This research project is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant to Mikko Myrskylä. 

Contact details:
M.Myrskyla@lse.ac.uk   
Department of Social Policy
Old 2.27, OId Building

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Population at LSE
LSE Experts


Dr Chiara Orsini

Research Officer

 I am an Economist working at the intersection of the fields of Labour, Health and Public Finance.

 

Background. After receiving my PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park (USA) I worked as an assistant professor at the department of Economics and Business at the University of Aarhus, in Denmark. I have also been a research associate at the department of Economics at the University of Maryland at College Park and a visiting assistant professor at the department of Economics at the University of Venice, in Italy. Previous experience before joining LSE includes teaching Labour Economics at the 4th year undergraduate level at the University of Maryland at College Park and Microeconometrics, Applied Labour, Education and Health and Health Economics at the postgraduate level at the University of Aarhus.

Current research within ALPHA focuses on understanding the link between economic forces and health and health behaviour at different stages of life with particular attention to disadvantaged groups. 

Contact details:
C.Orsini@lse.ac.uk
LSE Health and Social Care,
Cowdray House

More information:
LSE Health profile



Dr George Ploubidis

 Reader in Population Health and Statistics and 
Chief Statistician Centre for Longitudinal Studies,  
Institute of Education

Contact details: 
g.ploubidis@ioe.ac.uk

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Institute of Education

 

Dr Sanna Read

Research Fellow

Sanna has a PhD in Psychology (Finland). Previously, she has been working on research projects on fertility history, social networks, health, and living arrangements in old age at the Department of Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a project on social and political trust at the University of Surrey. Her current research interests are long-term health effects of fertility history, social contacts and socioeconomic factors in middle and older age. She is also interested in social inequalities and school engagement, school burnout and mental health among young people.

 

Contact details:

s.read@lse.ac.uk

 

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LSE Experts

 

 

Thijs van den Broek

Research Officer

 

T.VANDENBROEK

 

Thijs van den Broek has been working as a Research Officer at the Department of Social Policy of the London School of Economics and Political Science since December 2015. He is involved in the ERC-funded project FAMHEALTH, led by Prof. Dr. Emily Grundy. For this project, he focuses on the health and wellbeing outcomes of intergenerational exchanges and how these outcomes vary across contexts.

 

Thijs’ research interests are older persons’ health, long-term care and intergenerational support exchanges. Before joining the LSE, he was a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The aim of his doctoral research was to shed light on the impact of formal long-term care arrangements on the support that adult children provide to ageing parents. He has been involved in the FP7 project FamiliesAndSocieties and the COST Action INTERFASOL: Intergenerational Family Solidarity across Europe.

 

Contact details:

M.P.Van-Den-Broek@lse.ac.uk

 

Dr Giorgio Di Gessa

Research Officer

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Giorgio Di Gessa joined LSE as a Teaching Fellow in August 2016. Giorgio has a long-standing academic interest in the field of social gerontology and in particular the demographic and social determinants of health and well-being in later life.

 

Background: Giorgio Di Gessa completed his PhD in Demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Supervised by Professor Emily Grundy, his doctoral research investigated the idea of ‘Active Ageing’ promoted by the WHO as a strategy for health and well-being among older people in Europe. Prior to joining LSE, Giorgio worked at the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London where he explored variations in the way older people care for grandchildren across 11 European countries and its impact on the health and wellbeing of grandparents.

 

Current Research: Giorgio is currently working on the Wellbeing, Health, Retirement and the Lifecourse project, one of the Extending Working Lives Consortia Grants funded by the ESRC and MRC. His research focuses on the complex relationships over time between paid work up to and beyond State Pension Age, and mental and physical health, taking lifecourse factors (i.e. family, paid work and health histories) and data missingness into account.

 

Contact details:

G.Di-Gessa@lse.ac.uk

Dr Marco Tosi

Research Officer

 MarcoTosi

 

Marco Tosi is a Research Officer on FAMHEALTH project led by Prof. Emily Grundy. His current research focuses on intergenerational relationships, health, and well-being among older people in Europe. Before joining the LSE in October 2016, he received a Ph.D. degree in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Trento. His Ph.D. dissertation examines the association between earlier experiences of intergenerational co-residence and later parent-adult child relations in Italy and Sweden. During his Ph.D., he worked as a visiting researcher at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), and he was involved in teaching activities for the course Methodology for Social Science at the University of Trento. His research interests include also the consequences of divorce, grandparents’ involvement in childcare, and the intergenerational transmission of economic resources.

 

Contact details:

M.Tosi@lse.ac.uk

 

Ginevra Floridi

PhD candidate

Research topic: A comparative study of productive ageing in Italy and South Korea.
Supervisors: Professor Emily Grundy Dr Benjamin Lauderdale
Research Interests:  
Population ageing in developed countries; Determinants of engagement in productive activities in later life; Social security systems and pension policies in comparative perspective; Ageing and health; Quantitative demography.
Personal Information: 
Born and raised in Italy, I have lived in the UK since 2010.
I hold a BSc in Economics from the University of Essex, MSc in Population and Development and MSc in Social Research Methods from the LSE, completed as part of the ESRC 1+3 Studentship in Demography. 

Contact details:

g.floridi@lse.ac.uk

 

More information: 

LSE Population

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