Expert advice on how we can more effectively meet the evidence needs of the policymaking community, specifically in developing and implementing policy actions to prevent cancer and non-communicable diseases
The Policy Advisory Group advises us on:
Launched in April 2015, the Policy Advisory Group comprises experts involved in policy from government, academia and civil society from Australia, Barbados, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, the UK and the US. The Group also includes observers from the World Health Organization and the Union for International Cancer Control.
Simón Barquera is Director of the Nutrition and Health Research Centre at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health.
Dr Barquera has been a consultant for the WHO, PAHO, UNICEF and the IAEA in the fields of nutrition, obesity and chronic diseases. He has published more than 251 research papers and chapters on these issues.
He is associate editor of Public Health Nutrition and editorial board member of the Global Health Epidemiology and Genomics. Dr Barquera is co-researcher of the Mexican Health and Nutrition Surveys (1999–2016), a member of the Ministry of Health Chronic Diseases advisory board, the PAHO Expert Group on sodium reduction, World Obesity Federation’s Scientific Advisory Board and a Fellow of the Obesity Society.
Dr Barquera has been recognised as a top-level National Researcher by Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology and is a Fellow of the Mexican National Academy of Medicine and the Mexican Academy of Sciences. He has received many awards including the PAHO Fred L Soper Award for Excellence in Health Literature (2003), Tufts University Nutrition Impact Award (2016), the UAM Distinguished Alumni Award (2016) and the 11th Michael and Susan Dell Lectureship Award in Child Health (2017).
Sir Trevor is Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Barbados, and Honorary Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados. He is Chairman of the National Commission for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, and Barbados Special Envoy for NCDs. He is also President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, a civil society alliance for combating chronic diseases, and Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Chronic Disease Research Centre, University of the West Indies. Positions held by Sir Trevor include Vice President of the World Heart Federation, President of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation, and President of the Caribbean Cardiac Society.
Sir Trevor has developed national programmes for the provision of comprehensive cardiovascular care, including the development of community-based primary prevention cardiovascular, healthy lifestyle and wellness programmes. He has played a leading role locally, regionally and internationally in efforts aimed at slowing the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases.
Sir Trevor has received many awards, including the appointment to the Order of Barbados as a Knight of St Andrew in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the medical profession.
Hasan Hutchinson is currently a Dialogue Associate with the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. As well as serving on the Policy Advisory Group at the World Cancer Research Fund International, he serves on boards/advisory committees at a number of other organizations, including Ryerson University’s Centre for Studies in Food Security, UNICEF’s Expert Advisory Committee on Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention and UNESCO’s Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative.
Until 2019, and for the previous decade, Dr Hutchinson was Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion of Health Canada, the focal point for public health nutrition within the federal government. The Office’s main functions include dietary guidance, food and nutrition surveillance, research and data analysis, health promotion and public health nutrition policy. Recent initiatives at Health Canada included the development and implementation of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, policy development for Restricting Advertising to Children and development of the new Food Guide
Dr Hutchinson was chair of the Sodium Reduction Strategy for Canada and of the Network on Healthy Eating, co-chair of Canada’s Dietary Reference Intakes Steering Committee and of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Group on Nutrition and was Health Canada’s representative developing the whole of government Food Policy for Canada. He has also been on a number of nutrition and health-related committees at the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and at the United Nations.
Previously, Dr Hutchinson was Associate Director of the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Before working in the public service, he was a faculty member in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. His formal education includes a PhD in Quantitative Genetics and an ND in Naturopathic Medicine.
Knut-Inge Klepp is Executive Director of Mental and Physical Health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Prior to this he was Director General of Public Health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health from 2006–15. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Oslo, where he served as a full professor in public health nutrition from 1996–2006. Prior to this he was a professor in international health promotion at Norway’s University of Bergen.
Dr Klepp has published extensively in the fields of adolescent health promotion and evaluation of public health education and policy measures. He has coordinated and served as an investigator on many European Union research projects, including as project coordinator for the ongoing Horison2020 project “Confronting Obesity: Co-creating policy with adolescents (CO-CREATE).
Dr Klepp has been involved in WHO efforts to reduce non-communicable diseases and has chaired the WHO EURO Member State network on reducing marketing pressure on children. He served as rapporteur for the Working Group on Implementation, Monitoring and Accountability for the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.
Previously, Dr Klepp has served as chair of the Norwegian National Council on Nutrition and Physical Activity, and he is former president of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Shiriki Kumanyika is an Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and Research Professor of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, both located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US. At the Dornsife School, she leads the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), which she founded in 2002 as a national affinity group and collaboration platform comprising senior and early career researchers and community-based research partners.
Prof Kumanyika’s research and policy activities focus on food and obesity and related health consequences and health inequities. She is an elected member of the USA National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) where she has been extensively involved in nutrition and obesity-related activities. Prof Kumanyika is also a past president of the American Public Health Association.
In the global sphere, Prof Kumanyika is co-chair of the Policy and Prevention Section of the World Obesity Federation and a nutrition advisor to the World Health Organization. She served on the World Cancer Research Fund Expert Panels on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Prevention (2002–07) and Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention (2007–09).
Feisul Mustapha is a consultant public health physician best known for his leadership in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Malaysia. His special areas of interest include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and obesity. At the Ministry of Health Malaysia, he is the Deputy Director (NCDs) at the Disease Control Division, and his main roles include policy and program development, and strategic implementation of interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs. In addition, Dr Feisul has a special interest in leveraging technology for catalysing behavioural modification to reduce exposure to NCD risk factors.
He combines his high-level experiences in the government with active engagement of civil society and multilateral institutions. Dr Feisul is currently Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group for the Monash University South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO). In addition, he is a Board Member for the Advisory Board of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) and also a Member of the Policy Advisory Group of the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF).
Professor Anna Peeters, PhD, is Director of the Institute for Health Transformation and Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health at Deakin University. She is Principal Research Translation Investigator at Western Alliance, an NHMRC Investigator Grant fellow, Board Member for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and Obesity Australia, and Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society. Anna is a member of the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research Advisory Board and the World Cancer Research Fund’s Policy Advisory Group. She is internationally recognised for her work building the evidence for effective and equitable policy and practice to improve health outcomes.
Anna has led large programs of research into population prevention and health services research, with a focus on research-policy-practice partnerships and translational outputs. She currently leads RE-FRESH, an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence into Healthy Food Retail involving six universities nationally and internationally, and policy and practice collaborators including the YMCA, Western District Health Services, Obesity Policy Coalition and the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation. The research partnerships within RE-FRESH have led to sustained changes in provision of healthier food and drink through small supermarkets, remote indigenous stores, hospitals and sports and recreation centres around Australia and New Zealand.
Mike Rayner is a Professor of Population Health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health of the University of Oxford and Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, based in the department. The centre carries out research and conducts other activities related to the prevention of NCDs.
Mike is also Chair of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming in the UK and Chair of its Children’s Food Campaign. He is Chair of the Nutrition Expert Group for the European Heart Network. He is also an ordained priest in the Church of England.
Sandhya Singh is Director of Chronic Disease, Disability and Geriatrics at the National Department of Health in South Africa, where her core functions involve non-communicable disease policy development, modelling of services and creating legislative frameworks.
In response to the recent global positioning of NCDs on both health and development agendas, Ms Singh is leading exciting political and strategic change at the national level to transition South Africa’s health platform to help prevent and control NCDs.
Ms Singh also serves as a Ministerial representative on national and South Africa structures and participates as a Departmental representative on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and WHO AFRO consultations. She participated as a member of the African Delegation in Formal Meetings of the World Health Organization, which finalised work on the Global Monitoring Framework and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
Suzanne Zhou is the Manager for Prevention at the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, a joint initiative of Cancer Council Victoria, the Union for International Cancer Control, and Cancer Council Australia.
Suzanne leads the McCabe Centre’s work with countries to adopt effective regulatory measures to prevent non-communicable diseases, defend public health laws from legal challenge, and ensure policy coherence between health and trade and investment law.
The McCabe Centre is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Law and Noncommunicable Disease and a Knowledge Hub for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and has trained more than 200 people in 70 countries on the effective use of law to address noncommunicable diseases.
Suzanne previously worked at Lawyers Collective in New Delhi as a research officer supporting the mandate of Anand Grover as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, and holds an LLM in international law from Cambridge, an LLB/BMus from the University of Melbourne, and the Hague Academy of International Law’s Diploma in Public International Law. She served as co-director of the Hague Academy’s Centre for Studies and Research on epidemics and international law in 2020-2021.
Francesco Branca is the Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization, Geneva (since February 2020). From 2008 to 2019, he was the Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. During this period, WHO has developed a WHO Nutrition strategy, established a new nutrition guideline development process and a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition with six global targets. He also led the preparation for the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition and the Secretariat of the Decade of Action on Nutrition. Before that, in 2005-2008, Dr Branca was the Regional Advisor for Nutrition at the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Between 1988 and 2005, he was Senior Scientist at the Italian Food and Nutrition Research Institute where he led studies on the effects of food and nutrients on human health at the different stages of the life cycle and on the impact of public health nutrition programmes. He was the President of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies from 2003-2007.
In 1985-1986, Dr Branca was a member of the medical staff at the Primary Health Care project in the South of Somalia ran by the Italian NGO, CISP.
Dr Branca graduated in Medicine and Surgery and specialized in Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases at the Universita‘ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma and obtained an MSc, before going on to complete a PhD in Nutrition at Aberdeen University.
Heather Bryant, Chief Scientific Officer of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) since 2017, joined CPAC in January 2008 as its first Vice President, Cancer Control. In that role, she developed and led a portfolio of pan-Canadian cancer control programmes throughout the cancer continuum, including population-based prevention and cancer screening, diagnosis and care, patient centered reporting and palliative care, and research. She has led in the development of cancer system performance reporting in Canada. Prior to joining CPAC, she was Vice President, Population Health and Information at the Alberta Cancer Board for many years.
Dr Bryant was elected to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) Board of Directors in 2012 and has been re-elected for two subsequent terms. She is also the chair of the International Cancer Benchmarking Program, an international comparison of cancer survival and its antecedents carried out by Cancer Research UK. She has also chaired many national cancer or research committees.
Dr Bryant studied medicine at the University of Calgary, followed by a fellowship in community medicine and a PhD in epidemiology. She is a Clinical Professor in the departments of Community Health Sciences and Oncology at the University of Calgary. In 2015, she was named one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network.
Fiona Bull is Programme Manager in the Department of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention at the World Health Organization (WHO) based in Geneva, Switzerland. She leads the development of the WHO’s global normative and standard setting work, as well as country assistance and policy implementation, related to healthy eating, physical inactivity and the prevention of obesity.
Prior to joining the WHO in 2017, Prof Bull was Professor of Public Health and Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health at the University of Western Australia and Director of the British Heart Foundation National Center for Physical Activity and Health at Loughborough University (UK).
Prof Bull has a background in public health, spatial epidemiology, exercise science, physical activity and education. Her interests span measurement, population surveillance, programme evaluation, understanding the causes of unhealthy behaviours at the individual, social and environmental level, and developing and testing programmes and policy interventions.
Prof Bull has extensive experience in national and international research and policy, and has supported the global public health agenda to promote healthy living. In 2014 her contribution to research and policy was recognised with the award of an MBE.