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Janice Thompson’s research interests include working with high-risk populations in community-based settings to develop, implement, and evaluate culturally-tailored interventions to reduce obesity, physical inactivity, and the subsequent risks for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Her research includes working with humans across their lifespan, with particular interests in applying mixed methods in the translation of clinical research into community settings to promote healthful and active ageing. Her research has been funded by the US National Institutes of Health, NPRI, British Heart Foundation, National Institute for Health Research, Dunhill Medical Trust, MRC Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, ESRC-New Dynamics of Ageing cross-council Programme, EU Horizon 2020, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Public Health England, and Diabetes UK.

Professor Thompson has supervised nine PhDs and more than 60 MSc students to completion. She currently supervises six doctoral students.

1993 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Diabetes prevention and management in diverse communities; public health nutrition and physical activity; mixed methods research; dietary assessment techniques; community-based evaluations and interventions; ageing and ethnic minority health. 

In addition to her research activities, Professor Thompson currently serves on the Executive Board of the European College of Sport Science and on the Scientific Committee of the British Nutrition Foundation. She is a member of the Diabetes UK Community Education Insight Advisory Group, and is Section Editor for the journal BMC Public Health.

The impact of Professor Thompson's research has been highlighted in the BBC's recent show 'Trust Me Im A Doctor'. Viewer statistics indicate 3.2 million viewers of the original programme, with an additional 200,000 views via BBC iPlayer.

Her research has also featured in a Birmingham brief article highlighting Veganism research at the University. 


Professor Thompson completed her PhD in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from Arizona State University in 1991. After completing post-doctoral fellowship training at Stanford University in 1995, she worked at University of North Carolina, Charlotte and at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in 2012, she was Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Bristol. She is a Fellow and Past Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She is also a member of the Executive Board of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS).

Professor Thompson was awarded the 2015 ACSM Citation Award. This award is granted to an individual or group who has made significant and important contributions to sports medicine and/or the exercise sciences. These contributions may include, but are not limited to, research and scholarship; clinical care; and/or administrative or educational services in sports medicine or exercise science.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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