Helen Parretti

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Helen has recently led a clinical trial investigating drinking water before main meals as a weight loss intervention, funded by a RCGP Scientific Foundation Board Grant and a European Hydration Institute student grant. She has also led a systematic review on the clinical effectiveness of very low energy diets. 

She has been a member of multidisciplinary expert groups developing guidance for the management of patients following bariatric surgery. The guidance for the management of these patients, developed specifically for primary care was endorsed by the RCGP. Currently, she is co-principal investigator for a clinical trial investigating a postnatal weight management intervention and is principal investigator for a CLAHRC WM supported trial involving renal patients.

Helen is a member of the Child, Maternity and Lifestyle research group within Institute of Applied Health Research.


Helen started at the University of Oxford studying chemistry, gaining a 2:1 in 1995. She continued working in chemistry, completing a PhD in solid state chemistry in 1998 at the University of Birmingham and then going to become a postdoctoral research fellow (University of Birmingham and then Imperial College, London). In 2002 she decided to change careers and retrain as a doctor and completed a graduate entry medical degree at St George’s, University of London in 2006. 

After foundation training she chose to train as a GP and returned to research when she completed her GP training as an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) in 2013. During her ACF she was awarded a RCGP Midlands Faculty AiT excellence award and completed a MSc in Clinical and Primary Community Care with distinction. She was appointed as a NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham on completing her GP training in 2015. She works two days a week as an honorary salaried GP in a local surgery and spends the rest of the week conducting research into weight management within the child, maternity and lifestyle research group in the Institute of Applied Health Research.


  • MSc in Clinical Primary and Community Care(distinction), University of Birmingham, 2015
  • Member Royal College of General Practitioners, 2015
  • MBBS, St George’s, University of London, 2006
  • PhD in solid state chemistry, University of Birmingham, 1998
  • Member of Royal Society of Chemistry and Chartered Chemist 1997
  • MA (Oxon) in chemistry, University of Oxford, 1995

Education/Academic qualification

  • Master in Science

    Masters in Clinical Primary and Community Care

    2012 - 2015
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, ST GEORGE'S HOSPITAL MEDICAL SCHOOL


    2002 - 2006
  • Doctor of Philosophy

    Solid state chemistry

    1995 - 1998
  • Master of Arts, University of Oxford

    Chemistry (Oxon)

    1991 - 1995

Professional Qualifications

  • Member of Royal College of General Practitioners, MRCGP

    2015 -
  • Member of Royal Society of Chemistry and Chartered Chemist, MRSC CChem

    1997 -

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I currently have a self-funded PhD available investigating an intervention to prevent weight gain following renal transplant. Please see advert on FindAPhD.


  • R Medicine (General) - general practice, primary care, obesity, weight management, bariatric surgery

Sustainable Development Goals