The research team


Meena Daivadanam (Principal investigator): I have a background in medicine and a PhD in public health interventions, working in Global Health with intervention and implementation research, particularly community-based complex interventions for primary and secondary prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia. I am increasingly focusing on upstream determinants such as local health systems and food environments using more inclusive participatory and design methods to bridge the equity gap. I am also faculty in the Global Health master programme at Uppsala University.

Aravinda Berggreen-Clausen: I am an affiliated researcher within the PREVENT project, involved in the development of the "Food Environment Assessment App". I have recently completed a PhD in Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics with a focus on food environments - mapping and understanding interactions. With a background in Nutrition and International Health I am motivated by working towards decreasing health inequalities. Previous work experience includes having led an innovative healthy eating project in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of London, as well as in the "I.Family" study, a European multi-centre research project on children’s lifestyle and food habits. The work with developing the Food Environment App for PREVENT is an opportunity to contribute towards understanding and changing food environments which have a role to play in improving health outcomes of populations. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Ulf Hammar: I am a statistician at the molecular epidemiology research group in Uppsala University. My previous employment was at BiostatCore Facility at Karolinska Institutet. I have worked with statistical, primarily biostatistical, applications during the last 10 years. My areas of expertise cover, for example, generalized linear models, survival analysis and repeated measurements, and I have been part of projects including – omics-data, covid-19, malaria, childhood obesity etc. I am involved in power calculations and statistical modelling for PREVENT. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Helle Mølsted Alvesson: PhD, medical anthropologist. I am a qualitative researcher specialized in qualitative global public health research with a focus to scale health interventions in low- and middle-income countries. I have 20 years of experience in understanding community mobilization and health system development within international organizations and academia. To strengthen the intersection between education and research is another passion in my work. As the departmental director of basic and advanced education at the Department of Global Public Health, I am promoting high quality education among a truly global student body and faculty. Creating interdisciplinary space for the questions on ‘how to’ improve global health is what drives me at Karolinska Institutet. Profil page at Karolinska Institutet.

Katie Winkle: I am an assistant professor at the Department for Information Technology at Uppsala University and a part of the Human Machine Interaction unit at the Division of Vi3, working at the social robotics lab. My work draws from design, computer science, psychology and the social sciences to tackle both technical and societal challenges relating to human-machine interaction. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Margaretha Nydahl: RD, Assoc. Professor Emeritus at the Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala university. A great part of my research has focused on evaluating dietary factors - as well as the impact of nutrition therapy in relation to non-communicable diseases. My research in the area of dietetic communication has developed towards public health in the healthy population in general but also towards certain vulnerable groups such as older adults.  Dietary patterns, intake of specific food items and nutrients and the prevalence of malnutrition have been investigated from methodological perspectives. This work includes also initiating health promoting- and primary preventive activities and interventions. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Mats Martinell: I am a co-supervisor in the PREVENT study. I am also a general practitioner in Family Medicine and a senior lecturer in Primary Care at Uppsala University. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Pia Mcaleenan: I am a manager of public sector innovation and collaboration at the Swedish industrial design foundation. Since initating the first lab in 2016 on behalf of The Swedish ministry for social affairs and SALAR I and my colleagues have developed design methods and mindsets to explore, test and implement systems innovation. Dimensions such as policy, governance and interdependencies and culture within systems are in focus. The "Förnyelselabb" team have worked with numerous local contexts and several national agencies to bring about systemsinnovation.

Steve McKeever: My research interests lie at the interface between life science and computation. I am the deputy Director of the Uppsala Diabetes Centre and Programme Director for the Masters in Information Systems. I have participated in European funded projects related to biochemical molecular simulations, heart simulations, tumour growth modelling and novel antibiotic research incentive analysis. Skilled in formal approaches to software engineering, programming language design and data modelling. Profile page at Uppsala University.


Hanna Taylor: I work with communication and administration in the PREVENT project. I am also administrating the post graduate studies at the Department of Women's and Children's Health as well as with the research network "GlobeLife". I have a master's degree in biology. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Jonas Idewall Hagren: I am employed as a research assistant in the PREVENT project. My main role within the project is to recruit research participants and collect data through fieldwork activities. I hold an MSc in anthropology from the University of Copenhagen. Profile page at Uppsala University.

PhD students

Hedda Ottesen: I am a PhD candidate in the PREVENT project. In my PhD project I study the guidelines, roles and activities of different actors working with health promotion, with focus on socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. I also study how people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Uppsala perceive their area in relation to physical activity and norms, and I map the distribution of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in different areas in Uppsala. Alongside my PhD studies I am a medical intern (AT-läkare) in Region Östergötland, and I work part time as a politician, being the group leader of Miljöpartiet in Norrköping.​ Profile page at Uppsala University.

Alessio Galatolo: I am a PhD student at the Uppsala Social Robotics Lab. I received my MSc degree in Machine Learning (ML) at KTH, Stockholm in 2022. My work directly targets diabetes prevention using social robots as part of the PREVENT project. My research interests involve the use of AI and ML to give robots the social intelligence needed to personalise and improve their interaction to a specific user or population, also considering the ethical risks and social consequences involved. Profile page at Uppsala University.


Amalia Palenius: I have a bachelor's degree in Foodservice and Nutrition with Business studies as the minor field of study and a master's degree in Social sciences with a specialization in Foodservice and Nutrition. I have worked as a research assistant for the PREVENT project with conducting field studies. The aim of my work was to get a better understanding of the communities, target group and local stakeholders that is of focus to the project. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Here you can read my student thesis in the PREVENT project: "Konsten att få pusselbitarna att passa ihop: En intervjustudie om hur aktörer uppfattar samskapande hälsointerventioner i den svenska matmiljön"

Fideli Rosell: I am a student within the Global Health program at the institution for Women and Children's Health. During the program I have collected data to my Master thesis through a field study performed within the PREVENT-project. During the fall of 2022 i performed an interview study based on a questionnaire which is called "Sense of Coherence", it will function as the base for my Master thesis as well as a formative study for PREVENT. Profile page at Uppsala University.

Here you can read my student thesis in the PREVENT project: "Exploring and understanding how individuals interpret their sense of coherence: A qualitative think-aloud study"

Louise Engelbrektsson: I am studying for a master's degree in Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet and have a background in Political Science from Uppsala University. I am writing a master's thesis about perceptions of physical activity spaces and is using a photo elicitation method.

Liv Stenlund: I am a masters student in Global Health at Uppsala University. I am currently writing my master’s thesis within the PREVENT project. I am conducting a study where I investigate which factors that influence the behaviour regarding diet and physical activity for women who live in socio-economically disadvantaged areas in Uppsala. Profilsida på Uppsala universitet.

Last modified: 2023-10-17