Professor Justine Davies

Professor Justine Davies

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Global Health Research

Contact details

Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Justine Davies' aim is to do research that informs development of health systems that deliver quality care in lower- or middle-income countries. All of her research aims to answer a policy relevant question and she often works with policy makers, including the WHO, to develop and answer questions of relevance to them. 

Professor Davies is passionate about capacity building, fairness, and decolonialising global health. Where possible, she aims to use her knowledge and work to further these ends.

Research involves looking at the health of the population and the health system that serves them from many different angles; from epidemiological, qualitative, systems-readiness, and economic perspectives. Professor Davies also does implementation science research in order to study real-world solutions to identified gaps.

Specialty areas of interest are conditions that require surgery to treat, injuries, and cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. All of these specialty areas require a joined-up health system that provides good quality care.

Professor Davies is the lead of the Institute for Global Innovation’s Ageing Frailty, and Resilience theme.

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6834-1838


  • BSc 1st class hons (Zoology)
  • MD (research) Clinical pharmacology
  • Member of the Royal College of Physicians
  • Dip ABRSM (Violin, performance)
  • MBChB hons (Medicine)
  • BMSc 1st class hons (forensic medicine and medical law)


After training in medicine, Professor Justine Davies practised as a cardiovascular clinical pharmacologist, caring for people with cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. As a part of this role, as a clinical lecturer, she ran early-stage clinical trials of medications to reduce cardiovascular risk. 

Recognising the increasing necessity to put human health in the context of the planet on which we live, Professor Davies took time out from clinical duties to study for a Zoology degree – including environmental and climate sciences. At that time, and driven by a love of writing and explaining science to lay people, she also worked as a freelance science journalist, including for the BBC.  

After this, she honed her interest in Global Health and research excellence whilst working at the Lancet Journals. Professor Davies was an executive editor at The Lancet before launching as Editor in Chief, The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Under her editorship the journal rose from start-up to the highest impact journal in its category.

A desire to contribute to answering important global health problems instigated her return to academia in 2016/2017 after completing the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Commission on Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Davies has since worked at Wits University in South Africa and KCL in the UK. She now has honorary professorships at Wits and Stellenbosch Universities in South Africa.  

Experience at The Lancet Journals has developed her keen sense of what is an impactful research question and how to answer this with methodological rigour. It has also embedded within her a sense of fairness and desire for more equity in the worlds of health policy, research, and learning.


Professor Davies teaches on the Global Health modules of the MPH program at University of Birmingham and also mentors students and junior staff in the institutes where she has honorary positions and projects.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Davies supervises PhD students in the fields of global health systems and subjects related to surgery, injuries, or cardiovascular diseases.


Research interests

Professor Justine Davies is interested in health systems to provide quality care in low- or middle-income countries.

Specialty areas of interest are cardiovascular diseases, surgery, and injuries.

Current projects

  • NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery: Establishing a Sustainable Network of Surgical Research.  Co-Investigator and co-lead of the access to care workstream 
  • US NIH PAR-19-376: Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries. 1R21TW011636-01A1. Rwanda 912: an mHealth Application to Improve Quality of Trauma and Emergency Care in Kigali, Rwanda. Co-Investigator
  • Utstein 2: Development of guidelines for collection of Global Surgery Metrics (funded by the Laerdal Foundation) co-lead
  • MRC: Systems thinking approach to developing an integrated and patient-centred intervention model for multimorbidity. Co-investigator
  • NIHR Health Policy and Systems. Perioperative health systems to support surgical treatment: Establishing a world leading global health research collaboration to deliver innovative solutions promoting the safety and quality of care for surgical patients. Co-investigator
  • Academy of Medical Sciences/GCRF Network grant: AfroSurg: A Network to Improve Equitable Access to Safe and Timely Surgical Care in Southern Africa. Co-lead.
  • NIHR Health Policy and Systems. Equitable access to quality trauma systems in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries. Assessing gaps and developing priorities. Equitrauma, Principle Investigator
  • Global Health and Population Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic Diseases (HPACC)

Other activities


Recent publications


Stone, H, Bailey, E, Wurie, H, Leather, AJM, Davies, JI, Bolkan, HA, Sevalie, S, Youkee, D & Parmar, D 2024, 'A qualitative study examining the health system’s response to COVID-19 in Sierra Leone', PLoS ONE, vol. 19, no. 2, e0294391.

Whitaker, J, Amoah , AS, Dube , A, Rickard, R, Leather , AJM & Davies, J 2024, 'Access to quality care after injury in Northern Malawi: results of a household survey', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 24, 131.

Equi-Injury Group 2024, 'Equitable access to qualacity injury care; Equi-Injury project protocol for prioritizing interventions in four Low- or Middle-Income Countries: a mixed method study', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 24, 429.

Usmani, BA, Ali Lakhdir, MP, Sameen, S, Batool, S, Odland, ML, Goodman-Palmer, D, Agyapong-Badu, S, Hirschhorn, LR, Greig, C & Davies, J 2024, 'Exploring the priorities of ageing populations in Pakistan, comparing views of older people in Karachi City and Thatta', PLOS One.

Whitaker, J, Edem , I, Togun, E, Amoah , AS, Dube , A, Chirwa , L, Munthali , B, Brunelli, G, Van Boeckel, T, Rickard, R, Leather , AJM & Davies, J 2024, 'Health system assessment for access to care after injury in low- or middle-income countries: A mixed methods study from Northern Malawi', PLoS Medicine, vol. 21, no. 1, e1004344.

Stein, DT, Reitsma, MB, Geldsetzer, P, Agoudavi, K, Aryal, KK, Bahendeka, S, Brant, LCC, Farzadfar, F, Singh Gurung, M, Guwatudde, D, Nadège Houehanou, YC, Carvalho Malta, D, Martins, JS, Moghaddam, SS, Mwangi, JK, Norov, B, Sturua, L, Zhumadilov, Z, Bärnighausen, TW, Davies, J, Flood, D, Marcus, ME, Theilmann, M, Vollmer, S, Manne-Goehler, J, Atun, R, Sudharsanan, N & Verguet, S 2024, 'Hypertension care cascades and reducing inequities in cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries', Nature Medicine.

Casadei Donatelli, D, Goodman-Palmer, D, Odland, ML, Agyapong-Badu, S, da Cruz-Alves, N, Rosenburg, M, Hirschhorn, L, Greig, C, Davies, J, Barbosa do Nascimento, V & Ferrioli, E 2024, 'Identification of the needs and priorities of older people and stakeholders in rural and urban areas of Santo Andre, Brazil', PLOS One, vol. 19, no. 5, e0297489.

Ghalichi, L, Goodman-Palmer, D, Whitaker, J, Abio, A, Lowery Wilson, M, Wallis, L, Norov, B, Aryal, KK, Carvalho Malta, D, Bärnighausen, T, Geldsetzer, P, Flood, D, Vollmer, S, Theilmann, M & Davies, J 2024, 'Individual characteristics associated with road traffic collisions and healthcare seeking in Low- and Middle-Income Countries and territories', PLOS Global Public Health, vol. 4, no. 1, e0002768.

Diallo, AO, Marcus, ME, Flood, D, Theilmann, M, Rahim, NE, Kinlaw, A, Franceschini, N, Stürmer, T, Tien, DV, Abbasi-Kangevari, M, Agoudavi, K, Andall-Brereton, G, Aryal, K, Bahendeka, S, Brice, B, Bovet, P, Dorobantu, M, Farzadfar, F, Ghamari, S-H, Gathecha, G, Guwatudde, D, Gurung, M, Houehanou, C, Houinato, D, Hwalla, N, Jorgensen, J, Kagaruki, G, Karki, K, Martins, J, Mayige, M, McClure, RW, Moghaddam, SS, Mwalim, O, Mwangi, JK, Norov, B, Quesnel-Crooks, S, Sibai, A, Sturua, L, Tsabedze, L, Wesseh, C, Geldsetzer, P, Atun, R, Vollmer, S, Bärnighausen, T, Davies, J, Ali, MK, Seiglie , JA, Gower, EW & Manne-Goehler, J 2024, 'Multiple cardiovascular risk factor care in 55 low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional analysis of nationally-representative, individual-level data from 280,783 adults', PLOS Global Public Health, vol. 4, no. 3, e0003019.

Scandrett, K, Lilford, R, Nepogodiev, D, Katikireddi, SV, Davies, J, Tabiri, S & Watson, SI 2024, 'Predicting the effects of introducing an emergency transport system in low-income and middle-income countries: a spatial-epidemiological modelling study', BMJ Public Health, vol. 2, no. 1, e000321.

Uwizeyimana, T, Uwimana, A, Inkotanyi , CF, Goodman-Palmer, D, Ntaganira, S, Kanyana , L, Odland, ML, Agyapong-Badu, S, Hirschhorn, L, Yohannes, T, Greig, C & Davies, J 2024, 'Priorities and barriers for ageing well; results from stakeholder workshops in rural and urban Rwanda', PLOS One, vol. 19, no. 4, e0297299.

Geldsetzer, P, Tisdale, RL, Stehr, L, Michalik, F, Lemp, J, Aryal, KK, Damasceno , A, Houehanou, C, Jorgensen, JMA, Lunet, N, Mayige, M, Moghaddam, SS, Mwangi, KJ, Bommer, C, Marcus , M-E, Theilmann, M, Atun, R, Davies, J, Flood, D, Manne-Goehler, J, Seiglie , J, Bärnighausen, T & Vollmer, S 2024, 'The prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among adults living in extreme poverty', Nature Human Behaviour.

Whitaker, J, Edem , I, Amoah , AS, Dube , A, D’Ambruoso, L, Rickard, RF, Leather, AJM & Davies, J 2024, 'Understanding the health system utilisation and reasons for avoidable mortality after fatal injury within a Three-Delays framework in Karonga, Northern Malawi: a retrospective analysis of verbal autopsy data', BMJ open, vol. 14, no. 4, e081652.

Whitaker, J, Amoah , AS, Dube , A, Chirwa , L, Munthali , B, Rickard, RF, Leather , AJM & Davies, J 2023, 'A novel application of multi facility process map analysis for rapid injury care health system assessment in Northern Malawi', BMJ open, vol. 13, no. 6, e070900.

Review article

Jhunjhunwala, R, Jayaram, A, Mita, C, Davies, J & Chu, K 2024, 'Community support for injured patients: A scoping review and narrative synthesis', PLOS One, vol. 19, no. 2, e0289861.

View all publications in research portal