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


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.

Yoo, SGK, Chung, GS, Silver, BK, Sibai , AM, Damasceno , A, Farzadfar, F, Rohloff, P, Houehanou, C, Norov, B, Karki, KB, Azangou-Khyavy, M, Marcus , M-E, Aryal, KK, Brant, LCC, Theilmann, M, Cifkova, R, Lunet, N, Singh Gurung, M, Mwangi, JK, Martins, JS, Haghshenas, R, Sturua, L, Vollmer, S, Bärnighausen, T, Atun, R, Sussman, JB, Singh, K, Moghaddam, SS, Guwatudde, D, Geldsetzer, P, Manne-Goehler, J, Huffman, MD, Davies, J & Flood, D 2023, 'Aspirin for Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in 51 Low-, Middle-, and High-Income Countries', JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 330, no. 8, pp. 715-724.

Nzasabimana , P, Ignatowicz, A, Alayande, B, Abdul-Latif, A-M, Davies, J, Bekele, A & Byiringiro, JC 2023, 'Barriers to equitable access to quality trauma care in Rwanda: a qualitative study', BMJ open, vol. 13, no. 9, e075117.

Niyonsaba, M, Nkeshimana, M, Uwitonze, JM, Davies, J, Maine, R, Nyinawankusi, JDA, Hunt, M, Rickard, R, Jayaraman, S & Watt, MH 2023, 'Challenges and opportunities to improve efficiency and quality of prehospital emergency care using an mHealth platform: Qualitative study in Rwanda', African Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 250-257.

Hunt, M, Niyonsaba, M, Uwitonze, JM, Nyinawankusi, JDA, Davies, J, Maine, R, Nkeshimana, M, Jayaraman, S & Watt, MH 2023, 'Challenges locating the scene of emergency: A qualitative study of the EMS system in Rwanda', Prehospital Emergency Care.

Rahim, NE, Flood, D, Marcus, M, Theilmann, M, Aung, TN, Agoudavi, K, Aryal, KK, Silver, BK, Brice, B, Bovet, P, Diallo, AO, Farzadfar, F, Gathecha, G, Guwatudde, D, Houehanou, C, Houinato, D, Hwalla , NC, Jorgensen, JMA, Kagaruki, GB, Mayige, MT, Wong-McClure, R, Moghaddam, SS, Mwallim, O, Mwangi, JK, Sarkar, S, Sibai , AM, Sturua, L, Wesseh, CS, Geldsetzer, P, Atun, R, Vollmer, S, Bärnighausen, T, Davies, J, Ali, MK, Seiglie , JA & Manne-Goehler, J 2023, 'Diabetes risk and provision of diabetes prevention activities in 44 low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative, individual-level survey data', Lancet Global Health, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. e1576-e1586.

Ochmann, S, von Polenz, I, Marcus , M-E, Theilmann, M, Flood, D, Agoudavi, K, Aryal, KK, Silver, BK, Brice, B, Bovet, P, Brant, LCC, Carvalho Malta, D, Damasceno , A, Farzadfar, F, Gathecha, G, Ghanbari, A, Gurung, M, Guwatudde, D, Houehanou, C, Houinato, D, Hwalla , NC, Jorgensen, JMA, Karki, KB, Lunet, N, Martins, JS, Mayige, MT, Moghaddam, SS, Mwalim, O, Mwangi, JK, Norov, B, Quesnel-Crooks, S, Rezaei, N, Sibai , AM, Sturua, L, Tsabedze, L, Wong-McClure, R, Davies, J, Geldsetzer, P, Bärnighausen, T, Atun, R, Manne-Goehler, J & Vollmer, S 2023, 'Diagnostic testing for hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia in low- and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of 994,185 individuals from 57 nationally representative surveys', The Lancet, vol. 11, no. 9, pp. e1363–e1371.

Odland, ML, Abdul-Latif, A-M, Ignatowicz, A, Bekele, A, Chu, K, Howard, A, Tabiri, S, Byiringiro, JC & Davies, J 2023, 'Governance for injury care systems in Ghana, South Africa and Rwanda: development and pilot testing of an assessment tool', BMJ open, vol. 13, no. 9, e074088.

Cockburn, N, Flood, D, Seiglie , JA, Manne-Goehler, J, Aryal, KK, Karki, KB, Damasceno , A, Atun, R, Vollmer, S, Bärnighausen, T, Geldsetzer, P, Mayige, MT, Hirschhorn, LR & Davies, J 2023, 'Health service readiness to provide care for HIV and cardiovascular disease risk factors in low- and middle-income countries', PLOS Global Public Health, vol. 3, no. 9, e0002373.

Benade, M, Mchiza, Z, Raquib, RV, Prasad, SK, Yan, LD, Brennan, AT, Davies, J, Sudharsanan, N, Manne-Goehler, J, Fox, MP, Bor, J, Rosen, SB, Stokes, AC & Srinivas, PN (ed.) 2023, 'Health systems performance for hypertension control using a cascade of care approach in South Africa, 2011–2017', PLOS Global Public Health, vol. 3, no. 9, e0002055.

Global Health and Population Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic Diseases 2023, 'Improving health outcomes of people with diabetes: target setting for the WHO Global Diabetes Compact', The Lancet.

Owolabi, EO, Ferreira, K, Nyamathe , S, Ignatowicz, A, Odland, ML, Abdul-Latif, A-M, Byiringiro, JC, Davies, J & Chu, KM 2023, 'Social determinants of seeking and reaching injury care in South Africa: a community-based qualitative study', Annals of Global Health, vol. 89, no. 1, 5.

Whitaker, J, Brunelli, G, Van Boeckel, TP, Dube , A, Amoah , AS, Rickard, RF, Leather, AJM & Davies, J 2022, 'Access to care following injury in Northern Malawi, a comparison of travel time estimates between Geographic Information System and community household reports', Injury, vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 1690-1698.

WARE, LJ, Maposa , I, KOLKENBECK-RUH, A, Norris, SA, SOEPNEL, L, Crouch , SH, Kagura, J, NAIDOO, S, SMITH, W & Davies, J 2022, 'Are cardiovascular health measures heritable across three generations of families in Soweto, South Africa? A cross-sectional analysis using the random family method', BMJ open, vol. 12, no. 9, e059910.

Mattila , P, Davies, J, Mabetha , D, Tollman, SM & D’Ambruoso , L 2022, 'Burden of mortality linked to community-nominated priorities in rural South Africa', Global Health Action, vol. 15, no. 1, 2013599.

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