• 2.06A Medical School

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

A range of projects relating to systematic review methodology and/or primary research on hydration in older adults

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Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Nutrition; Dietetics; Hydration; Dehydration in the Elderly; Polyunsaturated Fats Intake; Care Home Research; Research Synthesis in Nutrition, Food and Older People; Diet and Health.

Academic Background

  • PhD, University of Manchester, 2005, Systematic reviews in diet and cardiovascular disease
  • Member of the Higher Education Academy, 2001- present
  • Diploma in Systematic Reviews Methodology, 1998, UCL & Royal Free Hospital
  • Diploma in Advanced Dietetic Practice, 1999, British Dietetic Association, Birmingham
  • Diploma in Dietetics, with distinction, 1989, Leeds Polytechnic
  • B.Sc. Biochemistry (second class honours, division one), 1981, University of East Anglia


Lee's research focuses on supporting older people to eat and drink well, and she is a dietitian, nutritionist and systematic reviewer.  Her current research (initiated during her National Institute for Health Research Career Development Fellowship) is on preventing and identifying dehydration in older people living in residential (long-term) care.  

Lee has a long term interest in the nutrition and hydration of older people. She is an expert systematic reviewer and has developed and managed many systematic reviews. Lee has been an editor for the Cochrane Heart Group for 14 years, was an editor of the Cochrane Oral Health Group for 5 years, and regularly referees systematic reviews for top medical and nutrition journals.

Lee is a Reader in Research Synthesis, Nutrition & Hydration in the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia and has a BSc in Biochemistry, PhD (University of Manchester) and current dietetic registration. She worked as a dietitian in the National Health Service for ten years, with extensive experience of community health promotion and cardiovascular health. Lee moved to research in 2000 and has since published over 100 peer-reviewed publications, mainly in the areas of dehydration and nutrition of older people and the effects of dietary change on health. Her publications have been cited over 10,000 times (with an average citation per publication of 63, and h-index of 51 as of Dec 2021).

Lee is a member of the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) on Diet and Health, which has recently produced guidance on sodium and potassium intakes. As well as being a Cochrane editor, she is an editor of Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, was awarded Ibex Award by British Dietetic Association (2005), and was a member of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Partners Council.

Teaching Interests

I enjoy teaching on a range of topics (including research methods, nutrition and hydration in older people, diet and cardiovascular disease, systematic review and searching skills), levels (undergraduate, postgraduate and the wider public), contexts (supervision sessions, lectures, seminars, screencasts and workshops, face to face and online) and courses (on the MBBS, MRes and MSc courses, PhD students). I also teach in other contexts, for example a workshop on structured electronic searching within the EURRECA (EU network of excellence) network to academics getting involved in systematic reviewing, the Surrey Masters in Nutrition course (on systematic reviews, and on fat and CVD), and formal and informal teaching on dehydration to care home residents, relatives and staff. 

Teaching Activities

These are my current UEA teaching roles:

  • I supervise the following postgraduate students:
    • Chizoba Essio-Bassey (primary supervisor)
    • Ellice Parkinson (supervisory board)
  • I am academic advisor to 7 undergraduate students throughout their time at UEA.
  • I lead Year 2 MBBS Medical Research teaching, responsible for the teaching, learning, and assessment. Teaching includes online asynchronous seminars incorporating screencasts, quizzes, critical appraisal exercises and other activities as well as links to examples and external resources) and face-to-face seminars on critical appraisal led by intercalating MED students. Assessment is by the year 2 Analytical Review assignment which I write and run marking for, and via exam questions. 
  • I also teach on research methods on several postgraduate courses.   

Administrative Posts

  • I am Head of Year 1 for the MB BS degree at Norwich Medical School
  • I currently lead Year 2 Medical Research teaching for the MBBS programme
  • Previous posts include:
    • Coordination of the Diet and Health Spiral Curriculum within the MBBS programme.
    • She developed, ran and delivered the Research Synthesis Module of the MRes in Health Research.
    • Lee was the Plagiarism Officer for the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice (from 2006 to March 2009).
    • From March 2009 to December 2011 she was responsible for running the third year of the Research Module for undergraduate medical students.
    • Lee established the successful East Anglian Research Synthesis Network (EARS).
    • Research Associate Coordinator for MED


Reader in Research Synthesis & Nutrition, August 2014 - present, University of East Anglia

Principal Evidence Reviewer, April 2021 – Sept 2021. 80% FTE Secondment to Public Health England Rapid Evidence Service, Public Health Advice, Guidance and Expertise, COVID-19 Response

Senior Lecturer in Research Synthesis & Nutrition, August 2008 -present, University of East Anglia

Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis & Nutrition, Jan 2005 –July 2008, University of East Anglia

Lecturer in Evidence Based Care & Systematic Review, Nov 2002-Jan 2005, University of Manchester

Research Associate in Evidence Based Care & Systematic Review, Nov 1999-Oct 2002, University of Manchester

Heart Health Dietitian, Senior I, Apr 1996–Nov 1999, Princess Royal Hospital, Apley Castle, Telford. Clinical role in vascular health promotion & cardiac rehabilitation across Shropshire plus systematic review research.

Heart Health Dietitian, Senior I, Sept 1989-March 1996, dietetic posts in Shropshire, incl. Health Promotion, hospital ward-based and out-patient based work in mental health and cardiovascular disease prevention.

Work for Suffolk Trust for Nature Conservation (coppicing and running a team of work experience lads in Bradfield Woods) and self-employment (making split oak lathes for re-roofing ancient buildings), 1982-1986.

Care assistant in 2 Norfolk Homes for the Elderly, Norfolk County Council and a private home, 1981-2.  

Key Research Interests

Diagnosis of early dehydration in older people 

Systematic reviewing

Diet and cardiovascular health

Food and older people 

Selected Publications:

  • Citation Metrics: Sum of citations >10,400 for 217 publications, Average citations per article 64, h-index 51 (to Feb2022)
  • For up-to-date full publication list and citation metrics see Lee's Publons page

Research Keywords:

Systematic reviewEvidence synthesis
Cardiovascular diseaseDiagnostic accuracy

Postgraduate Research Student Supervision:

Dehydration in older peopleCare homes research
Fluid intake in older peopleNutrition in older people
Systematic reviewsDiet and cardiovascular disease

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Health Science, University of Manchester

Award Date: 15 Jul 2005

Bachelor of Science, University of East Anglia

… → 1981

External positions

Member of the Cochrane Nutrition Field Advisory Board, University of Oxford

2019 → …

Member of the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Subgroup on Diet and Health, participating in production of dietary guidance for WHO (2012 to present), World Health Organization

2012 → …

Member of the editorial board of Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

2010 → …

Editorial board of the Cochrane Heart Group, The Cochrane Heart Group

2001 → …


  • Public Health, Health Services & Primary Care
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition
  • Systematic review
  • Older adults
  • Residential care

Media Expertise

  • Healthy Ageing
  • Public Health
  • Elderly care
  • Nutrition

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or