Will trained in human biology, with a BSc and PhD from Loughborough University (2003-2010), and in epidemiology during postdoctoral positions at the University of Minnesota’s Division for Epidemiology and Community Health (2011-2012), the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL (2013-2014), and MRC Human Nutrition Research (2015-2016). He was appointed as a Lecturer at Loughborough University in 2016 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019.
Will works with birth cohort and other longitudinal studies on a programme of research investigating:
- The etiologic factors regulating human growth and development.
- The consequences of body size and composition trajectories for health and wellbeing.
- Population-level variation (e.g., temporal) and individual-level heterogeneity in the development, causes, and consequences of obesity.
- Statistical methods to model longitudinal data and investigate complex associations, particularly multilevel growth curve modelling.
Selected research funding:
- Body size trajectories and cardio-metabolic resilience to obesity in three United Kingdom birth cohorts (PI) (2017-2020). MRC New Investigator Research Grant. £429,328
- Development of Samoan-specific fetal growth references and an assessment of their diagnostic ability (Sub-Award PI) (2019-2020). NIH R03. USD $183,324
- Dietary determinants of nutritional status among Gambian adolescent girls and young women (Co-PI) (2016). The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science. $49,888
- Editorial Board member: Annals of Human Biology
- Journal Reviewer (e.g., Am J Epidemiol, BMJ, Int J Epidemiol, Int J Obes, Lancet Child Adolesc Health, Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol, Pediatrics)
- Committee Member: International Society for the Study of Human Growth and Clinical Auxology, Society for the Study of Human Biology
- Peer Review College member. UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (UKRI FLF)
- Johnson W, Bell JA, Robson E, Norris T, Kivimäki M, Hamer M. Do worse baseline risk factors explain the association of healthy obesity with increased mortality risk? Whitehall II Study. Int J Obes [Epub ahead of print]
- Norris T, Bann D, Hardy R, Johnson W. Socioeconomic inequalities in childhood-to-adulthood BMI tracking in three British birth cohorts. Int J Obes [Epub ahead of print]
- Norris T, Ramel SE, Catalano P, ni Caoimh C, Roggero P, Murray D, Fields D, Demerath EW, Johnson W. 2019. New charts for the assessment of body composition, according to air-displacement plethysmography, at birth and across the first six months of life. Am J Clin Nutr 109:1353–60.
- Johnson W. 2018. Body size trajectories and cardio-metabolic resilience to obesity. Nutr Bull 43(4):456-62.
- Johnson W. 2018. Healthy obesity: time to give up the ghost? Ann Hum Biol 45(4):297-8.
- Bann D, Johnson W, Li L, Kuh D, Hardy R. 2018. Socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index, weight, and height in childhood and adolescence: coordinated analyses of individual participant data from four British birth cohort studies initiated in 1946, 1958, 1970, and 2001. Lancet Pub Health 3(4): e194-e203.
- Bann D, Johnson W, Li L, Kuh D, Hardy R. 2017. Socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index across adulthood: coordinated analyses of individual participant data from three British birth cohort studies initiated in 1946, 1958, and 1970. Plos Med 14(1): e1002214.
- Johnson W, Li L, Kuh D, Hardy R. 2015. How has the age-related process of overweight or obesity development changed over time? Co-ordinated analyses of individual participant data from five United Kingdom birth cohorts. Plos Med 12: e1001828.
- Johnson W. 2015. Analytical strategies in human growth research. Am J Hum Biol 27(1): 69-83.