Professor Shona Hilton


Shona Hilton is Professor of Public Health Policy and Deputy Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow.

She is a social scientist with a track record in the developing and evaluating public health policy communications. Her research focuses on contemporary policy debates facing biomedical, social and public health to help improve the timely translation of scientific knowledge into policy and practice.  Working closely with policy makers, practitioners and the public she co-develops projects to generate evidence on how health issues, evidence and policies are being reported and understood with a priority given to policies that aim to improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

She has published over 100 scientific papers and recently co-edited a book on “The media and public health: where next for critical analysis?” Shona is an Editor for PLoS One, Associate Editor for BMC Public Health and co-convener for the BSA Scottish Medical Sociology Group.

As part of timely knowledge exchange, Shona is a member and advisor on national public health and third sector organisations including as a member of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group ‘Improving Scotland’s Health: 2021 and Beyond’.

Ashleigh Kellerman

Project Support Officer

Ashleigh is a Political Communication MSc student at the University of Glasgow. She will be leading on supporting SOA policy and advocacy work by coordinating membership and outreach, running social media, and assisting with research and other operational support. Previously, she worked in environmental behaviour science and co-authored Making Shift Happen: Designing for Successful Environmental Behavior Change (2022). An alumna of UC Berkeley with a background in psychology and economics, she has interests in framing for improved policy and social justice communication.

Dr. Marissa Smith

Visiting CRUK & University of Glasgow Researcher

We are pleased to be consulting with Dr Marissa Smith on the co-production of youth advocacy videos. Marissa is a Research Assistant at the University of Glasgow. She is currently working on a project with Cancer Research UK conducting focus groups with youths to explore their responses to and engagement with e-cigarettes and e-cigarette marketing, involving user-generated and influencer content. Marissa recently was awarded her PhD from University of Glasgow where she focused on the role of evidence in e-cigarette policy. She also holds a MSc (distinction) in Forensic Toxicology and a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science. She has research interests in unhealthy commodities, policymaking, and conflicts of interest.

Caroline Vaczy

Visiting University of Glasgow Researcher

We would also like to welcome Caroline Vaczy who is joining us for a few months to support our policy research and our upcoming youth advocacy work. She comes to us from the Creative Insights Project at Glasgow University, which engaged with young people to get their perspectives on policies aimed at reducing health inequalities. She holds a Master’s in Global Health and Development from University College London. She has research interests in co-production, participatory research, and health inequalities.