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NIHA Inaugural Symposium – a Knowledge Exchange case study


Our inaugural scientific symposium, held on the 1st February 2021 via Zoom, celebrated the breadth of healthy ageing related research happening across Norwich Research Park and beyond.

Photo captions: Screenshot of Prof Sir Michael Marmot’s keynote talk ‘Build Back Fairer’ (top); Screenshot of Posters – The Winning Poster was by Emad Shehata ‘Colonic transformation of anthocyanins is partly spontaneous and partly driven by the gut microbiota’ Emad was awarded £100 (middle); Screenshot of Prof Anne-Marie Minihane chairing the Q&A session (bottom)


The aims of the symposium were to highlight the quality and diversity of healthy ageing related research and other activities being conducted  and drive knowledge exchange and new collaborations. Participants were able to:

  • Find out about NIHA and the breadth of healthy ageing research at Norwich Research Park and the wider East of England
  • Reflect on  health inequalities and the main determinants of our ability to enact healthier behaviours
  • Learn about new developments
  • Get ideas on forming new multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaborations, and provide the ‘seed’ for new research ideas and funding bids
  • Share research with a friendly and engaged audience

The event was held online and 170 delegates were able to hear 12 excellent short talks and participate in a poster session as well as get involved in a Q&A session.


Introduction to NIHA, progress to date Prof Anne-Marie Minihane, MED, UEA
Keynote: Social justice, health equity and Covid-19 Prof Sir Michael Marmot FRCP, UCL Institute of Health Equity
Session 1: Healthy ageing and health inequalities

  1. The experience of older people with multimorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Women, cancer risk and ageing. The health inequalities of women in the criminal justice system and victims of domestic abuse.
  3. A whole systems approach to tackling Health Inequalities in Norfolk.
  4. Volunteering in older age: new research agendas to address inequalities.
Chair: Adam Clark, Norwich City Council


  1. Prof Nick Steel, MED, UEA
  2. Dr Sarah Hanson, HSC, UEA
  3. Nadia Jones from Norfolk Public Health
  4. Dr Linda Birt, HSC, UEA
Session 2: Behaviour change and healthy ageing

  1. The Effect of Dietary Bioactive Compounds on Gut Microbiome Diversity.
  2. ‘Baby, Me & NRT’: Helping pregnant women who smoke use nicotine replacement therapy more effectively.
  3. Can a diet rich in broccoli impact upon joint health and osteoarthritis.
  4. Effects of consuming a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern on indices of healthy ageing and nutritional status: results from the NU-AGE study.
Chair: Prof Wendy Hardeman, HSC, UEA


  1. Dr Kathryn Murray, QIB
  2. Joanna Emery, HSC, UEA
  3. Prof Ian Clark, BIO, UEA
  4. Dr Amy Jennings, MED, UEA
Session 3: Poster Session Chair: Prof Ian Clark, BIO, UEA
Session 4: Innovation in Ageing

  1. TBC
  2. Polyphenol enriched tomatoes protect against atherosclerotic plaque development in ApoE-/- mice through the modification of cholesterol efflux and inflammation.
  3. Onwards and U-PEDwards: designing an innovation for increasing walking activity- from concept towards commercialisation.
  4. HumanDecisionsUEA: A forthcoming UEA research theme
Chair: Prof Paul Dobson, NBS/UEA


  1. Prof Paul Dobson, NBS, UEA
  2. Dr Priscilla Day-Walsh, QIB,
  3. Dr Nicola Hancock, HSC, UEA
  4. Prof Ted Turocy, Economics, UEA
Open discussion on NIHA future plans Chairs: Prof Martin Warren QIB, Prof Anne-Marie Minihane, MED/UEA


Link to the recording:



1:18 – Welcome and introduction, Prof Anne-Marie Minihane, MED, UEA
10:00 – Keynote, Prof Sir Michael Marmot FRCP, UCL Institute of Health Equity
44:55 – Session 1, Healthy ageing and health inequalities, Chair: Adam Clark, Norwich City Council
1:14:00 – Session 2, Behaviour change and healthy ageing, Chair: Prof Wendy Hardeman, HSC, UEA
1:43:00 – Session 3, Poster session, Chair: Prof Ian Clark, BIO, UEA
1:58:00 – Session 4, Innovation in ageing, Chair: Prof Paul Dobson, NBS, UEA
2:31:30 – Open discussion on NIHA future plans, Chairs: Prof Martin Warren QIB, Prof Anne-Marie Minihane, MED, UEA

Symposium Feedback

“The partner event really helped me get a sense of the opportunity that NIHA presents. The range of speakers and subjects, the knowledge and passion of contributors and the sense of collective purpose suggests that NIHA is a genuine platform for innovation and impact on the subject of healthy ageing.” Adam Clark, Strategy Manager, Norwich City Council


“The meeting enabled me to acknowledge and appreciate the depth  of skills and knowledge in the  NIHA, which will definitely support the delivery of the NHS long term plans . I also  believe that  health and social working with academia  through the NIHA will help us to meet the outcome of health equality and adding healthier years to people’s lives in Norfolk and beyond.” Dr Venu Harilal, Medical Director, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust


“It was an inspiring event with excellent speakers. The group has real focus and a determination to tackle challenging issues about healthy ageing.” Antonia Hardcastle, Head of Education, Learning and Research at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust


For further information about the symposium or the NIHA contact Dr Karen Smith (Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk)