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School of Health and Society

Professor Penny Cook

Professor in Public Health


After gaining her PhD from the University of Liverpool (1996), Penny took a Royal Society funded fellowship in Stockholm University. She joined Liverpool John Moores University’s Centre for Public Health in 1998 as a research fellow and was made Reader in Public Health Epidemiology in 2007. Her work at LJMU included Department of Health funded research on the overlap between population-level indicators of alcohol use, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in teenagers, and research contributing to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on HIV and sexual health. Penny joined the University of Salford in June 2012 and was made Professor in 2013. She is currently carrying out research on an NIHR-funded ‘community alcohol health champions’ project (Communities in Charge of Alcohol, CICA), which is looking at how the communities can support each other with alcohol advice and whether communities can influence local alcohol licensing decisions. Research in other areas of public health include physical activity and the health benefits of greenspace. Penny is a co-investigator on the NERC-funded Green infrastructure and the Health and wellbeing Influences on an Ageing population (GHIA) project. She also teaches on the MSc in Public Health.


Penny teaches on the MSc Public Health programme, contributing to the Epidemiology and Statistics for Public Health module. She also teaches on her specialist topics of sexual health and alcohol to undergraduates and postgraduates.

Research Interests

Penny’s main research interests are in the areas of sexual health, alcohol harm, and the interaction between nature and health, predominantly using quantitative epidemiological methods. She is part of a team that supervises a thriving community of PhD students, and would welcome applications from students on topics related to her areas of interest.

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc (hons)


Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health


Dennis M, Barlow D, Cavan G., Cook PA, Gilchrist A, Handley J, James P, Thompson J, Tzoulas K, Wheater CP and Lindley S (2018). Mapping Urban Green Infrastructure: A Novel Landscape-Based Approach to Incorporating Land Use and Land Cover in the Mapping of Human-Dominated Systems. Land 7(1): 17.

Price, A., Cook, P.A., Norgate, S. and Mukherjee, R., 2017. Prenatal alcohol exposure and traumatic childhood experiences: A systematic review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 80:89-98.

Astin F, Burey L, Cook PA, O'Donnell C, Deaton C, Lewthwaite K, Terry D, Lacey S, Adams J, Rothwell K, Humpreys J. 2016 A service improvement ‘tool kit’ for effective heart failure management in primary care. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing 11(12):588-96.

Fufore, M B & Cook, P & Kirfi, A M 2016, 'Fufore, Mohammed Bello, Cook, PA and Kirfi, A M 2016, 'Health Workers Knowledge, Attitude and Practice towards Hepatitis B Infection in Northern Nigeria' , International Journal of Caring Sciences, 9 (3) , pp. 955-965', International Journal of Caring Sciences, 9(3), pp.955-965.

Mukherjee R, Cook PA, Fleming KM, Norgate SH. What can be done to lessen morbidity associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders?. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2016 Nov 1:archdischild-2016.

Clarke-Cornwell, A.M., Farragher, T.M., Cook, P.A. and Granat, M.H., 2016. Empirically derived cut-points for sedentary behaviour: are we sitting differently?. Physiological Measurement, 37(10), p.1669.

Cook, P.A., Morleo, M., Billington, D., Sanderson-Shortt, K., Jones, C., Gabbay, M., Sheron, N., Bellis, M., Phillips-Howard, P. & Gilmore, I. 2015, Evaluation of work-based screening for early signs of alcohol-related liver disease in hazardous and harmful drinkers: the PrevAIL study, BMC Public Health, 15(352).

O’Brien, K S Ferris, J, Greenlees, I, Jowett, S, Rhind, D, Cook, PA & Kypri, K 2014, Alcohol industry sponsorship and hazardous drinking in UK university students who play sport, Addiction, 109(10), pp.1647-1654.

Cook, PA,  Evans-Jones, J, Mallinson, H, Wood, M, Alloba, F, Jones, K , Strodtbeck, S & Layla, H 2014, Comparison of patients diagnosed with gonorrhoea through community screening with those self-presenting to the genitourinary medicine clinic, BMJ Open, 4, p.e004862.

Morleo, M, Cook, PA, Elliott, G & Phillips-Howard, P 2013, Parental knowledge of alcohol consumption: a cross sectional survey of 11-17 year old schoolchildren and their parents, BMC Public Health, 13(412 ).

Zhang, X,  Cook, PA, Lisboa, P J & Jarman, I H & Bellis, M A 2013, 'The effects of deprivation and relative deprivation on self-reported morbidity in England: an area-level ecological study', International Journal of Health Geographics, 12(5).

Olsen, J.R., Cook, P.A. & Forster, S. & Phillips-Howard, P.A. 2012, 'Accessibility of sexual health services in teenage sexual health service users: local area geospatial analysis, Journal of Public Health, 34 (3): 438-446.

*Zhang, X., Cook, P. A., Jarman, I., & Lisboa, P. (2011). Area effects on health inequalities: the impact of neighbouring deprivation on mortality. Health Place, 17(6), 1266-1273.

Morleo, M., Woolfall, K., Dedman, D., Mukherjee, R., Bellis, M.A., Cook, P.A., (2011) Under-reporting of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders: an analysis of hospital episode statistics. BMC Pediatrics. 11:14

Madden, H.C.E., Phillips-Howard, P.A., Hargreaves, S.C., Downing, J., Bellis, M.A., Vivancos, R., Syed, Q., Cook, P.A., (2011) Access to HIV community organisations by vulnerable populations: Evidence from an enhanced HIV/AIDS surveillance system - AIDS Care. 2011. May; 23(5):542-9. 2010.525609

*Cook, P.A., Phillips-Howard P.A., Morleo, M., Harkins, C., Briant, L., Bellis, M.A. (2011) The Big Drink Debate: perceptions of the impact of price on alcohol consumption from a large scale cross-sectional convenience survey in north west England - BMC Public Health. 2011. Aug 23; 11(1):664.

Browne, M. and Cook, P.A. (2011) Inappropriate trust in technology: implications for critical care nurses. Nursing in Critical Care, vol. 16(2), 92-98.

Downing, J., Cook, P.A., Madden, H.C.E., Phillips-Howard, P.A., Higgins, S.P., Bellis, M.A., (2010) - Sexually Transmitted Infections. 86 :474-477

*Morleo, M., Cook, P.A., Bellis, M.A., Smallthwaite, L.,E: (2010) Use of fake identification to purchase alcohol amongst 15-16 year olds: a cross-sectional survey examining alcohol access, consumption and harm - Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2010. 5 :12

*Bellis, M.A., Morleo, M., Hughes K., Downing, J., Wood S., Smallthwaite L., Cook, P.A., (2010) A cross-sectional survey of compliance with national guidance for alcohol consumption by children: measuring risk factors, protective factors and social norms for excessive and unsupervised drinking - BMC Public Health. 10 :547

*Phillips-Howard, P.A., Bellis, M.A., Briant, L.B., Jones, H., Downing, J., Kelly, I.E., Bird, T., Cook, P.A., (2010) Wellbeing, alcohol use and sexual activity in young teenagers: findings from a cross-sectional survey in school children in North West England. - Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 5 :27

*Bellis M.A, Phillips-Howard P.A., Hughes K., Hughes S, Cook, P.A., Morleo, M., Hannon K., Smallthwaite L., Jones L., (2009) Teenage drinking, alcohol availability and pricing: a cross-sectional study of risk and protective factors for alcohol-related harms in school children - BMC Public Health. 9 :380 /10.1186/1471-2458-9-380

Morleo, M., Lightowlers, C., Anderson, Z., Cook, P.A.., Harkins, C., Bellis, M.A., (2009) A review of the impact of the Licensing Act on levels of violence in England and Wales: a public health perspective - Crime and Community Safety. 11 (3) :204-218

Cook, P.A., Downing, J, Wheater, C.P., Bellis, M.A., Tocque K, Syed Q, Phillips-Howard, P.A., (2009) Influence of socio-demographic factors on distances travelled to access HIV services: enhanced surveillance of HIV patients in North West England - BMC Public Health. 69 :78

*Bellis, M.A., Watson FLD, Hughes S, Cook, P.A., Downing, J, Clark P, Thompson R (2007) Comparative views of the public, sex workers, businesses, and residents on establishing managed zones for prostitution: Analysis of a consultation in Liverpool - Health and Place. 13: 603-616

*Cook, P.A., Downing, J., Rimmer P, Syed Q, Bellis, M.A. (2006) Treatment and care of HIV positive asylum seekers. Journal of Epidemiol Community Health. 60: 836-838

Cook, P.A., Hargreaves S, Tocque K, Bellis, M.A. (2004) Relationships between the use of hospital services and place of residence deprivation score among HIV positive individuals in the North West of England. Communicable Disease and Public Health 7: 319-321

Milton B, Cook, P.A., Dugdill L, Porcellato L, Springett J, Woods SE (2004) Why do primary school children smoke? A longitudinal analysis of predictors of smoking uptake during preadolescence. Public Health 118(4): 247-255

Wheater, C.P., Cook, P.A., Clark P, Syed Q, Bellis, M.A. (2003) Re-emerging syphilis: a detrended correspondence analysis of the behaviour of HIV positive and negative gay men. BMC Public Health 3: 34

*Clark P, Cook, P.A., Lighton L, Syed Q, Bellis, M.A. (2002). Syphilis outbreak is twice as big as reported [Letter]. British Medical Journal 325: 775-776

*Bellis, M.A., Cook, P.A., Clark P, Syed Q, Hoskins A (2002) Re-emerging syphilis in gay men: a case control study of behavioural risk factors and HIV status. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 56: 235-236

Cook, P.A., Bellis, M.A. (2001) Knowing the risk: relationships between risk behaviour and health knowledge. Public Health 115: 54-61

Cook, P.A., McVeigh J, Syed Q, Mutton K, Bellis, M.A. (2001) Predictors of hepatitis B and C infection in injecting drug users both in and out of drug treatment. Addiction 96: 1787-1797

*Cook, P.A., Clark P, Bellis, M.A., Ashton JR, Syed Q, Hoskins A, Higgins SP, Sukthankar A, Chandiok S (2001) Re-emerging syphilis in the UK: a behavioural analysis of infected individuals. Communicable Disease and Public Health 4: 253-258