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Professor Laia Becares

Professor Laia Becares

  • Academics

Professor of Social Science and Health

Research subject areas

  • Population Health
  • Sociology
  • Equality

Contact details


Professor Laia Becares joined King’s in 2022, having previously worked at the University of Sussex (2018-2022) and at the University of Manchester (2010-2018), where she retains an Honorary position. She obtained her PhD in Social Epidemiology from UCL and her master's in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health.

She is a quantitative Social Epidemiologist by training and takes an interdisciplinary approach to her work. Laia collaborates with quantitative and qualitative sociologists, psychiatrists, geographers, demographers and other epidemiologists. She is an Editor of Sociology of Health and Illness, and serves on the Academic Reference Group of the NHS Race and Health Observatory.

Laia has been awarded several research fellowships, including an ESRC/MRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2010-2012), a Hallsworth Research Fellowship (2012-2016) and an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship (2012-2015). 


Thesis 'Role of racism, homophobia and heterosexism in leading to inequities in health and mental health Life course and ageing Neighbourhood effects'

Laia's research looks at understanding the pathways by which the discrimination and marginalisation of people and places lead to social and health inequities. This work has mostly focused on examining the association between othering, oppression and health, in order to understand how experiences of discrimination pattern people's health and social outcomes, as well as that of their children. She is also interested in understanding how the accumulation of experienced discrimination across people's lives determines their health as they age.

She studies these processes in relation to racism, homophobia and heterosexism as systems of oppression. Currently, Laia is the Principal Investigator of a Nuffield-funded project titled ‘ethnic inequalities in later life’, which uses survey and census data to examine ethnic inequalities in mental and physical health, wellbeing and socio-economic circumstances among people aged over 45.

She also leads a project funded by the Health Foundation, which examines ethnic inequalities in healthcare among people with multimorbidity. Laia co-developed the Queerantine Study, which examined the detrimental impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the LGBTQ+ community.

PhD supervision

Laia is interested in supervising doctoral students who want to explore topics related to health inequalities, mental health, racism, LGBTQ+ inequalities, ageing, life course effects and neighbourhood effects.