Personal profile

Research interests

I am a Wellcome Trust PhD student in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology at the University of Bristol. My PhD aims to uncover the role of food processing in the rising incidence of upper-aerodigestive tract cancer (i.e., cancers of the head and neck and oesophagus). Specifically, I am investigating the associations between ultra-processed food consumption, adiposity and upper-aerodigestive tract cancer risk in populations with European ancestry. I am exploiting multiple research methods and datasets to examine my research questions comprehensively. During my PhD, I have conducted survival analyses, mediation analyses, negative control analyses, genome-wide association study analyses and Mendelian randomization analyses. My main interests lie in the fields of nutritional epidemiology, cancer, developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and causal inference methods. I have also developed an interest in the policy implications of my work, which I would like to explore further in the coming years. 

The topic of my PhD stemmed from my master's thesis titled "Consumption of ultra-processed foods and the risk of breast cancer in the EPIC-Italy cohort: a secondary data analysis". This project was my first exposure to ultra-processed foods research and an exciting opportunity to apply the data analysis and epidemiology skills I developed during my MSc in Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It sparked my interest in causal inference in nutritional epidemiology and convinced me to apply for a PhD in the field. Before my MSc, I completed an undergraduate in Nutrition and Dietetics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and worked as a volunteer dietitian/nutritionist in the Philippines and Chile.

External positions

Research assistant, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Apr 2020Sept 2020


  • Ultra-processed foods
  • Cancer
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Mendelian randomization
  • Upper-aerodigestive tract
  • Adiposity
  • Causal inference
  • Health policy
  • Developmental origins of health and disease


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