Professor Petra Meier PhD (Manchester), MSc (Hertfordshire), Vordiplom (Heidelberg)

  • Professor of Public Health


Section of Public Health
University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
Sheffield S1 4D

Office: Room G033c, Ground Floor, Regent Court

Tel: (+44) (0) 114 222 0735
Fax: (+44) (0) 114 222 0749

email :

ORCiD: 0000-0001-5354-1933


Current appointment

  • Professor of Public Health, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield from 2010

Education and qualifications

  • PhD Epidemiology and Health Sciences 2005, University of Manchester
  • MSc by Research in Psychology, 1999, University of Hertfordshire
  • Vordiplom Psychology 1996, University of Heidelberg, Germany 

Academic and research leadership

  •  From September 2019, I will lead the new UKPRP-funded SIPHER Consortium (2019-2024, £4.9m with additional £1.2m funding from 18 partner organisations). SIPHER is a new centre for Systems Science in Public Health & Health Economic Research. Working closely with policy and practice partners, our research will aim to create the evidence base to underpin health in all policies efforts by local, regional and national governments. Our initial focus areas will be inclusive economic growth, adverse childhood experiences, mental wellbeing and housing.
  • Director of the multi-disciplinary, cross-faculty Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health Economics and Decision Science  (20 PhD scholarships 2016-2023), which blends public health, data science, mathematical modelling and social science training.
  • Founder and Director of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group , an internationally leading centre for alcohol policy, epidemiological and economic research. SARG is one of the UK’s largest alcohol research groups with currently 31 researchers from disciplines including psychology, sociology, engineering, maths, geography and economics.

Research Interests

  • Social determinants of health
  • Cross-government policy efforts that maximise health and wellbeing
  • Alcohol policies and their effectiveness
  • Health inequalities, and their link to political, economic, environmental and behavioural factors

Administrative Roles and Professional Activities

  • NIHR Public Health Research Funding Board (from 1/2018)
  • President Elect of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Alcohol Research 2019- (Chair of the Ole-Jorgen Skog Award Committee 2014-6, co-ordinating committee 2012-2016)
  • Honorary professorship, Public Health England
  • Honorary professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling
  • Member of Public Health England’s Alcohol Leadership Board (2015 onwards)
  • Member of the Lancet IV Standing Commission on Liver Disease (2017-8)
  • Senior Editor: Addiction (top journal in field, IF=6.1)
  • Member of the Chief Medical Officer for England’s Drinking Guidelines Review Group (2013-14)
  • Expert witness to Health Select Committees in England and Scotland, House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, Health Select Committee for Western Australia
  • Invited briefings to the English and Scottish Chief Medical Officers, Prime Minister’s Special Advisors and Scottish Ministerial Advisory Committee
  • Invited alcohol expert at the 2016 Almedalen Policy Week in Visby, Sweden

Key current grants

As Principal Investigator

UKPRP SIPHER Consortium: Systems-science Informed Public Health Economic Research

  • UK Prevention Research Partnership, through MRC. Principal Investigator 2019-2024
  • £5.0million from UKPRP + £1.2million from partner organisations     

Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health, Economics and Decision Science

  • Wellcome Trust. Lead applicant: 2016-2022
  • £1,404,000 for 20 doctoral scholarships

Understanding stability and change in British drinking using 16 years of market research data

  • ESRC. Principal Investigator 2018-2021
  • £ 649,239

As Co-Investigator

The University of Sheffield Skills Development Fellowship Programme in Population Health Systems Science and Decision Modelling

  • MRC. Co-Investigator 2018-2022 (PI Brazier)
  • £1.1 million

Why is youth alcohol consumption falling? A mixed methods investigation of changing drinking cultures across recent generations

  • Wellcome Trust. Co-Investigator 2018-2022 (PI Holmes)
  •  £593,555

Integrated evidence synthesis for joint appraisal of tobacco and alcohol tax interventions for harm reduction in the UK (SYNTAX)

  • NIHR Public Health Research Board. Co-Investigator: 2018-2020 (PI Brennan)
  • £727,000

NIHR School of Public Health Research – Renewal 

  • NIHR Centre Grants. Co-Investigator: 2017-2022 (PI Goyder)
  • £20,000,000 (shared between 8 centres of excellence)

Calibrated Agent Simulations for Combined Analysis of Drinking Etiologies (CASCADE)

  • US NIH NIAAA R01. Co-Investigator: 2017-2022 (PI Purshouse)
  • £1.370,000

Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing in Scotland on harmful drinkers

  • NHS Health Scotland. Co-Investigator: 2017-2019 (PI Holmes)
  • £600,000

Appraising the effect of implementing local minimum unit pricing under the Sustainable Communities Act on alcohol consumption in the North West

  • NIHR Public Health Research Board. Co-investigator: 2017-2019 (PI Brennan)
  • £287,114

The effectiveness of promotional campaigns associated with revised UK drinking guidelines: A prospective evaluation

  •  NIHR Public Health Research Board. Co-investigator: 2016-2019 (PI Holmes)
  • £590,000

Key Publications

Bhattacharya A, Angus C, Pryce R, Holmes J, Brennan A, Meier PS (2018) How dependent is the alcohol industry on heavy drinking in England? Addiction, DOI:

Holmes J, Angus C, Meier PS, Buykx P & Brennan A (2018) How should we set consumption thresholds for low risk drinking guidelines? Achieving objectivity and transparency using evidence, expert judgement and pragmatismAddiction

Meier PS, Warde A & Holmes J (2018) All drinking is not equal: how a social practice theory lens could enhance public health research on alcohol and other health behavioursAddiction, 113(2), 206-213Gavens L, Holmes J, Buehringer G, McLeod J, Neumann M, Lingford-Hughes A, Hock ES, Meier PS (2017) Interdisciplinary working in public health research: a proposed good practice checklist, Journal of Public Health, 14, 1-8. DOI:

Meier, P. S., Holmes, J., Angus, C., Ally, A. K., Meng, Y., & Brennan, A. (2016). Estimated Effects of Different Alcohol Taxation and Price Policies on Health Inequalities: A Mathematical Modelling Study. PLOS Medicine, 13(2), e1001963. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001963

Sadler S, Angus C, Gavens L, Gillespie D, Holmes J, Hamilton J, Brennan A, Meier P (2016) Understanding the alcohol harm paradox: an analysis of sex- and condition-specific hospital admissions by socioeconomic group for alcohol-associated conditions in England, Addiction, 112(5):808-817. DOI: 10.1111/add.13726

Brennan, A., Meier, P., Purshouse, R., Rafia, R., Meng, Y., & Hill-Macmanus, D. (2016). Developing policy analytics for public health strategy and decisions—the Sheffield alcohol policy model framework. Annals of Operations Research, 236(1), 149-176. doi:10.1007/s10479-013-1451-z

Lovatt, M., Eadie, D., Meier, P. S., Li, J., Bauld, L., Hastings, G., & Holmes, J. (2015). Lay epidemiology and the interpretation of low-risk drinking guidelines by adults in the United Kingdom. Addiction, 110(12), 1912-1919. doi:10.1111/add.13072

Holmes J, Meng Y, Meier PS, Brennan A, Angus C, Campbell-Burton A, Guo Y, Hill-McManus D & Purshouse RC (2014) Effects of minimum unit pricing for alcohol on different income and socioeconomic groups: a modelling study. Lancet, 383(9929), 1655-1664.

Brennan A, Meng Y, Holmes J, Hill-McManus D & Meier PS (2014) Potential benefits of minimum unit pricing for alcohol versus a ban on below cost selling in England 2014: modelling study.. BMJ, 349, g5452.

Ally AK, Meng Y, Chakraborty R, Dobson PW, Seaton JS, Holmes J, Angus C, Guo Y, Hill-McManus D, Brennan A & Meier PS (2014) Alcohol tax pass-through across the product and price range: do retailers treat cheap alcohol differently?. Addiction, 109(12), 1994-2002.

Meng Y, Holmes J, Hill-McManus D, Brennan A & Meier PS (2014) Trend analysis and modelling of gender-specific age, period and birth cohort effects on alcohol abstention and consumption level for drinkers in Great Britain using the General Lifestyle Survey 1984-2009.. Addiction, 109(2), 206-215.

Meng Y, Brennan A, Purshouse R, Hill-McManus D, Angus C, Holmes J & Meier PS (2014) Estimation of own and cross price elasticities of alcohol demand in the UK-A pseudo-panel approach using the Living Costs and Food Survey 2001-2009.. J Health Econ, 34, 96-103.

Meier PS, Meng Y, Holmes J, Baumberg B, Purshouse R, Hill-McManus D & Brennan A (2013) Adjusting for unrecorded consumption in survey and per capita sales data: quantification of impact on gender- and age-specific alcohol-attributable fractions for oral and pharyngeal cancers in Great Britain.. Alcohol Alcohol, 48(2), 241-249.

Holmes JD, Meier PSY, Booth A, Guo Y & Brennan A (2012) The temporal relationship between per capita alcohol consumption and harm: A systematic review of time lag specifications in aggregate time series analyses. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 123(1-3), 7-14.

Meier PS (2011) Alcohol marketing research: the need for a new agenda.. Addiction, 106(3), 466-471.

Purshouse RC, Meier PS, Brennan A, Taylor KB & Rafia R (2010) Estimated effect of alcohol pricing policies on health and health economic outcomes in England: an epidemiological model.. Lancet, 375(9723), 1355-1364.

Meier PS (2010) Polarized drinking patterns and alcohol deregulation. NAD Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 27(5), 383-408.

Meier PS, Purshouse R & Brennan A (2010) Policy options for alcohol price regulation: the importance of modelling population heterogeneity.. Addiction, 105(3), 383-393. View this article in White Rose Research Online