The Child Health Unit is a collaboration with staff across the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, led by Dr Sonia Saxena. Find out more about each member of staff below.


Dr Benedict Hayhoe

Benedict Hayhoe Imperial College London

Dr Benedict Hayhoe
Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care



Honorary staff

Dr Christopher Alexakis

Christopher Alexakis

Dr Christopher Alexakis
Honorary Research Fellow

Selected publications

Child obesity and early cardiovascular risk

Laverty AA, Magee L, Monteiro CA, Saxena S, Millett C et al., 2015, Sugar and artificially sweetened beverage consumption and adiposity changes: National longitudinal study, Int J Behav Nut and Physical Activity Vol: 12, ISSN: 1479-5868

Black JA, Park M, Gregson J, Falconer CL, White B, Kessel A, Saxena S et al. Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire. Br J Gen Practice 2015 ;1478-5242.

Jones Nielsen JD, Laverty AA, Millett C, Mainous III AG, Majeed A, Saxena S. Rising Obesity-Related Hospital Admissions among Children and Young People in England: National Time Trends Study. PloS One 2013.

Mainous III AG, Johnson SP, Saxena S,. Inpatient bariatric surgery among eligible black and white men and women in the United States, 1999-2010. Am J Gastroenterol 2013; 108(8):1218-1223.

Post RE, Mainous AG, Gregorie SH, Knoll ME, Diaz VA, Saxena S. The Influence of Physician Acknowledgment of Patients' Weight Status on Patient Perceptions of Overweight and Obesity in the United States. JAMA Int Med 2011; 171(4):316-321.

Viner RM, Cole TJ, Fry T, Gupta S, Kinra S, McCarthy D  Saxena S et al. Insufficient evidence to support separate BMI definitions for obesity in children and adolescents from south Asian ethnic groups Int J obesity 2012

Role of primary care in child health

Inflammatory bowel disease

Chhaya V, Pollok RC, Cecil E, Subramanian V, Curcin V, Majeed A Saxena S. Impact of early thiopurines on surgery in 2770 children and young people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease: a national population-based study. Aliment Pharmacol Therapeutics 2015; 1365-2036

Chatu S, Subramanian V,  Saxena S, Pollok RC. The Role of Thiopurines in Reducing the Need for Surgical Resection in Crohn's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Am J Gastroenterol 2014; 109(1):23-34

Chatu S,  Saxena S, Subramanian V, Curcin V, Yadegarfar G, Gunn L et al. The Impact of Timing and Duration of Thiopurine Treatment on First Intestinal Resection in Crohn's Disease: National UK Population-Based Study 1989 to 2010. Am J Gastroenterol 2014

Infection and immunity

Bielicki Sharland Saxena S et al Not too little, not too much: What approach is best for oral antibiotic dose selection for children?" BMJ 2015 351 h5447

Saxena S, Ismael Z, Murray ML, Barker C, Wong ICK, Sharland M, Long PFet al., 2014, Oral penicillin prescribing for children in the UK: a comparison with BNF for Children age-band recommendations, British Journral of General Practice Vol: 64, Pages: E217-E222, ISSN: 0960-1643