Imperial College London

MissAinaRoca Barcelo

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Postgraduate



a.roca-barcelo CV




51247 Praed StreetSt Mary's Campus





About Me

I am a final year PhD candidate in Environmental Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and a part-time Research Assistant in Epidemiology at the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU), part of the MRC Centre for Environment and Health.

My main research project is looking at the effects of temperature changes in people’s health in Sao Paulo in Brazil, particularly focusing on identifying vulnerable population groups and neighbourhoods, information that can be used to develop and inform targeted policies. This is part of my PhD fully funded by the President Studentship Program from Imperial College London and in collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. As part of my PhD, I have spent 3 months at the European Space Agency (ESA) φ-lab developing a machine learning algorithm to predict temperature at a high spatio-temporal resolution for the city that I can use for health risk assessments. To learn more about my PhD and the main outputs, visit my website

I was trained in Biomedical Sciences at the “Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)” and also hold a Master’s in Health Promotion by the “Universitat de Girona (UdG)”, Spain. My professional experience extends from lab-based research mainly in cancer molecular biology to epidemiological research, through my post as a Research Assistant in Epidemiology both at the Girona Cancer Registry, Spain and at SAHSU.

My research interests include: (i) environmental and social health, specially related to non-communicable diseases and small area data; and (ii) co-benefits of climate change mitigation strategies, especially in relation to health and social inequalities. 

Many of the studies I contribute to assess environmental hazards with potential impacts on the population health and thus, often have policy relevance. Therefore, I acknowledge the value of communicating my scientific research to a wide audience, both including policy makers and the general public.  I am actively engaged in Public Engagement Activities including general activities such as the Imperial Festival, as well as project-specific outreach activities.

In relation to knowledge transfer, I am actively involved in teaching activities such as the GIS for Public Health workshop (GIS for Public Health) organized by the Environmental Exposure Group within the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Internationally, I am an active member of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) where I am currently involved in the Policy committee and the European Chapter. In the UK, I am a member of the "Researchers’ Society MRC-PHE Environment & Health" (MRC Researcher Society) where we organize trainings and seminars on a wide variety of topics, ranging from scientific paper writing to community involvement for climate change action. 


2019 - present: PhD in Epidemiology; Imperial College of London, UK

2017 : Master’s Program in Health Promotion; University of Girona (UdG), Girona, Spain.

2012 - 2016 : Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences; “Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona” (UAB), Barcelona, Spain.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Member of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) policy committee (2020-present), European Chapter (2020-present) and SNRN (2019-2021).

Member of the Researchers’ Society MRC Environment & Health; Imperial College of London and King’s College London; since 2017


  • Epidemiology
  • Climate Change
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Environmental health epidemiology
  • Social equities
  • Cancer molecular biology and epidemiology

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Roca Barcelo A, Viñas G, Pla H, et al., 2019, Mortality of women with ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast: a population-based study from the Girona province, Spain (1994-2013), Clinical & Translational Oncology, Vol:21, ISSN:1699-048X, Pages:891-899

Williams B, Douglas P, Roca Barcelo A, et al., 2019, Estimating Aspergillus fumigatus exposure from outdoor composting activities in England between 2005-14, Waste Management, Vol:84, ISSN:1879-2456, Pages:235-244

O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Kogevinas M, Cirach M, et al., 2018, Residential proximity to green spaces and breast cancer risk: The multicase-control study in Spain (MCC-Spain), International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Vol:221, ISSN:1438-4639, Pages:1097-1106

Font-Ribera L, Gracia-Lavedan E, Aragones N, et al., 2018, Long-term exposure to trihalomethanes in drinking water and breast cancer in the Spanish multicase-control study on cancer (MCC-SPAIN), Environment International, Vol:112, ISSN:0160-4120, Pages:227-234

Fuentes-Raspall R, Solans M, Roca-Barcelo A, et al., 2017, Descriptive epidemiology of primary malignant and non-malignant central nervous tumors in Spain: Results from the Girona Cancer Registry (1994-2013), Cancer Epidemiology, Vol:50, ISSN:1877-7821, Pages:1-8

Pinheiro PS, Callahan KE, Gomez SL, et al., 2017, High cancer mortality for US-born Latinos: evidence from California and Texas, BMC Cancer, Vol:17, ISSN:1471-2407

More Publications