Mauricio Avendano Pabon

Mauricio Avendano Pabon

Professor, Reader in Global Ageing

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Personal profile

Biographical details

Mauricio Avendano is Professor of Public Policy and Global Health and Head of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He is  is also adjunct Associate Professor at Harvard University (T.H. Chan School of Public Health), and faculty member at the Harvard Centre of Population and Development Studies.

He has held academic appointments at the London School of Economics (2011-2015), Harvard University (2008-2010) and the Erasmus Rotterdam University (2002-2011). He has published more than 115 papers in leading international journals, and he has been awarded grants by the European Commission Horizon2020 programme, the European Research Council (ERC), the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK National Institute for Health Research, the Netherlands Research Council, the US National Institute of Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He is also network associate of the McArthur Foundation Research Network on an Ageing Society. 

Professor Avendano has received several academic excellence awards, including an ERC Starting grant (2011-2016), a Harvard David Bell Fellowship (2008-2010), a Dutch Excellence starting research ‘VENI’ grant (2006-2010), and a Dutch Excellence advanced research ‘VIDI’ grant (2010-2014). He has collaborated with academics in more than 20 countries from across the health and social sciences.  

Research interests

Professor Avendano’s research examines how public policies, social transformations and health systems contribute to health inequalities between and within countries. His research has shown that public policies in education, pensions, long-term care systems, health care insurance, poverty, employment and urban planning shape physical and mental health and contribute to health inequalities. His work is interdisciplinary and at the crossroad between epidemiology and public health, economics, demography, sociology and public policy. Based on longitudinal (panel) data, his research uses quasi-experimental designs, natural experiments and randomised controlled trials to establish the causal impact of public policies.  

Current Research Projects

Professor Avendano leads the programme on Work and Welfare at King’s ESRC Centre for Society & Mental Health, where he and his colleagues examine the impact of welfare benefit and work transformations on mental health. 

His is co-investigator in the In-Care project,  working with Karen Glaser and Ludovico Carrino to examines the impact of long-term care systems on inequalities in health and long-term care use across European countries and Japan. 

He is co-investigator in the Chances-6 project,  which examines the impact of antipoverty policies on the mental health and life chances of adolescents and young people in six Low-and-Middle-Income countries in Africa and Latin America.

He is co-investigator in a new project funded by the Newton fund (British Council) to design and test a novel mental health intervention for young people in a human capital development programme in Colombia. 

He is also Co-PI in a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust to examine the impact of a novel programme that combines a mental health and a poverty reduction intervention for young people in South Africa, Colombia and Bangladesh. 

He is also co-PI in the ASSET project, an NIHR-funded research unit where he leads work with Ann Kelly and Nele Jensen to examine the health equity impact of interventions to strengthen health systems in Sub-Sharan Africa. 


Completed Projects 

Together with Prof Frank Van Lenthe (Erasmus University), he shared the coordination of Mindmap (2016-2020), a European Commission funded project to examine the impact of urban environments and policies on the mental health of ageing populations across 15 cities in Europe, Canada and the US.  

Prof Avendano was also co-PI in the Lifepath project (2015-2019), a major European consortium to understanding the causes of health inequalities in Europe. 

He was Co-PI in the WORKLONG project (2015-2019), an ESRC- European Joint Initiative project to examine the impact of changes to retirement and pension policies on health. 

Professor Avendano contributed to the development of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe(SHARE), where he was involved from 2004-2010 overseeing the design of the health module. 

He collaborated with Professor Johan Mackenbach (Erasmus MC) in several projects that used data from mortality registries and census to examine inequalities in mortality in Europe

Professor Avendano has also worked with several longitudinal and birth cohort studies, including the the UK Understanding Society survey, the UK Millennium Cohort Study, the UK Birth Cohorts, the French Constances study, the US Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), the Dutch Globe Study, and the English Longitudinal study of Ageing (ELSA), among others. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Award Date: 8 Dec 2006

Master in Science, Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center

Award Date: 1 Jul 2004

Master of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center

Award Date: 1 Jul 2002

External positions

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health


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