Leslie L Davidson, MD

  • Professor Emerita of Epidemiology
Profile Headshot


Leslie Davidson's primary research interests are disability in children, international child health, screening, and epidemiology, and prevention of accidents and violence, particularly intimate partner violence. She has worked in an international team that developed an efficient approach to screen children for disability in developing countries (The TQ) and, for five years, led the Central Harlem School Health Program, launching childhood injury surveillance in Northern Manhattan linked to the development and evaluation of the Harlem Hospital Injury Prevention Program. Dr. Davidson moved to England in 1992 to work in the National Health Service as Pediatric Epidemiologist and was senior lecturer in Pediatric Epidemiology and Public Health at King's College, London. In 1997 she became director of the National Pediatric Epidemiology Unit at Oxford, where she studied the follow-up of at-risk neonates, the organization of maternity care, and health services for women experiencing intimate partner violence. At Columbia she leads the dating violence work of the Columbia Center for Youth Violence Prevention and she directs the Center for Child and Family Life Epidemiology. She is the PI of an NIH funded study of the health and psychosocial needs of children living in an area of extremely high prevalence of both poverty and of HIV.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor Emerita of Epidemiology

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1970 Harvard University
  • MD, 1978 Columbia University
  • MSc, 1982 University of London

Committees, Societies, Councils

Member, AAP-RCPCH Equity Project

Executive Committee of ATMCH

Chair, UK Child Public Health Interest Group (past)

Member, International nominating and adjudicating committee for the Pollin Prize, 2001 - present

Member, Research Coordinating Team for the UK Millennium Birth Cohort: Child of the New Century, 2001 - present

Editorial Boards

Editorial Board: Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology

Editorial Board: Child Care, Health and Development

Honors & Awards

Alpha Omega Alpha, 1978

Milbank Memorial Scholarship 1981

Elected to the Royal College of Physicians -by distinction-, 1993


Research Interests

  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Chronic disease
  • Community Health
  • Global Health
  • Maternal and Reproductive Health

Selected Publications

Tate RA, Dezateux C, Cole TJ, Davidson LL. Factors affecting a mother's recall of her baby's birth weight Int J Epid Feb 28 2005

Henderson, J, Hockley C, Petrou S, Goldacre M, Davidson L. The economic implications of multiple births: inpatient hospital costs in the first 5 years of life Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatol Ed 89 F542-F545 2004

Rowe RE, Garcia J, Davidson LL. Social and ethnic inequalities in access to prenatal screening and diagnosis in the UK Public Health 118 177-189 2004

Johnson S, Marlow N, Wolke D, Davidson LL, Marston L, O'Hare A, Peacock J, Schulte J. Validation of a parent report measure of cognitive development in very preterm infants Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 46 389-397 2004

Olson CE, Rickert VI, Davidson LL. Identifying and Supporting Young Women Experiencing Dating Violence: What Health Practitioners should be doing NOW J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol 17 131-136 2004

Davidson LL, Durkin M, Khan N. How soon can we prevent neurodisability in childhood? Studies of the child in developing countries Dev Med Child Neuro 45(suppl 95) 18-24 2003

Petrou S, Cooper P, Murray L, Davidson LL. Economic costs of post-natal depression in a high-risk British cohort B J Psychiatry 181(6) 505-512 2002

Ramsay J, Richardson J, Carter YH, Davidson LL, Feder G. Should health professionals screen women for domestic violence? BMJ 325 314-319 2002

Davidson LL, Grisso JA, Moreno CG, King VJ, Marchant S. Training programs for healthcare professionals in domestic violence Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine 10 953-969 2001

Commissioned by the Home Office, edited by Julie Taylor-Browne What works in reducing domestic violence: A comprehensive guide for professionals Whiting and Birch, London London, UK 95-122 2001

Global Health Activities

Assessing Child Disability in Developing Countries, South Africa: Dr. Leslie Davidson is collaborating on a joint project with the University of Natal to assess the role of disability in children infected by and affected by HIV/AIDS. She is also a collaborator on a similar project in Rakai, Uganda that is under funding review.

Urban Health Activities

Age-Specific Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence: Dr. Leslie Davidson is collaborating with Planned Parenthood NYC to determine the need for age-specific approaches to assisting adolescents and young women experiencing intimate partner violence.

Columbia Head Start: Dr. Leslie Davidson is a past chair of the sponsoring board and current Chair of the Health Advisory Committee of Columbia Head Start.