Professor Michael A Crawford

Imperial College, London. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Professor Michael Crawford is a pioneer in human nutrition research and a world-leading authority in the field of fatty acids and lipids in particular, their role in human brain development and evolution, and the implications of maternal nutrition for mental health.

Amongst his several honours and prizes, Michael was elected by his peers to the Hall of Fame at the Royal Society of Medicine in 2010.

His other highly prestigious awards include
- Order of the Rising Sun, October 2015, Tokyo, Japan.
- Chevreul Medal March, 2015, Paris, France.

Professor Crawford has been Director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition since 1990. He is also Founder Trustee of The Mother and Child Foundation and The Little Foundation, and President of the McCarrison Society.


Having worked in the East-end of London on maternal nutrition and health with Newham, the Homerton and Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, Michael is now based at Reproductive Physiology at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Campus of Imperial College, London.

His special interest lies is in the role that lipids and essential fatty acids play in interacting with the cellular signalling systems, i.e. the key interaction between nutrition affecting membrane lipids and gene expression.

He has published over 350 peer reviewed papers and 3 books. He collaborates in research internationally and is much in demand as a lecturer worldwide.

From 1960-65 Professor Crawford was at the Makerere Medical School in Kampala, Uganda, during which time he studied the nutritional factors linked to endomyocardial fibrosis, which was common there. He also offered a nutritional explanation as to why the incidence of bladder cancer was different in different parts of East Africa. In 1963 he was one of the founders of the Medical College at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam. He retained his research group at Makerere until 1972, when the position became impossible.

At the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine (1965-89) Professor Crawford equipped and computerised his laboratory to engage in lipid nutrition and showed that deprivation of the essential fatty acids used for the brain’s structure and function resulted in loss of brain cell number in the third generation.

In 1972 Crawford and Sinclair published the first description of the dependence of the brain on arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids and drew attention to the evolutionary implications. Crawford also demonstrated clear evidence of maternal nutrition being a causative factor in low birthweight and complications or prematurity.

Visit Professor Michael Crawford's page at the Imperial College London website here

Recent Speaking Events

See FAB's recent webinar with Professor Crawford.

Feeding Humanity

Professor Crawford has been warning about the risk of a global mental health crisis fuelled by poor nutrition - for over 50 years. His predictions - based on sound scientific evidence - have proved all too accurate.

Hear his compelling arguments on why the current worldwide decline in brain health was entirely predictable - and crucially, what we must do to reverse it.

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