Ruth Cross is a nurse by profession with 10 years nursing experience in acute and emergency medicine and HIV/AIDS. She has a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Health Education and Health Promotion, Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and a PhD in the social construction of risk in health by young women and the implications of this for health promotion policy and practice. She has lived and worked in Sub-Saharan Africa and maintains an interest in the health issues of that region, working as course leader for the MSc Public Health Promotion course in both Zambia and Ghana. She is involved in numerous research projects within the Centre for Health Promotion Research including the Young Women's Risk and Resilience Evaluation and the Sustainable Sunderland Evaluation. Her research interests include qualitative methods of investigation and the relationship between theory and practice. Her teaching interests are varied; she co-leads on the Health Communication module, contributes to the Research and Professional Practice modules and supervises master's students' dissertations. She contributes to many other undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy and childhood studies.