Sheena has a long-standing interest in the development and evaluation of community-based strategies to promote health and wellbeing. She undertook doctoral research on health development in Indian slum communities and helped to develop community-based responses to HIV prevention in India.

Sheena has since focused on health and healthcare inequalities in the UK. Her book, What Works in Tackling Health Inequalities? Pathways, Policies and Practice through the Lifecourse  (Asthana and Halliday 2006), explored a wide range of public health issues, including early years disadvantage, anti-social behaviour and substance misuse.

Sheena has a strong track record in senior level governance and ministerial appointments, including non-executive directorships of the Countryside Agency, the Commission for Rural Communities and the National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE).

Previous appointments include trustee for the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), trustee for Plymouth Age Concern and member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA).