Cancer Epidemiology

The Cancer Epidemiology Research Group was founded by the late Professor Liam Murray and is closely allied to the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR).  

The overarching aim of the group is ‘to undertake research of clinical and public health relevance aimed at preventing cancer development and progression’.  In addition to our core research in cancer epidemiology, we have several specialist research strengths:

  • Early Diagnosis and Cancer Prevention
  • Premalignant conditions and Cancer Progression
  • Molecular epidemiology and Early Detection
  • Global health research in cancer
  • Applied statistical methods (including pharmacoepidemiology, survival analysis, causal inference, nutritional epidemiology)


Researchers from the Cancer Epidemiology Research Group collaborate closely with colleagues in other centres, research and focus groups within Queen’s University Belfast, particularly the Health Services Research Group (CPH), and the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.

We also work within a multi-disciplinary network of national and international collaborators and have particularly strong links with researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Cancer Institute, USA, and Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, USA. 

The group has an outstanding record of early-career mentorship, hosting several Cancer Research UK Population Research Postdoctoral Fellowship awardees. We have an excellent record of supervising MPhil, MD and PhD students (including Clinical fellows) to completion of their higher degrees. Our group includes approximately 15-20 postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate research students representing diverse backgrounds and nationalities. We hold a PhD-student led group meeting weekly throughout the academic year, providing a vibrant and supportive environment in which to train in cancer epidemiology research.  


Current academic staff members and Queen's University Vice Chancellor's Fellows with links to their specific research interests:

Dr Lesley Anderson (Deputy Director of the NI Cancer Registry)

Dr Finian Bannon

Dr Chris Cardwell

Dr Helen Coleman (Group Lead)

Dr Anna Gavin (Director of the NI Cancer Registry)

Dr Blánaid Hicks (VC Fellow)

Dr Andrew Kunzmann (VC Fellow)

Dr Úna McMenamin (VC Fellow)

Dr Charlene McShane