Epidemiology and Public Health

The Epidemiology and Public Health Group examines upstream and downstream determinants of the health of the public i.e. those acting at the level of society and those relating to individuals. Strengths of the group are in cardiovascular and diabetes epidemiology, the social determinants of public health and, increasingly, in the development and translation of public health interventions and the methodologies that must underpin their evaluation.


The group has a wide network of international collaborations. Our researchers are members of the management committees of large consortia for the study of cardiovascular disease in large cohorts across Europe (“MORGAM”) and diabetes (“EURODIAB”). The PRIME Study, a prospective study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in middle-aged men has been active since 1980. An underlying theme which has emerged strongly in the last two years has been research on ageing - the factors affecting healthy ageing are being studied through our participation in a European wide consortium (“CHANCES”) and in a new large cohort study the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NICOLA) funded by OFMDFM, UKCRC, ESRC and Atlantic Philanthropies and a Europe wide intervention addressing physical activity and sedentary behaviour in older adults("SITLESS"). CPIT III is a multi-centre phase III randomised controlled trial, which will compare smoking cessation rates in late pregnancy and 6 months post-partum between women offered routine NHS stop smoking support and those offered the same NHS support plus additional financial incentives. The Centre is a member of HEPA Europe, a European network of experts on physical activity for health, which works closely with the European section of the World Health Organisation.


Methodological research in the group has been strengthened through the recent award by the ESRC of the Administrative Data Research Centre for Northern Ireland – a collaboration of both Universities and the Northern Ireland Statistics Research Agency. In addition we host the Northern Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research, an all island collaboration whose Director Professor Mike Clarke.

‌The current academic staff members of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Public Health Group are outlined below:

Prof Frank Kee (Research Group Lead)

Dr Ruth Hunter

Prof Gerry Linden

Dr Vikki O’Neill

Prof Tony O’Neill

Prof Peter Maxwell

Dr Bernadette McGuinness

Dr Gareth McKay

Dr AJ McKnight

Dr Dermot O’Reilly

Prof Peter Passmore

Prof Chris Patterson

 Fitness and the Heart