My current principal areas of research are: i) prostate cancer aetiology (with a focus on metabolic factors such as the IGF system), predicting its progression and secondary and tertiary prevention of the disease via population-based screening and low-toxicity nutritional and lifestyle interventions; ii) the short- and long-term child and adult health effects of breastfeeding and early growth; and iii) uncovering unexpected beneficial and adverse effects of commonly prescribed drugs through pharmaco-epidemiological studies based on automated clinical databases such as the UK GPRD. I am lead principal investigator (with Jenny Donovan, Freddie Hamdy and David Neal) on a population-based cluster randomised controlled trial of PSA testing for prostate cancer (the CAP trial) that involves over 430,000 UK men and co-principal investigator (with Mike Kramer and Emily Oken) on the long-term follow-up of a cluster randomised controlled trial of a breastfeeding promotion intervention that involves over 17,000 children in the Republic of Belarus (the PROBIT trial). I am interested in robustly assessing the causality of observational associations using instrumental variables analysis, working in collaboration with Frank Windmeijer, George Davey Smith, Tom Palmer and Neil Davies. With Andy Ness (Director), Julian Hamilton-Shield and Ashley Cooper, I am on the executive committee of the Bristol Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle including Obesity (awarded to the University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust) and lead the prostate cancer theme within this unit. With Willie Hamilton, Mike Stevens, Rachel Dommet and Theresa Redaniel, I have a developing interest in the presentation and diagnosis of childhood, teenage and young adult cancers in primary care. I work closely with Jeff Holly on the role of the circulating IGF system in disease aetiology and progression.
I am currently Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol. I qualified in Medicine from the University of Nottingham, trained and worked as a GP, and then built on an interest in epidemiology (that was first sparked during my intercalated BMedSci at Nottingham) by doing the MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I subsequently moved to Bristol to take up a Lecturer post and then a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology, and have worked at the School of Social and Community Medicine ever since.
I am Co-Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Social and Community Medicine (with Alan Montgomery). With George Davey Smith and Ian day, I run a Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD programme in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse epidemiology. I teach clinical epidemiology to first and fourth year medical students and am currently supervising 4 PhD students. I am tutor to 5 first and second year medical students. I am past examiner for the Faculty of Public Health Part A exam.
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