• Room 02.014 - Clinical Science B

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Professor Coleman is interested to hear from students and clinical trainees who wish to pursue PhD/MD/MPhil projects in data analysis and epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers and conditions, particularly oesophageal or colorectal cancer and pre-malignant conditions.


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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am Lead of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Group at the Centre for Public Health at Queen's University Belfast. I am Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. 

My research mostly focuses on the epidemiology and early detection of gastrointestinal cancers and conditions, including pre-malignant conditions. I have particular interests in:  

  • Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma (major ongoing studies include: PI of the Northern Ireland Barrett's oesophagus register; OCCAMS consortium sub-study investigator)
  • Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer (major ongoing studies include: NI Biobank Epi700 cohort; NI Bowel Cancer Screening pathology data analysis; Early-onset colorectal cancer studies). 
  • Modifiable risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol and nutrition, in cancer risk and progression
  • Gastrointestinal pathology diagnosis trends and concordance (member of the International Barrett's Pathology Working Group)

I have expertise in molecular epidemiology (incuding molecular pathology epidemiology) studies, statistical analysis of population-based disease registers and real world evidence, and systematic reviews of lifestyle factors and biomarkers in cancer risk and progression.

I place considerable emphasis on interdisciplinary research, and am affiliated to the Patrick G. Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen's University Belfast.  I have previously spent time conducting research at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA, Ulster University, and at the MRC-Human Nutrition Research centre in Cambridge, England. Since 2018, I am a Visiting Scientist with the Fitzgerald Lab at the Early Cancer Institute (formerly MRC Cancer Unit) at the University of Cambridge, to further enhance interdisciplinary research efforts in oesophageal cancer as part of a Cancer Research UK funded Career Establishment Award. 


Dissertation supervisor

  • Postgraduate research: I have supervised 9 PhD, 1 MD and 1 MPhil postgraduate research students to completion. I am currently supervising 6 PhD students (2 as primary supervisor), 1 MD and 1 MPhil student. I have experience in supervising clinical trainees from Gastroenterology, General Practice, Oncology and Surgery specialites. Students have originated from the UK, Ireland, Vietnam, China, Turkey, Uganda and Angola.  
  • Masters in Public Health: I mentor and supervise 1 MPH student dissertation each year.
  • BSc Human Biology; BSc Biomedical Sciences; BSc Intercalating Medical Sciences: I usually supervise 1-2 BSc dissertation students each year.

Undergraduate teaching

  • BMS 2109 Public Health Sciences module co-ordinator
  • Case-based learning facilitator, 1st year Medicine

Other teaching roles

I deliver tutorials and lectures on population research, study designs, global cancer incidence trends, nutrition and cancer epidemiology to undergraduate Medicine, and postgraduate Masters in Public Health and Masters in Molecular Pathology students. I was Module co-ordinator of the 3rd year Spring Student Selected Components from 2013-2018. 


  • Cancer Research UK Population Research Committee funding panel member 2018-ongoing
  • Yorkshire Cancer Research Fund Research Advisory Panel member 2020-ongoing
  • Ulster Society of Gastroenterology committee Scientific Officer 2017-2021
  • International Molecular Pathology Epidemiology 'Rising Investigator' award 2016
  • Cancer Research UK Population Research Postdoctoral Fellowship 2013-2015
  • Associate member of the British Society of Gastroenterology 2010-ongoing
  • World Cancer Research Fund International Fellow 2010

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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