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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. 

My research mostly focuses on the epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers and pre-malignant conditions, particularly Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma, colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer.

In addition to mainstay interests in the role of modifiable risk factors (such as smoking, alcohol and nutrition) in cancer risk and progression, I have specialist interests in clinical epidemiology related to gastrointestinal pathology diagnosis trends and concordance, and molecular pathology epidemiology. I am a member of the International Barrett's Pathology Working Group, the Barrett's European Research Network (BERN) consortium, and work closely with Lead Histopathologists in the Northern Ireland Bowel Cancer Screening programme. 

I have over 10 years of experience working with the Northern Ireland Barrett's register, which is housed within the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. I have applied similar population-based registry methodology to study colorectal polyps and endometrial hyperplasia epidemiology. I have also conducted many systematic reviews of lifestyle factors and biomarkers in cancer risk and progression. 

I place considerable emphasis on interdisciplinary research, and am affiliated to the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology 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. From 2018, I will be a Visiting Scientist with the Fitzgerald Lab at the MRC Cancer Unit, Cambridge, to further enhance interdisciplinary research efforts in oesophageal cancer as part of a Cancer Research UK funded Career Establishment Award. 


Dissertation supervisor

  • PhD: I have supervised 4 PhD students to completion and am currently supervising 3 PhD, 1 MD and 1 MPhil postgraduate research students.  
  • Masters in Public Health: I mentor and supervise 1 MPH student dissertation each year.
  • BSc Human Biology; BSc Intercalating Medical Sciences: I usually supervise 1-2 BSc dissertation students each year.

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
  • Ulster Society of Gastroenterology committee Scientific Officer 2017-ongoing
  • 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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Helen Coleman is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 49 Similar Profiles
Barrett Esophagus Medicine & Life Sciences
Adenocarcinoma Medicine & Life Sciences
Colorectal Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Population Medicine & Life Sciences
Cohort Studies Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Meta-Analysis Medicine & Life Sciences
Confidence Intervals Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2012

Research Output 2007 2019

Open Access
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Colorectal Cancer Screening - surely FIT for us too

McFerran, E., Kee, F. & Coleman, H., 24 Jan 2019, In : Frontline Gastroenterology.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

External validation of a model to determine risk of progression of Barrett’s oesophagus to neoplasia

Kunzmann, A. T., Thrift, A. P., Johnston, B. T., McManus, D. T., Gavin, A. T., Turkington, R. C. & Coleman, H. G., 01 May 2019, In : Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 49, 10, p. 1274-1281

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barrett Esophagus
ROC Curve

Furosemide use and survival in patients with esophageal or gastric cancer : a population-based cohort study

Liu, P., McMenamin, Ú. C., Spence, A. D., Johnston, B. T., Coleman, H. G. & Cardwell, C. R., 29 Oct 2019, In : BMC Cancer. 19, 1, p. 1017

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Esophageal Neoplasms
Stomach Neoplasms
Cohort Studies
Fusobacterium nucleatum
Colorectal Neoplasms


1st prize, Poster presentation

Helen Coleman (Recipient), 09 Oct 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

1st prize oral presentation

Helen Coleman (Recipient), 2013

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

2nd prize, Poster presentation (Jointly with Andrew Kunzmann)

Helen Coleman (Recipient), May 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Best oral presentation

Helen Coleman (Recipient), 10 Apr 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Population Health Postdoctoral Fellowship

Helen Coleman (Recipient), 2013

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Vitamin D
Calcitriol Receptors
Colorectal Neoplasms

Activities 2007 2018

Cancer Research UK (External organisation)

Helen Coleman (Advisor)
2018 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

Ulster Society of Gastroenterology

Helen Coleman (Member of the organising committee)
06 Oct 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

British and Irish Gastroenterology societies (BIG) Joint meeting

Helen Coleman (Member of the organising committee)
27 Apr 201728 Apr 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

National Cancer Research Institute conference

Helen Coleman (Invited speaker)
08 Nov 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

European Society for Diseases of the Esophagus

Helen Coleman (Invited speaker)
10 Nov 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Press / Media


Re-assessment of Cancer risk in Barrett’s oesophagus.

Fouad Yousef (Participant), Christopher Cardwell (Participant), Marie Cantwell (Participant), Karen Galway (Participant), Liam Murray (Participant), Lesley Anderson (Participant), Suzanne Murphy (Participant), Deirdre Fitzpatrick (Participant), Brian Johnston (Participant), Robert Watson (Participant), Peter McCarron (Participant), Anna Gavin (Participant), Shivaram Bhat (Participant), Helen Coleman (Participant), Damian McManus (Participant), Helen Coleman (Participant)

Impact: Health Impact, Quality of Life Impact