Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile


My overarching area of interest and expertise is cancer epidemiology. I am particularly interested in infection and immunoepidemiology and haematopoietic malignancies after having worked in the Infection and Immunoepidemiology Branch within the National Cancer Institute, USA. I plan to extend my research in this area by investigating the aetiology of myeloproliferative disorders. I am also interested in the aetiology of Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma, the focus of my PhD thesis. I continue to work in this area with worldwide collaborations through the Barrett's Esophageal Adenocarcinoma CONsortium (BEACON). Recently I have undertaken research in pharmacoepidemiology investigating medication usage and risk of head and neck cancer, malignant melanoma, cervical cancer and multiple myeloma.


Successful grant/funding applications

  • Anderson LA (PI), McShane C, Murray L, Donnelly M, Santin O.  Assessing the care pathway for Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) patients in Northern Ireland and the impact of receiving a MGUS diagnosis following routine screening. Young Investigator Small Grant, Cancer Translational Research Group, Northern Ireland 2012-2013. £2,500.
  • Anderson LA (PI), McMullin MF, Duncombe A, DeVocht F.  An  exploratory case control study to investigate aetiologic factors associated with classic myeloproliferative disorders. MPD Voice 2012-2015. £132,120.00.
  • Anderson LA (PI), Murray LJ, Hughes C.Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and pre-malignant lesions and cancers of the cervix. Medical Research Council (2010).
  • Anderson LA (PI), Murray LJ, Hughes C, Bradley M, Dominiski M, Veal P, Landgren O.  Prior medical history, drug exposure and risk of multiple myeloma. Medical Research Council (2010).
  • Gavin AT, Anderson la, hart n, donnelly m. Indentifying targets for Intervention to promote earlier diagnosis of cancer  NAEDI-2. 2012-2015. £286,053.86
  • Gavin AT, Jamison J, Anderson LA. Human papillomavirus in CIN and CGIN lesions and cancers of the cervix diagnosed in Northern   Ireland – a study to determine types and prevalence. NI R&D Office 2010-2011: £149,845.50
  • Gavin AT, Jamison J, Anderson LA. Public Health Agency. Opportunity Lead Research Award. 'HPV Prevalence in Cervical Cancers and Premalignant Lesions of the Cervix' 2009-2011. £100,000.
  • Murray LJ, Wild CP, Hardie L, Sharp L, Anderson LA, Woodside J.  The role the insulin growth factor axis and folate metabolism in the oesophageal inflammation, metaplasia, adenocarcinoma sequence (Finbar study). NI R&D Office 2006-2008: £255,800 (£188,488 to QUB).
  • Sharp L, Murray LJ, Conlon K, Cronin D, Anderson LA, McKie L.  An all-Ireland pancreatic cancer case-control study: establishing a data and specimen bank for research into diagnosis, aetiology and survival from cancer of the pancreas. Health Research Board, Ireland (2006): €225,000.
  • Murray LJ, Hughes C, Cantwell MM, Anderson LA.  Investigation of the role of pharmacological and other exposures in the aetiology/prevention of pancreatic cancer.  Medical Research Council (2006).
  • Murray LJ, Gavin AT, Anderson LA.  An all-Ireland pancreatic cancer case-control study: establishing a data and specimen bank for research into diagnosis, aetiology and survival from cancer of the pancreas.  Ulster Cancer Foundation (2005): £75,000

Courses/workshops attended

  • Qualitative Research Methodology. University of Ulster, 27th & 28th August 2012.
  • Dealing with Missing Data, University College London 2rd-3rd February 2011.
  • Good Clinical Practice Training, Queen's University Belfast, 19th January 2011.
  • Portfolio Workshop, Queen's University Belfast, 26th August 2010.
  • Research Ethics, Queen's University Belfast, 2nd June 2010.
  • University of Liverpool Facilitation: Bringing Out the Best in our Students, University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education, 20th-26thMay 2010
  • Masters in Public Health Faculty & Dissertation Advisor Training, University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education, 25th Feb – 31st March 2010.
  • Web authoring, Queen’s University Belfast, 14th April 2010.
  • Supervising Research Students, Queen’s University Belfast, 24th March 2010.
  • DiversityNow E-learning Course, Queen’s University Belfast, 5th March 2010.
  • Translating Knowledge into Better Public Health Workshop, Centre of Excellence in Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, 11th Feb 2009.
  • Fire Safety Awareness Training, Queen’s University Belfast, 19th Jan 2009.
  • Selection interviewing, Queen’s University Belfast, 27th Nov 2008.
  • Using the TurnitinUK Plagiarism Detection Software, Queen’s University Belfast, 8th Oct 2008.
  • Molecular Epidemiology Course.  Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI). Jan–March 2008.
  • Scientists Teaching Science, National Institutes of Health, USA.  9th Nov 2007.
  • Complex Systems Approaches to Population Health, including Social Network Analysis workshop, Detroit, MI, USA. 30th May-31st June 2007. 
  • SEER-Medicare training workshop.  NCI. 28th Feb–1st Mar 2007.
  • Orientation to Basic SAS Concepts. National Institutes of Health, USA. 24th Jan 2007.
  • Grant writing workshop, NCI, MD, USA.  8th-12th Jan 2007.
  • Molecular Laboratory Course, NCI, MD, USA. 28th-29th Aug 2006.
  • Molecular Prevention Course, NCI, MD, USA.  31st July–4th Aug 2006.
  • Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control, NCI, Rockville, MD, USA.  5th July–28th July 2006.
  • Scientific Writing Workshop, Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, Eire.  19th–20th May 2004. 
  • Advanced Stata, Dept. of Social Medicine, University of Bristol.  11th-12th May 2004.
  • Postgraduate course in epidemiology, Queen’s University Belfast (2003/2004).
  • Introduction to Stata, Dept. of Social Medicine, University of Bristol.  2nd–3rd Oct 2003. 
  • Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control, NCI, MD, USA. 7th July–1st Aug 2003.
  • Current concepts in Cancer Epidemiology, LondonSchool of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.  31st March–4th April 2003. 
  • Erasmus Summer Programme in Quantitative Medical Research, Erasmus Universiteit RotterdamNetherlands.  12th–30th Aug 2002.
  • Royal Hospitals course in venepuncture, 2002.
  • SPSS course, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2002.
  • Further Access, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2002.
  • European Computer Driving Licence, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2002.
  • Medical Statistics, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2001.

Research Statement

Chronic disease epidemiology, specifically cancer prevention research.  My research is focused around three main themes:

  • Haematopoietic malignancies: While at the National Cancer Institute, USA (2006-2008) I investigated autoimmune conditions and infectious disorders associated with the risk of haematopoietic malignancies using several large population-based datasets. I continue to actively collaborate with investigators at the National Cancer Institute.  I am leading investigations to investigate  risk factors associated with myeloproliferative neoplasm’s and multiple myeloma. 
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers: Working in collaboration with the Northern Ireland HPV working group I investigated the incidence of HPV in women aged 20-64 years in Northern Ireland. I am also involved in several projects investigating HPV and head and neck and oesophageal cancers.
  • Oesophageal adenocarcinoma: Following on from my PhD dissertation I continue to be actively involved in research into the aetiology of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and it's precursor condition Barrett's oesophagus working in collaboration with the Barrett's Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium of case-control studies.


  • Tutorial co-ordinator, Undegraduate Medicine and Dentistry, Public Health, 2012.
  • Module co-ordinator, Student Selected Component, 3rd year Medical, September 2010-date.
  • Portfolio Tutor, Medicine, QUB, 2010-2011.
  • Tutor, Master's of Science in Public Health, October 2009-date.
  • Tutor, Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry, Public Health tutorials, October 2008-date.
  • Medical and Dental Training Agency, October 2005.
  • Demonstrator, Scientific Writing Tutorial, Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry, October 2009.
  • Demonstrator, Presentation Skills Tutorial, Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry, October 2009.
  • Demonstrator,Excel and Spreadsheets Tutorial, Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry, October 2009.
  • E-tutor, University of Ulster 2010-date.

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


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