Helen Coleman

    Dr Helen Coleman

    Senior Lecturer

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 8953, 02890635049

    For media contact email comms.office@qub.ac.uk
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    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

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    Dr Coleman is interested to hear from students and clinical trainees who wish to pursue PhD/MD/MPhil projects in:
    - Data analysis
    - Epidemiology projects related to oesophageal or colorectal cancer and pre-malignant conditions

    Frequent Journals

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 52632