Professor Judith Rankin
Prof Maternal & Perinatal Epidemiology


I have a Personal Chair in maternal and perinatal epidemiology in the Institute of Health and Society. I held a Public Health National Career Scientist Award personal fellowship funded by the National Institute for Health Research from 2005-11. My research programme was entitled 'The contribution of maternal obesity, substance use, air pollution and the use of assisted reproductive technologies on the aetiology of congenital anomalies.'

Roles and Responsibilities

• Academic Director, Regional Maternity Survey Office (RMSO)
• Secretary to the British Isles Network of congenital Anomaly Registers (BINOCAR)
• European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT) Register Lead
• NIHR Doctoral Fellowships Panel
• CSO/Scottish Office Clinical Training Fellowships Panel
• Newlife Medical & Scientific Review Committee

• Chair, Newcastle University Diversity Committee
• Faculty Fellowships Group – Science
• FMS Ethics Committee


BSc (Hons) Physiology, 1988, University of Edinburgh
PhD Behavioural Teratology, 1993, University of Edinburgh

Previous Positions

Personal Readership in Maternal & Perinatal Epidemiology 2007-10
Principal Research Associate, Newcastle University 2004-2007
Senior Research Associate, Newcastle University 1996-2003
Research Associate, Newcastle University 1993-1996

Honours and Awards

Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health by distinction from 2012
NIHR National Public Health Career Scientist, 2005-11
European Science Foundation Visiting Fellowship


Postgraduate Teaching 

  • MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research
     -    Module lead- Project management
     -    Dissertation Supervisor, Dissertation Examiner, Personal Tutor
  • MRes Lecturer
  • MBBS Lecturer
  • MBBS Personal Tutor
  • Biomedical Sciences project supervisor


Research Interests

My research interests lie within the field of maternal and perinatal health, and include:
-descriptive epidemiology of congenital anomaly types
-influence of lifestyle on the risk of congenital anomalies
-effect of exposure to air pollution on fetal & perinatal outcomes
-assisted reproductive technologies and pregnancy outcome

Research Roles

I am Principal Investigator on a number of externally funded research projects.

Chair, IHS Research Strategy Group

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently supervising five PhD students

Esteem Indicators

  • Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health through distinction from 2012
  • Awarded a NIHR National Career Scientist 
  • Invited Member of NIHR Doctoral Award Panel
  • Invited member of the Newlife Medical & Scientific Committee
  • Invited member Chief Scientist Office, Scotland Clinical Training Fellowship panel 
  • Elected Secretary British Isles Network of Congenital Anomaly Registers
  • Associate Editor, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 


Current funding includes:

Pearce MS, Salotti J, Rankin J, Chapple C, Habron R, O’Sullivan J. (2015-17) Radiation doses and associated risks from cardiac catheterizations in children and young adults. BHF; £89,919.

Rankin J, Embleton N. (2014-15) Development of a toolkit to support health professionals providing care for parents who have had a loss from a mulitple pregnancy. AHSN/Tiny Lives; £30,000.

Heslehurst N, Rankin J, Rushton S. (2013-17) A lifecourse investigation of maternal ethnic group and pregnancy weight in the development of short- and long-term health outcomes for women and their offspring. MRC 1+3 PhD Studentship; £87,000.

Rankin J, Best KE. (2012-15) Survival and predictors of survival in children born with congenital heart defects. British Heart Foundation Non-clinical studentship; £101,681.

Rankin J. (2012-15) Surveillance of congenital anomalies in the North of England. Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership/Public Health England; £450,600.

Bell R, Newham J, Rankin J. (2013-14) Exposure to potentially teratogenic medications and outcome of pregnancy in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK; £19,805.

Salotti J, Tennant PWG, Windebank K, Rankin J. (2012-13) Histiocytic disorders in children with congenital anomalies; a population-based record linkage study. Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children; £14,899.

Heslehurst N, McColl E, Rankin J. (2012-15) The development and pilot of a guideline implementation intervention for maternal obesity management among midwives. NIHR Post-doctoral fellowship; £297,856.

Rankin J, McConachie H, Glinianaia SV, Embleton N.  (2011-12) Can the KIDSCREEN questionnaire be used to measure quality of life in children born with congenital anomalies?  NUTH Flexibility & Sustainability Fund; £50,295.

Kaner E, Rankin J, Hodgson M, Bristow K, McColl E, Deverill M, Howel D. (2011-14) Brief alcohol intervention to reduce risky drinking in pregnancy: a pilot randomised controlled trial. NIHR RfPB; £247,717.

Rankin J, Graham RH, Embleton N, Robson SC. (2011-13) Reproductive loss in multiple pregnancies: a qualitative study of parents’ and health professionals’ experiences. Tiny Lives; £110,469.

Draper E, Morris J, Rankin J, Kurinzcuk J. (2010-12) Surveillance of congenital anomalies in the UK. Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership; £157,558.

EUROCAT (2010-13) European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies. European Union- Joint Action; 3 million euros.

Graham R, Rankin J, Embleton N, Robson SC.  (2010-11) Diversity in parent and staff perspectives towards neonatal palliative care. Department of Health- Children’s Palliative Care call; £37,868.

Bell R, Rankin J, Glinianaia S, Bilous R. (2010-11) Congenital anomalies in the offspring of women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK; £35,196.

Rankin J. (2009-12) Congenital anomaly surveillance by the Northern Congenital Abnormality Survey. Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership; £408,367.

Rankin J. (2005-11) The role of obesity, drug use, air pollution and assisted conception in the aetiology of congenital anomalies. NIHR National Career Scientist Award (Personal fellowship); £283,009.