Dr Jill McKay
Lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology

  • Email: jill.mckay@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 282 1349
  • Address: Institute of Health and Society
    Level 5
    Sir James Spence Institute
    Royal Victoria Infirmary
    Queen Victoria Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 4LP
    United Kingdom


I hold a lectureship in Molecular Epidemiologyin the Institute of Health and Society in which my primary research area is childhood cancers.  Previously my post-doctoral research focused on the developmental origins of health and disease, with a specific interest in the impact of folate nutrition during pregnancy on long-term health in offspring.  



BSc, Medical Microbiology, Newcastle University, 2001

PhD, Modulation of tumourigenesis and DNA methylation in murine intestine by folate depletion, Newcastle University, 2005


Previous Posts

May 2005 - July 2006     Newcastle University, Research assistant under the supervision of Prof Dianne Ford

August 2006 – August 2011   Newcastle University, Research associate under the supervision of Prof John Mathers


Prizes and Awards

Young Investigator Award (for submitted abstracts), 6th International Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Santiago, Chile November 2009

Poster Prizes;-

Second prize; Scientific Communication, 6th European Nutrigenomics Conference, Montecatini, Italy, 2009. 

First prize: Scientific Content, 5th European Nutrigenomics Conference, Pots-Dam, Germany, 2008 

Second prize: Scientific Communication, 4th European Nutrigenomics Conference, Oslo, Norway, 2007

First prize (Young Investigators Category): 3rd European Nutrigenomics Conference, Oxford, UK, 2006



Research Interests

My research interests lie within the field of molecular epidemiology, which a strong focus on childhood cancers and include the following areas;-

Developmental origins of health and disease i.e. investigation of environmental influences which may predispose to disease

Impact of cancer incidence and treatment on long term health and disease in patients

Molecular markers of relapse and chemoresistance in childhood cancer  


Research Role

I am principle investigator and co-investigator on a number of research projects. 


Esteem Indicators

Elected member of the Molecular Epidemiology Group Committee of the UKEMS

Associate Editor of Frontiers Epigenomics

Peer Reviewer for primary research journals including British Journal of Nutrition, Epigenetics Carcinogenesis, Genes and Nutrition, Clinical Epigenetics, International Journal of Epidemiology

Session Chair at the 7th European Nutrigenomics Conference, Glasgow, UK, September 2010

A principal organiser of the ‘Epigenetics & Developmental Programming Conference’, Newcastle, 21-22nd March 2011



NuGO (Nutrogenomics Organisation 





McKay JA, Strathdee G, Moorman A (2012-13) Influence of folate intake during development and early life on epigenetic aberrations associated with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.  Newcastle Heathcare Charity, Joint Research Executive Scientific Committee. £13,034.

McKay JA, Pearce M (2012-13) Influence of non-ionising radiation on epigenetic marks.  Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences Strategic Committee, Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund Project. £800.

McKay JA, Biswas S (2012-13) Effect of chemotherapy on DNA methylation.  Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences Strategic Committee, Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund Project. £3084.






MBBS personal tutor


Nutritional Epidemiology for FHN degree course