Professor Judith Rankin
Prof Maternal & Perinatal Epidemiology


I have a Personal Chair in maternal and perinatal epidemiology in the Institute of Health and Society. My two main research interests are in congenital anomaly epidemiology including survival and predictors of survival for children born with congenital anomalies and reproductive loss. I work closely with the British Isles Network of congenital Anomaly Registers (BINOCAR) and the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT). Taking an interdisciplinary approach, I have been involved in qualitative research exploring the experiences of parents and health professionals following feticide, withdrawal of life-saving support from sick neonates and loss from a twin pregnancy.

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 (deputy chair)
• Newlife Medical & Scientific Review Committee

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

• Member, Faculty Research Strategy Committee

• 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:
- epidemiology of congenital anomalies

- survival of children born with congenital anomalies

- long-term outcomes for children born with congenital anomalies
- influence of lifestyle on the risk of congenital anomalies
- reproductive loss

Research Roles

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

Chair, IHS Research Strategy Group

Member, Faculty Research Strategy Committee

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently supervising six 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 
  • Elected Secretary British Isles Network of Congenital Anomaly Registers 


Current funding includes:

Rankin J, Bell R. Using data to support clinical practice. (2015-16) NE SCN; £50,000. 

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 multiple 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.