Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Richard McNally

Reader in Epidemiology



I am Reader in Epidemiology, Director of the Northern Region Young Persons' Malignant Disease Registry and a senior biostatistician within the Institute of Health and Society. My research interests are in the epidemiology (with particular interest in spatial aspects) of chronic diseases (especially cancer, type 1 diabetes and primary biliary cirrhosis). I have a special interest in methods and analysis of clustering of chronic diseases. I am a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, an associate member of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (chair of the Epidemiology Special Interest Group) and member of the Yorkshire and Humber NIHR RfPB funding committee. I was an invited participant in the geographical studies of childhood cancer which were undertaken by COMARE. I welcome all applications from possible collaborators or individuals interested in joining the group (staff or research students).


I am a Reader in Epidemiology with particular interests in statistical, spatial epidemiology and the epidemiology of chronic diseases.

Roles and Responsibilities

Research; Supervision; Teaching; Director of the Northern Region Young Persons' Malignant Disease Registry.



B.Sc., M.Sc., D.I.C., Ph.D.

Previous Positions

Lecturer, Applied Statistics, University of Reading, 1987-1990
Lecturer, Applied Statistics, Sheffield Hallam University, 1990-1991
Senior Statistician, Leukaemia Research Fund Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, University of Leeds, 1992-1998
Deputy Director & Senior Biostatistician, Cancer Research UK Paediatric & Familial Cancer Research Group, University of Manchester, 1998-2005


Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society
Associate member of the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group

Honours and Awards

Best poster prize for epidemiology, International Sociery for Paediatric Oncology, Berlin, Germany, October 2008 & Auckland, New Zealand, October 2011



Research Interests

Statistical Epidemiology; Spatial Epidemiology; Disease clustering; Epidemiology of chronic diseases, including childhood and young adult cancer, bone cancer, type 1 diabetes and primary biliary cirrhosis

Other Expertise

Biostatistics; Disease registries


Current Work

(1.) Childhood cancer epidemiology (PI: funded by the North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund & collaborations with the University of Leeds).                                                                                                                                                          (2.) The epidemiology of type 1 diabetes in northeast England and north Cumbria & the regional diabetes registry (PI: funded by Northern Diabetes Network [NHS Diabetes and Kidney Care] & Sanofi Synthelabo). (3.) Mortality and cancer incidence in acromegaly: a retrospective cohort study (PI in Newcastle: funded by the Society for Endocrinology in collaboration with Leeds).                                                                              (4.) Factors associated with recurrence and length of survival following relapse in patients with neuroblastoma: a pilot study (PI: funded by Cancer Research UK).                                                               (5.) The epidemiology of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarvoma in children and young adults aged 0-49 years: further investigation of aetiology and survival (PI: funded by Bone Cancer Research Trust).         

Research Roles

Principal Investigator.
Named collaborator.

Postgraduate Supervision

Current PhD students: Ewan Hunter; Mary Mayige; Mohammad Zabri Johari; Majid Althaqafy

Current MD student: Thomas Lee

Current MPhil student: Anh Tran 

Successfully completed PhD's: Basilio Gomez-Pozo; Ali Alsubaie; Nor Aini Abdullash; Joan Williams

Esteem Indicators

Chair of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) Epidemiology Special Interest Group [2011-]

Deputy Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) funding committee [2012-]

Deputy Chair of the Steering Group of the Yorkshire Specialist Register of Cancer in Children and Young Adults [2010-]

External PhD examiner (University of Birmingham, London School of Hygience and Trpical Medicine; University of Copenhagen; Erasmus University) [2006-]

Invited expert participant on the Department of Health Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), Geographical Assessments Sub-Committee (GAS). [2003-2006]

Invited Oral presentation at the Children with Leukaemia Scientific Conference examining factors affecting the causes of leukaemia and other childhood cancers (6-10 September 2004,
Westminster, London): "Clustering of leukaemia and other childhood cancers in the UK
provides aetioogical clues".

Invited lecture at the 2nd Bahrain Cancer Conference (20-22 March 2001): "The hygiene hypothesis, breast feeding, the immune system and childhood leukaemia"

Invited chair of the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Session at the 2nd Bahrain Cancer Conference (20-22 March 2001).

Invited lecture at a meeting of the General Applications Section of the Royal Statistical Society, London (December 1997): "The geographical distribution of the leukaemias and lymphomas in parts of the UK".

Grant reviewer for: Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) [Italian Association for Cancer Research]; Bone Cancer Resrarch Trust; Cancer Research UK; Children with Cancer; Children with Leukaemia; Department of Health; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Eliomination of Leukaemia Fund; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); Grampian Research Endowment Fund;  
Irish Health Research Board; Leukaemia Research Fund; Medical Research Council (MRC); National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (Department of Health & Cancer Research UK); National Institute for Health Research (NIHR); OTKA-EPR (Hungarian Research Board)

Member of editorial board: Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology  

Reviewer for the following journals: Acta Neurochiruga; African Journal of Biotechnology; American Journal of Epidemiology; Applied Statistics; Archives of Disease in Childhood; Birth Defects A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology; Blood; BMC Cancer; BMC Public Health; British Journal of Cancer; British Journal of Haematology; British Medical Journal; Cancer Causes and Control; Cancer Detection and Prevention; Cancer Epidemiology; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention; Child: Care, Health and Development; Chronobiology International; Clinical Microbiology and Infection; Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology; Diabetic Medicine; Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice; Environmental Health; Epidemiology & Infection; European Journal of Cancer; European Journal of Endocrinology; European Journal of Epidemiology; Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics; Haematologica/The Hematology Journal; Health and Place; Hepatic Medicine: Evidence and Research; Hepatology International; Hospital Practice; Implementation Science; International Journal of Cancer; International Journal of Epidemiology; International Journal of Health Geographics; Journal of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition; Journal of Medical Genetics; Journal of Medical Microbiology; Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition; Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A; Leukemia; Leukemia and Lymphoma; Medical and Pediatric Oncology; Medical Principles and Practice; Pediatric Blood and Cancer; Pediatric Hematology and Oncology; Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology; Pharmacogenetics and Personalized Medicine; Sarcoma; Scientific Research and Essays; Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology; The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences; The Lancet; The Medscape Journal of Medicine; Transactions B of the Royal Society


Current funding: North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund; Bone Cancer Research Trust; Cancer Reearch UK; Sanofi Synthelabo; Society for Endocrinology; NIHR

Other recent funding: Northern Diabetes Network (NHS Diabetes and Kidney Care); JGW Patterson Foundation; Department of Health; Northumberland and Tyne & Wear Strategic Health Authority (Gen Hospital); Cancer Research UK; Environment and Human Health Programme, NERC; Newcastle Heathcare Charity; Spanish Health Research Board; BUPA Foundation

Industrial Relevance

Consultancy services available (via the university's  Knowledge House) 




Cancer, Childhood, Clustering, Epidemiology, Statistics


Postgraduate Teaching

MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research

       - Module Leader for Further Quantitative Research Methods

       - Lecturer on Applied Epidemiology module (disease clustering session)

       - Supervision of dissertations 

MRES - Lecturer on Epidemiology module (epidemiology of childhood cancer session)