Cardiovascular Research Centre

Staff Profile

Dr Blossom Stephan

Senior Lecturer



I am an epidemiologist and have training in psychology and mathematical statistics. I am part of the Ageing, Health and Society Research Group at the Institute of Health and Society.

I am pleased to consider applications from prospective Masters and PhD students.


2001-2004       Doctorate of Philosophy [Science], Sydney University, Australia
2000                Honours in Psychology, Sydney University, Australia (Class I)
1997-1999       BA [Majors: Psychology and Mathematical Statistics], Sydney University, Australia

Career History

2015-                Senior Lecturer (in Risk Prediction), Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK        

2012-2015        Lecturer, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK          

2011-2012        Senior Research Associate (Risk Prediction), Cambridge University, UK
2008-2010        European Research into Ageing Future Leaders of Ageing Research (FLARE) Fellow
2009-2010        Research Mobility INSERM U708, Hôpital La Salpêtrière, France
2006-2008        Post Doctoral Research Associate, Cambridge University, UK
2004-2006        Research Analyst The Brain Resource Company, Head Office, Sydney, Australia
2002-2004        Demonstrator/Lecturer (Schools of Psychology & Mathematics/Statistics; Sydney University


2011-2012       Research Associate, Clare College, Cambridge University
2008-Present  Cambridge Neuroscience Network (
2006-2010       Post-doctoral Research Associate, Trinity Hall College, Cambridge University
1998-Present  Golden Key National Honour Society, Sydney University, Australia


Research Interests

My research focuses on issues related to risk prediction of neurodegenerative diseases. I am working with several large epidemiological studies including: (i) The Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS, UK); (ii) The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer study (EPIC-Norfolk, UK); (iii) The 3 City Study (France) and, (iv) The InCHIANTI study (Italy). The aim is to integrate risk factor research across multiple disciplines (e.g., genetics, metabolic, nutrition, cardiovascular, cognition and lifestyle) to identify not only those individuals at risk of cognitive decline and dementia, but to determine how different risk and protective factors interact to promote health in older age.

I also have a new program of research focused on cognitive ageing and dementia in Low and Middle Income Countries. I am co-PI of the South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO)-Cognition Pilot Study undertaken in collaboration with Monash-University (Malaysia). 


2016-2017 NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme. Project title: “Dementia undetected or undiagnosed in primary care: the prevalence, causes and consequences” (£352,923; Co-applicant)

2015-2016 NIHR School for Primary Care Research (Round 9), Project title: “Assessing dementia risk in general practice: A qualitative study of the attitudes and views of patients and the public (£44,290; Co-applicant)

2014-2017 Alzheimer’s Society UK Doctoral Training Centre Grant 2014 (£450,000; Newcastle PI)

2014-2015 Divisional Research Performance Fund (DRPF), University of South Australia. Research Project: “Neural capacity and efficiency in ageing and applications to cognitive reserve theory” ($14,726; International Collaborator)

2014-2015 Joint Programme for Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) Working Groups to Inform Cohort Studies in Neurodegenerative Disease Realising the potential of cohort studies to determine the vascular contribution to neurodegeneration (€40,000; Workgroup Participant)

2014-2015 Joint Programme for Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) Working Groups to Inform Cohort Studies in Neurodegenerative Disease 21st Century EURODEM (€42,297; Workgroup Lead)

2014-2015 Monash-Newcastle Seed Funding, Project title: “Foundation for the development of an ageing cohort within the Southeast Asia Community Observatory (SEACO) Database: A pilot study” (£26,000; PI)

2012-2016 Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences PhD studentship (Stephan & Robinson; £59,875)

2012 CFAS II Intervention Platform (Brayne & Stephan; MRC £28,000)

2012 Newcastle University, Institute of Health and Society, Strategic Development Award (£6,550)

2012 Guarantors of Brain [International Stroke Conference] (£800)

2011 Alzheimer’s Research UK Travel Grant [ICAD 2011] (£1,000)

2009-2010 Alzheimer’s Research UK Pilot Grant (£28,232)

2008-2010 European Research into Ageing Future Leaders of Ageing Fellowship (£250,167)

2007 Travel Fellowship, Department of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical Centre, USA

2001-2004 Australian Postgraduate Award

2002-2004 Sydney University, School of Psychology Departmental Research Grant (Travel)

2003 Sydney University, School of Psychology Departmental Research Grant (Research)


  1. The South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO) Cognition Pilot Study (Co-PI: Dr Blossom Stephan)
  2. An Integrated Investigation of Vascular Cognitive Impairment in Population Based Studies Across Europe (Co PI: Dr Blossom Stephan)
  3. Development of a System to Grade White Matter Integrity to Differentiate Normal Ageing, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging in the Population (PI: Professor Carol Brayne)



1. MODULE LEAD Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (HSC8053)

2. Applied Epidemiology (HSC8046)

Lecture Associations with age, sex and ethnicity and chronic disease


Analysis of Large Datasets and Advanced Statistics in Health Research  

Current Student Supervision

PhD (Mr Connor Richardson, Dr Sarah Richardson, Dr Eugene Tang, Ms Lisa Swan)

MsC (Mr Tom Gordon)

MBBS/MsC Personal Tutor