Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Colin Muirhead

Lecturer in Medical Statistics



I am a statistician with long-term experience in chronic disease epidemiology.  Since joining Newcastle University in 2011, I have also been involved in providing statistical advice for clinical trials and for other projects within the Institute. 



  • BSc Mathematics 1979
  • MSc Statistics 1980
  • PhD Statistics 1983

All from Imperial College London.


Previous Positions

1980-83: Research Assistant at Imperial College London. 

1983-2010: Radiation Protection Division, Health Protection Agency, Chilton, Oxfordshire (previously the National Radiological Protection Board);

  • 1983-87: Higher Scientific Officer
  • 1987-88: Senior Scientific Officer
  • 1988-2005: Principal Scientific Officer and Leader of the Epidemiology Group
  • 2005-10: Leader of the Epidemiology Section.

(1992-93: Guest researcher at the Radiation Epidemiology Branch of the US National Cancer Institute, Bethesda MD, USA.)

2011: Volunteer teacher at Yantai Kaifaqu Senior Middle School, Shandong Province, China. 



Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.



Faculty of Medical Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

Royal Statistical Society North Eastern Local Group.



Research Interests

My interests include:

  • Clustering of chronic disease;
  • Epidemiological research methods;
  • Meta-analyses.


Esteem Indicators

These include:

  • Member of the Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Regional Advisory Committee - Yorkshire and The Humber (2015).
  • Member of Site Visit Team for a review of the US National Cancer Institute's Radiation Epidemiology Branch (Bethesda, MD, June 2010);
  • Member of Working Group for the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Volume 100D - Radiation (Lyon, 2-9 June 2009);
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Group for the Childhood Cancer Research Group (University of Oxford, 2005-10);
  • Member of UK delegation to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (2003-08);
  • Secretary (1997-2005) and member (2005-10) of Committee 1 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection;
  • Member of the Royal Statistical Society’s General Applications Section (1990-92);
  • Coordinator and/or work package leader of various EU-supported projects in radiation epidemiology (1990-2010).


Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently co-supervisor for Samuel Azubuike and Susan Wong.  I am also an assessor for two other PhD students within IHS.


Postgraduate Teaching 

MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research:

  • Module leader for Public Health Protection;
  • Contributor to module on Applications of Epidemiology to Public Health;
  • Contributor to module on Introduction to Quantitative Methods;
  • Personal tutor for 2 students;
  • Dissertations marker.


MRes module in Clinical Epidemiology:

  • Deputy module leader;
  • Marker of exams, assignments, oral presentations and dissertations.


Undergraduate Teaching


  • Seminar tutor: Introduction to Critical Appraisal;
  • Personal tutor for 11 students;
  • Marker of SSC assignments.

Biomedical Sciences:

  • Project supervisor;
  • Marker of assignments.