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, a senior biostatistician and co-lead of the Data Science, Biostatistics and Applied Epidemiology discipline group within the Institute of Health & Society. My research interests are in aetiology, survival and health inequalities as related to chronic diseases (especially cancer, type 1 diabetes and primary biliary cirrhosis). I have a particular interest in the spatial aspects of chronic diseases and a special interest in methods and analysis of clustering of chronic diseases. Previously, I was a member of the Yorkshire and Humber NIHR RfPB funding committee and I was an invited participant in the geographical studies of childhood cancer which were undertaken by COMARE. Currently, I am a scientific member of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (previously chair of the Epidemiology Special Interest Group), chair of the Steering Group of the Yorkshire Specialist Register of Cancer in Children and Young Adults, a member of the scientific committee of Yorkshire Cancer Research and a member of the NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research commissioned panel. I welcome all applications from possible collaborators or individuals interested in joining the group (staff or research students).

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Research
  • Supervision
  • Teaching
  • Director of the Northern Region Young Persons' Malignant Disease Registry
  • Co-lead of the Data Science, Biostatistics and Applied Epidemiology discipline group


  • 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


  • Scientific 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



Current Projects

  • Unique opportunities in improved survivorship
  • Clinicial and biological factors associated with relapse and length of survival following relapse and length of survival following relapse in UK neuroblastomas.
  • Exploring socio-demographic inequalities in the diagnosis of sarcoma, with a particular focus on deprivation.
  • National Endoscopy Database Polyp Detection Rate Project.
  • Development and application of innivative survival methodologies: advancing understanding of the pathways between diagnostic route and cancer survival.
  • North of England women's diet and activity after breast cancer trial.
  • Diabetes Registry Network - North East England and North Cumbria Registry
  • Diabetes Registry Network - North West England Registry
  • Diabetes Registry Network - East Midlands Registry
  • Improving the diagnosis and management of dementia of Lewy body type in the NHS (DIAMOND-Lewy)
  • BRONCH-UK - A multicentre collaborative partnership and national biobank tackling un-met needs and knowledge
  • Confidence in Concept - Anterior segment OCT to detect uveitis in children.

Main Expertise   

  • Epidemiology of chronic disease, especially cancer, diabetes and primary bilary cirrhosis.
  • Statistical epidemiology.
  • Spatial epidemiology.
  • Disease clustering.

Other Expertise

  • Biostatistics.
  • Disease registries.

Research Roles

  • Principal Investigator.
  • Co-Investigator.
  • Named collaborator.
  • Supervisor.

Future Research

  • Cancer in Low and Middle Income Countries
  • Health inequalities as related to cancer and diabetes

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Current PhD students = 7
  • Successful PhD students = 9
  • Successful MD student = 1
  • Successful MPhil student = 1
  • Current MSc project students = 3
  • Successful MSc/MRes students = 8

Esteem Indicators

Scientific Committees

  • Chair of the Steering Group of the Yorkshire Specialist Register of Cancer in Children and Young Adults [2016-]
  • Chair of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) Epidemiology Special Interest Group [2010-2016]
  • 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]

Member of funding panels

  • Member of NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research commissioned panel [2016-]
  • Member of scientic committee of Yorkshire Cancer Research [2014-]
  • Member of the Yorkshire and Humber National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) funding committee [2010-2014]

External PhD examiner

  • University of Bedfordshire (2016)
  • University of Copenhagen (2012)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2012)
  • University of Birmingham (2009)
  • Erasmus University (2006)

Invited conference chair

  • Invited chair of the Epidemiology Session at the International Society for Paediatric Oncology Conference (October 2016, Dublin, Ireland) 
  • Invited chair of session, PanCare Meeting (27-29 May 2015, Dublin, Ireland)
  • Invited chair of the second Epidemiology Session at the International Society for Paediatric Oncology Conference (22-25 October 2014, Toronto, Canada)
  • Invited chair of the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Session at the 2nd Bahrain Cancer Conference (20-22 March 2001)

Invited lectures

  • ELPIDA Foundation meeting, Nicosia, Cyprus (15 February 2018)
  • University of Aberdeen (9 December 2010)
  • 'Case-only Cancer Clustering for Mobile Populations' Workshop, Ann Arbor, Michigan (11-12 November 2010)
  • University of Leeds (20 September 2010)
  • Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Mexico City (29 June - 3 July 2010)
  • Latin-American Society for Paediatric Oncology (SLAOP), Sao Paulo (5 October 2009)
  • 'Investigation of Disease Clusters: Transitioning to the 21st Century and Beyond' meeting, DIMACS, Rutgers University (6-8 May 2008)
  • Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston (15-19 April 2008)
  • Department of Public Health, Erasmus University (15 February 2006)
  • Children with Leukaemia Scientific Conference, London (6-10 September 2004)
  • Bahrain Cancer Conference (20-22 March 2001)
  • Royal Statistical Society, London (1997)

Grant reviewer for:

  • Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) [Italian Association for Cancer Research]
  • Bone Cancer Resrarch Trust
  • British Academy
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Children with Cancer
  • Children with Leukaemia
  • Department of Health
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Elimination of Leukaemia Fund
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Grampian Research Endowment Fund 
  • International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership
  • 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) - PDF, RfPB, Programme Grants
  • OTKA-EPR (Hungarian Research Board)
  • Israel Science Foundation
  • Swiss Cancer League
  • Yorkshire Cancer Research

Member of editorial board:

  • Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
  • Scientific Reports

Reviewer for the following journals:

  • Acta Neurochiruga
  • African Journal of Biotechnology
  • African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • American Journal of Epidemiology
  • Annals of Epidemiology
  • Applied Statistics
  • Archives of Disease in Childhood
  • Asian Journal of Urology
  • Biomedical Journals
  • Biomed Research International
  • Birth Defects A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology
  • Blood
  • BMC Cancer
  • BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
  • BMC Public Health
  • British Journal of Cancer
  • British Journal of Haematology
  • British Medical Journal
  • BMJ Open
  • Cancer Causes and Control
  • Cancer Detection and Prevention
  • Cancer Epidemiology
  • Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention
  • Cancer Medicine
  • Child: Care, Health and Development
  • Chronobiology International
  • Clinical Microbiology and Infection
  • Clinical Oncology in Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
  • Diabetes Care
  • Diabetic Medicine
  • Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Research
  • Epidemiology: Open Access
  • Epidemiology & Infection
  • European Journal of Cancer
  • European Journal of Endocrinology
  • European Journal of Epidemiology
  • Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
  • Family Medicine & Medical Science Research
  • Frontiers Microbiology
  • Frontiers Psychology
  • 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 Environmental Research and Public Health
  • International Journal of Epidemiology
  • International Journal of Geo-Information
  • International Journal of Health Geographics
  • International Journal of Radiation Biology
  • JAMA Pediatrics
  • Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Journal of Depression and Anxiety
  • 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 National Cancer Institute (JNCI)
  • Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A
  • Leukemia
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma
  • Leukemia Research
  • Medical and Pediatric Oncology
  • Medical Principles and Practice
  • Pediatric Blood and Cancer
  • Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
  • Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
  • Pharmacogenetics and Personalized Medicine
  • Photochemistry and Photobiology
  • Sarcoma
  • Sarcoma Research - International
  • Scientific Reports
  • Scientific Research and Essays
  • Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
  • Sports
  • Statistical Methods in Medical Research
  • Statistics Research Letters
  • The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
  • The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
  • The Lancet
  • The Medscape Journal of Medicine
  • The Open Cancer Journal
  • The Open Epidemiology Journal
  • The Surgeon
  • Thyroid
  • Transactions B of the Royal Society
  • Translational Andrology and Urology
  • World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics
  • World Journal of Diabetes
  • World Journal of Gastroenterology
  • World Journal of Nephrology

Reviewer for Learned Societies

  • Association of American Geographers

  • The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group (The CHBG)

  • Scientific Progam Committee for the International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (Denver, Colorado, 2018)


Current funding

  • North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund
  • Action Medical Research
  • Sarcoma UK
  • The Health Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Yorkshire Cancer Research
  • Diabetes Networks
  • NIHR
  • MRC

Previous funding

  • North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund
  • Society for Endocrinology
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • James Cook University Hospital
  • NIHR
  • Alzheimer's Society
  • Bone Cancer Research Trust
  • Sanofi Synthelabo
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Northern Diabetes Network (NHS Diabetes and Kidney Care)
  • JGW Patterson Foundation
  • Northumberland and Ttne & Wear Strategic Health Authority (Gen Hospital)
  • Environment and Human Health Programme, NERC
  • Newcastle Healthcare Charity
  • Spanish Health Research Board
  • BUPA Foundation

Industrial Relevance

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


  • None


Cancer, Childhood, Clustering, Epidemiology, Statistics


Undergraduate teaching

Module lead for Epidemiology module, BSc Biomedical Sciences (3rd year) [2015-]

        - Administration

        - Lectures

        - Examinations

Postgraduate teaching

MSc in Public Health and Health 

       - Lecturer on Applied Epidemiology module (disease clustering session)

       - Supervision of dissertations