Professor Gary Macfarlane

Professor Gary Macfarlane
Professor Gary Macfarlane
Professor Gary Macfarlane

BSc (Hons), MBChB, PhD, CStat, MD (Hons), FFPHM, DSc

Clinical Chair in Epidemiology

About
Email Address
g.j.macfarlane@abdn.ac.uk
Office Address
106 Health Sciences Building
Foresterhill Campus
Foresterhill
AB25 2ZD

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School/Department
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Personal Assistant
Personal Assistant
Mrs Jisha Babu

Biography

Gary Macfarlane has held the Chair in Epidemiology (Clinical) since 2005 and previously held the same post at The University of Manchester from 1999. He is an Honorary Consultant in the Department of Public Health at NHS Grampian, Deputy Clinical Lead for Chronic Pain at NHS Research Scotland and Director of the Versus Arthritis/Medical Research Council Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work. He was Dean of Research Impact and Interdisciplinary Research for the period 2018-2024. He trained in Statistics/ Computing Science and then Medicine at The University of Glasgow before undertaking his PhD at The University of Bristol. He worked at the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan before leading a programme of chronic pain research at the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit at the University of Manchester.

He leads the Epidemiology group at the University of Aberdeen. The clinical research programme focusses on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMD) and undertakes research on: mechanisms of disease onset and outcome (observational epidemiology), identifying effective management for RMDs (Clinical trials and evidence synthesis), and designing optimal delivery of care (health services research). He and his research team have particular expertise in common complex conditions (including musculoskeletal pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia, and early osteoarthritis), inflammatory conditions, and rare diseases. The programme also hosts several disease and drug registries: the British Society of Rheumatology Biologics Registers in Ankylosing Spondylitis (BSRBR-AS) and Psoriatic Arthritis (BSR-PsA) and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy UK Antimicrobial Registry (UKAR), all of which recruit UK-wide.  Professor Macfarlane is a Chartered Statistician of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine and an Honorary fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. 

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Statistics and Computing Science 
    1985 - University of Glasgow 
  • MBChB Medicine and Surgery 
    1990 - University of Glasgow 
  • PhD Epidemiology 
    1993 - University of Bristol 

    The Epidemiology of Oral Cancer

  • MD (Hons) Medicine (Epidemiology) 
    2003 - University of Glasgow 
  • DSc Medicine 
    2021 - University of Glasgow 
  • CStat Statistics 
    1999 - Royal Statistical Society 
  • FFPH Public Health 
    2009 - Faculty of Public Health 

External Memberships

  • Health and Safety Executive (UK) Scientific Quality Advisory Group: Member
  • British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting Organising Committee: Member
  • NHS Research Scotland Pain Network: Deputy Chair
  • Versus Arthritis Fellowship Committee: Member 
  • British Society for Rheumatology: Research and Registers Committee 

Latest Publications

  • Development and external validation of a head and neck cancer risk prediction model

    Smith, C. D. L., McMahon, A. D., Lyall, D. M., Goulart, M., Inman, G. J., Ross, A., Gormley, M., Dudding, T., Macfarlane, G., Robinson, M., Richiardi, L., Serraino, D., Polesel, J., Canova, C., Ahrens, W., Healy, C. M., Lagiou, P., Holcatova, I., Alemany, L., Znoar, A., Waterboer, T., Brennan, P., Virani, S., Conway, D. I.
    Head Neck
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The Prevalence of Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review Update and Meta-analysis

    Chambers, C. T., Dol, J., Tutelman, P. R., Langley, C. L., Parker, J. A., Cormier, B. T., Macfarlane, G., Jones, G., Chapman, D., Proudfoo, N., Grant, A., Marianayagam, J.
    Pain
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • ASDAS-CRP and ASDAS-ESR cut-offs for disease activity states in axial spondyloarthritis: Are they interchangeable?

    Georgiadis, S., Ørnbjerg, L. M., Michelsen, B., Kvien, T. K., Di Giuseppe, D., Wallman, J. K., Závada, J., Provan, S. A., Kristianslund, E. K., Rodrigues, A. M., Santos, M. J., Rotar, ?., Pirkmajer, K. P., Nordström, D., Macfarlane, G. J., Jones, G. T., van der Horst-Bruinsma, I., Hellamand, P., Østergaard, M., Hetland, M. L.
    The Journal of rheumatology
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Patient-reported outcomes in axial spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients treated with secukinumab for 24 months in daily clinical practice

    Christiansen, S. N., Horskjær Rasmussen, S., Pons, M., Michelsen, B., Glintborg, B., Gudbjornsson, B., Grondal, G., Vencovsky, J., Loft, A. G., Rotar, Z., Pirkmajer, K. P., Nissen, M. J., Baranová, J., Macfarlane, G. J., Jones, G. T., Iannone, F., Caporali, R., Laas, K., Vorobjov, S., Giuseppe, D. D., Olofsson, T., Provan, S. A., Fagerli, K. M., Castrejon, I., Otero-Varela, L., van de Sande, M., van der Horst-Bruinsma, I., Nordström, D., Kuusalo, L., Bernardes, M., Hetland, M. L., Østergaard, M., Midtbøll Ørnbjerg, L.
    Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, vol. 65, 152388
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The worldwide prevalence of Psoriatic Arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Lembke, S., Macfarlane, G., Jones, G. T.
    Rheumatology
    Contributions to Journals: Articles

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

Sir Alexander Morison Medal from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Heberden Medal from the British Society for Rheumatology

Research

Research Overview

My major research interests are in the Epidemiology of Rheumatic and Musculoskleletal Disorders (RMD) with a particular focus on common disabling symptoms (chronic pain, and fatigue) inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis. I am Director of the Versus Arthritis and MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work. I lead several nationwide drug registries. I have current live grant income over £13 million. 

Research Specialisms

  • Epidemiology
  • Medical Statistics
  • Medicine
  • Environmental and Public Health

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Collaborations

Medical Research Council/Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work

Professor Macfarlane principal investigator for the Aberdeen spoke of this centre, which is based at the University of Southampton. Coordinated by the University of Southampton, the centre brings together fifteen different academic institutions across the UK, with interest and expertise in rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, and its relation to occupation, to identify effective and cost-effective ways to minimise the adverse impacts of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. The work at the University of Aberdeen is focussed on investigating: media campaigns for low back pain; axial spondyloarthritis; pain management. 

European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) revised guidelines for the management of fibromyalgia

Professor Macfarlane chaired an international group of clinicians, allied health professionals and scientists from 12 countries across Europe, in revising EULAR guidelines for the management of fibromyalgia. Since the original EULAR fibromyalgia guidelines, more than fifty randomised controlled trials have been published concerned with the phramcological or non-pharmacological management of the conditions. The revised guidelines were published, in 2016, in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases: http://ard.bmj.com/content/early/2016/07/04/annrheumdis-2016-209724.full

UK-RiME : UK Research in Musculoskeletal Epidemiology

The UK Research in Musculoskeletal Epidemiology (UK-RiME) partnership is a national collaboration between eight epidemiology centres in the United Kingdom including Aberdeen. The partnership seeks to develop a co-ordinated training programme facilitated by exchanges between departments at PhD, post-doctoral, NIHR academic clinical fellow, clinical fellow and international trainee levels.  UK-RiME facilitates access to one another’s cohorts and share analytical expertise with each other and the UK musculoskeletal research community.

 

 

Supervision

Supervisees

Funding and Grants

  • 2024-29/£1.2m/Versus Arthritis. “PrIOritising early detection of KNEE osteoaRthritis – PIOKNEER
  • 2022-25/£999k/ Medical Research Council and Versus Arthritis Advanced Pain Discovery Platform. High Impact Chronic Pain and UK Biobank: presentation, transitions and targets for intervention
  • 2022-24/£232k/Chief Scientist’s Office/ Supporting people with musculoskeletal disorders in Scotland to remain in work: adapting the Making it Work™ intervention developed for people with inflammatory arthritis in Canada (Co-Chief Investigator)
  • 2021-25/£3,179k/MRC and Versus Arthritis/Consortium Against Pain inEquality (CAPE) - The impact of adverse childhood experiences on chronic pain and responses to treatment (Investigator and Work Package Lead)
  • 2021-24/£485k /MRC/ Quantifying the Impact of Work on Paid Employment (Chief Investigator)
  • 2021-26/£1,250k/British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy/United Kingdom AntiMicrobial Registry (Co-chief Investigator)
  • 2020-26/£2,488k/ NIHR/ NIHR Programme Grant: Development and evaluation of the Digital-My Arm Pain Programme (D-MAPP) for improving painful distal upper limb musculoskeletal disorders (Investigator)
  • 2019-26/£2,300k/Medical Research Council & Versus Arthritis Centre of Excellence in Musculoskeletal Health and Work (Chief Investigator Investigator, Aberdeen)
  • 2019-25/£1,138k/Versus Arthritis/Developing new models of care for people with fibromyalgia (PACFiND) (Chief Investigator)
Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

 

Postgraduate (PhD) research students

The Epidemiology group welcomes applications in our research areas of interest.

External courses

Professor Macfarlane established a week-long Intensive Course in Applied Epidemiology (ICAE) at the University of Aberdeen.  This course has been run here since 2007, having previously been run for 15 years at the University of Manchester.  The course is highly rated by attendees, with attendees from Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia.  The course is annual and starts on the first Monday in March. For further details and / or to register for the next course please see our ICAE web page.

The Epidemiology Group has also put on shorter courses at external locations including Warsaw and Bucharest and also runs courses focussed on specific clinical disciplines such as  "Essentials in Epidemiology for Reproductive Health".

 

Publications

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  • Development and external validation of a head and neck cancer risk prediction model

    Smith, C. D. L., McMahon, A. D., Lyall, D. M., Goulart, M., Inman, G. J., Ross, A., Gormley, M., Dudding, T., Macfarlane, G., Robinson, M., Richiardi, L., Serraino, D., Polesel, J., Canova, C., Ahrens, W., Healy, C. M., Lagiou, P., Holcatova, I., Alemany, L., Znoar, A., Waterboer, T., Brennan, P., Virani, S., Conway, D. I.
    Head Neck
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The Prevalence of Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review Update and Meta-analysis

    Chambers, C. T., Dol, J., Tutelman, P. R., Langley, C. L., Parker, J. A., Cormier, B. T., Macfarlane, G., Jones, G., Chapman, D., Proudfoo, N., Grant, A., Marianayagam, J.
    Pain
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • ASDAS-CRP and ASDAS-ESR cut-offs for disease activity states in axial spondyloarthritis: Are they interchangeable?

    Georgiadis, S., Ørnbjerg, L. M., Michelsen, B., Kvien, T. K., Di Giuseppe, D., Wallman, J. K., Závada, J., Provan, S. A., Kristianslund, E. K., Rodrigues, A. M., Santos, M. J., Rotar, ?., Pirkmajer, K. P., Nordström, D., Macfarlane, G. J., Jones, G. T., van der Horst-Bruinsma, I., Hellamand, P., Østergaard, M., Hetland, M. L.
    The Journal of rheumatology
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Patient-reported outcomes in axial spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients treated with secukinumab for 24 months in daily clinical practice

    Christiansen, S. N., Horskjær Rasmussen, S., Pons, M., Michelsen, B., Glintborg, B., Gudbjornsson, B., Grondal, G., Vencovsky, J., Loft, A. G., Rotar, Z., Pirkmajer, K. P., Nissen, M. J., Baranová, J., Macfarlane, G. J., Jones, G. T., Iannone, F., Caporali, R., Laas, K., Vorobjov, S., Giuseppe, D. D., Olofsson, T., Provan, S. A., Fagerli, K. M., Castrejon, I., Otero-Varela, L., van de Sande, M., van der Horst-Bruinsma, I., Nordström, D., Kuusalo, L., Bernardes, M., Hetland, M. L., Østergaard, M., Midtbøll Ørnbjerg, L.
    Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, vol. 65, 152388
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The worldwide prevalence of Psoriatic Arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Lembke, S., Macfarlane, G., Jones, G. T.
    Rheumatology
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Predictors of DAPSA28 remission in patients with psoriatic arthritis initiating a first TNF-inhibitor: results from 13 European registries

    Linde, L., Ørnbjerg, L. M., Georgiadis, S., Rasmussen, S. H., Lindström, U., Askling, J., Michelsen, B., Di Giuseppe, D., Wallman, J. K., Gudbjornsson, B., Love, T. J., Nordström, D., Yli-Kerttula, T., Nekvindova, L., Vencovský, J., Iannone, F., Cauli, A., Loft, A. G., Glintborg, B., Laas, K., Rotar, Z., Tomšič, M., Macfarlane, G., Möller, B., Van de Sande, M. G., Codreanu, C., Nissen, M. J., Birlik, M., Erten, S., Santos, M. J., Vieira-Sousa, E., Hetland, M. L., Østergaard, M.
    Rheumatology, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 751–764
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The experience of poor sleep in people with fibromyalgia: a qualitative meta-synthesis

    Robertson, C., Beasley, M., Stevens, M., Imamura, M., Whibley, D., Aucott, L., Manson, P., Abhishek, A., Dulake, D., Macfarlane, G., Tang, N. K. Y., Brazzelli, M., Gillies, K.
    Sleep Medicine, vol. 115, no. Suppl 1, pp. 192
    Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
  • Diagnostic Accuracy of HPV16 Early Antigen Serology For HPV-Driven Oropharyngeal Cancer is Independent of Age and Sex

    Kusters, J. M., Diergaarde, B., Ness, A. R., van der Loef, M. F. S., Heijne, J. C., Schroeder, L., Hueniken, K., Mckay, J. D., Macfarlane, G., Lagiou, P., Lagiou, A., Polesel, J., Agudo, A., Alemany, L., Ahrens, W., Healy, C. M., Conway, D. I., Robinson, M., Canova, C., Holcátová, I., Richiardi, L., Znaor, A., Pring, M., Thomas, S., Hayes, N., Liu, G., Hung, R. J., Brennan, P., Olshan, A. F., Virani, S., Waterboer, T.
    International Journal of Cancer, vol. 154, no. 2, pp. 289-402
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Follow-Up of Patients With Axial Spondyloarthritis in Specialist Health Care With Remote Monitoring and Self-Monitoring Compared With Regular Face-to-Face Follow-Up Visits (the ReMonit Study): Protocol for a Randomized, Controlled Open-Label Noninferiority Trial

    Berg, I. J., Tveter, A. T., Bakland, G., Hakim, S., Kristianslund, E. K., Lillegraven, S., Macfarlane, G. J., Moholt, E., Provan, S. A., Sexton, J., Thomassen, E. E., De Thurah, A., Gossec, L., Haavardsholm, E. A., Østerås, N.
    JMIR Research Protocols, vol. 12, no. 1, e52872
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Do current methods of measuring the impact of chronic pain on work reflect the experience of working-age adults?: An integrated mixed methods systematic narrative review

    Stagg, A. L., Madan, I., Fear, N. S., Stevens, M., Wainwright, E., Hoving, J. L., Macfarlane, G., Hollick, R., Morton, L.
    Pain
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
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