Professor Lesley Anderson

Professor Lesley Anderson
Professor Lesley Anderson
Professor Lesley Anderson

PhD MPHe BSc(Hons) PGCHET FHEA

Chair in Health Data Science

About
Email Address
lesley.anderson@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

Biography

I joined the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science in March 2020. I trained at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) graduating with a PhD in cancer epidemiology in 2004 and an undergraduate degree (first class Honours) in Biomedical Science in 2001. I have a Masters in Population Health-based Evidence obtained by distance learning from the University of Manchester (distinction level) in 2006. I joined QUB as an academic in 2010 after completing two highly respected fellowships: an Academic Fellowship (funded by the UK Medical Research Council) and a Cancer Prevention Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Maryland, United States of America. I joined the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) part-time in 2017 as Deputy Director overseeing the production of Official Statistics for Northern Ireland and developing the NICR Research Advisory Group.

I have over 19 years experience in research utilising healthcare data from the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Europe. I have established international partnerships within the USA, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia to facilitate research in the fields of health data science and public health with a focus on cancer research. Global Health Research Partnerships with researchers in Angola, Mongolia and Vietnam are seeking to identify ways to improve public knowledge and reduce the burden of cancer. I am working to improve health care through Health Data Science research.

Qualifications

  • PhD Public Health 
    2004 - Queen's University Belfast 
    Title. The aetiology of Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma: results from an all-Ireland case-control study.
  • MPHe Population Health 
    2006 - University of Manchester 
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science 
    2001 - Queen's University Belfast 
  • PGCHET Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching 
    2009 - Queen's University Belfast 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Senate Academicus, University of Aberdeen (Oct 2022-Sept 2026).
  • Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science Senior Leadership Team (Sept 2020-date)
External Memberships
  • External Programme and Module Examiner, Masters in Public Health, University of Manchester, 2019-2023.
  • Cancer Research UK Prevention and Population Research Committee, Expert Review Panel (2022-date).
  • Blood Cancer UK - Data themed Funding Committee (2022-date).
  • Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank Advisory Council (2021-date).
  • National Cancer Research Institute Haematological Oncology Group member (2019-date)

 

Latest Publications

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

  • Positive Research Culture Award, Excellence Awards 2023, University of Aberdeen, 2023.
  • Data Driven Innovation – iCAIRD for the implementation of our imaging research platforms (SHAIP and Pathology Living Lab). Holyrood Digital Health and Care Awards, 2023.
  • iCAIRD won the Multiparty Collaboration Award at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards in 2022.
  • Innovative Collaboration Award: iCAIRD, Scotland’s Life Sciences Awards 2021.
  • Outstanding Research Team – iCAIRD, Excellence Awards 2022, University of Aberdeen, 2022.
  • Outstanding Research Project – Covid-19 Response & Recovery Award 2021, Excellence Awards 2021, University of Aberdeen, 20 21.
  • STAR (STAff Recognition Scheme) for exceptional performance and contribution in your role. QUB, 2020.
  • STAR (STAff Recognition Scheme) for exceptional performance and contribution in your role. QUB, 2019.
  • Best Clinical Poster Prize, Haematology Association Ireland Annual Conference, October 2016.
  • Presentation award. School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Postdoc Society Symposium, February 2010.
  • Poster prize, Nursing and Allied Health Professional section, Cancer Recognised Research Group Retreat, September 2008.
  • Dr J.D. Williamson Prize for best postgraduate medical research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Queen’s University Belfast, 2007.
  • Poster of Distinction. Digestive Disease Week, 2007.
  • Highly commended for the BUPA Foundation Epidemiology Award, October 2005.
  • Awarded best presentation at the Ulster Society of Gastroenterology meeting, October 2005.
  • Travel scholarship for International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology meeting, 2005.
  • Digestive Disease Week Conference, May 2005. Platform presentation in the Distinguished Abstract Plenary Session.  The abstract was noted as newsworthy.
  • All Ireland Cancer Conference, 2003. Best poster prize.
  • Awarded best presentation at the Ulster society of Gastroenterology meeting, March 2002
  • Foundation Award, Queen’s University Belfast, 2001.
Research

Research Overview

 

Health Data Research

Professor Anderson has over 19 years experience of using health data to research cancer and chronic disease epidemiology. Her research interests are aligned around the following research themes:

  • Rare cancers 
  • Infection-related cancers
  • Pre-cancerous conditions
  • Chronic diseases

 

Research Areas

Applied Health Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Research Specialisms

  • Healthcare Science
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Health Informatics
  • Environmental and Public Health
  • Oncology

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.

Current Research

Myeloproliferative neoplasms

Professor Anderson is leading the world's first nationwide case-control study of myeloproliferative neoplasms, the MOSAICC (MyelOproliferative neoplasmS: An In-depth Case-Control) study.  The study will recruit patients from across the United Kingdom collecting information on potential risk factors (causes) and assessing the quality of life of these patients. 

Infection-related cancers

Professor Anderson has undertaken research to investigate the knowledge and awareness of human papilloma virus (HPV) and how HPV may impact survival in patients with head and neck cancers. 

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Professor Anderson is interested in how vitamin B12 deficiency affects patients with pernicious anaemia and the ways in which treatment may be optimised. Working with the Pernicious Anaemia Society research is planned to evaluate the long term impacts of vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Past Research

MOSAICC pilot study - largest study of myeloproliferative neoplasms to date. Study designed to determine best methodological approach for a UK-wide study which is ongoing looking at the aetiology and impact of a MPN diagnosis. 

FINBAR study - large all-Ireland case-control study of oesophageal cancer and precancerous conditions. This study has led to many publications looking at the aetiology of these oesophageal conditions and is part of an international collaboration - the BEACON consortium. 

EUROCARE - I have worked with the EUROCARE consortium to undertake a range of studies looking at variations in the survival of oesophgeal, gastric, small intestine and head and neck cancer and haematological malignancies.

RARECARE - I have worked with European colleagues to look at thyroid cancers and the burden and centralised treatment in Europe of rare tumours.

HPV and Head and Neck cancer - study identified that p16 is an insufficient marker for stage classification of oropharyngeal cancer. The data from this study is being combined with wider cohorts to evaluate this further and to look at restaging of oropharyngeal cancer. 

COELIAC DISEASE - A study that I led looking at gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease and outcomes (cancer and all-cause mortality) led to the identification of adverse outcomes for those with gluten sensitivity but without a confirmed coeliac diagnosis. 

Collaborations

Professor Anderson is a member of the BEACON consortium (https://esocan.org/beacon/). 

Professor Anderson has research collaborations with researchers in the UK, Ireland, USA, across Europe, Australia, Angola, Vietnam and Mongolia. 

Supervision

PhD

  • 2nd supervisor: ‘Methods for the economic evaluation of artificial intelligence algorithms in breast cancer diagnosis.’ University of Aberdeen, 2023-2027. Funded: University of Aberdeen.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: ‘Investigating the routes to diagnosis of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms using multidisciplinary approaches.’ University of Aberdeen, 2021-2025. Funded: University of Aberdeen.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: ‘ARCHERY PROJECT: AI TO REVOLUTIONISE THE PATIENT CARE PATHWAY IN HIP AND KNEE ARTHROPLASTY’. University of Aberdeen, 2021-2024. Funded: Chief Scientist Office.
  • 2nd PhD supervisor: ‘Investigating the significance of haematological malignancy precursors with a particular focus on multiple myeloma’, QUB 2019-2020. Funded: Dfe. Changed to 3rd supervisor when I changed job.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: ‘Implementation of electronic cigarette policy in Kuwait.’ QUB 2016-2021. Funded: Kuwaiti government. Changed to 3rd supervisor when I changed job.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: ‘Barriers to cervical cancer screening and diagnosis in Northern Ireland.’ QUB 2018-2021. Funded: Saudi/ Kuwaiti government. Changed to 3rd supervisor when I changed job.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: ‘Assessing the impact of hydroxyurea treatment for children with sickle cell anaemia in Cabinda province, Angola.’ QUB 2016-2020. Funded: Angolan government.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: ‘Assessing the impact of MGUS’, QUB 2015-date. Funded: DEL.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: 'An exploratory case-control study of myeloproliferative neoplasms', QUB 2012-2015. Funded: MPN Voice.
  • 1st PhD supervisor: 'Prior medical history, drug exposure and risk of multiple myeloma', QUB 2011-2013. Funded: DEL.
  • 3rd PhD supervisor: ‘Investigating the association between aspirin & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and head and neck cancer & malignant melanoma’, QUB 2009-2011. Funded: DEL.

Masters

  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Assessing knowledge and attitudes to artificial intelligence use in medical x-rays’, University of Aberdeen, 2022.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Analysing the impact of social factors and distance to care on breast cancer outcomes in Scotland’, University of Aberdeen, 2021.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Health Data Science: ‘Are Gluten-Free Foods Unhealthy?’, University of Aberdeen, 2021.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the quality of life of patients with a Myeloproliferative Neoplasm’, QUB 2020.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Bioinformatics and computational genomics: ‘Natural Language Processing Tool for Breast Cancer Registration’, QUB 2020.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Systematic review of arts-based approaches to increase awareness of breast cancer’, QUB 2019.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Knowledge and attitudes of HPV in Angola’, QUB 2018.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Attitudes and knowledge of parents to HPV vaccination – a quantitative investigation’, QUB 2016.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Assessing the impact of MGUS’, QUB 2015.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Anti-diabetic medications & risk of MGUS/myeloma’, QUB 2014.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health: ‘Investigating birth factors and Hodgkin lymphoma’, QUB 2010.
  • 1st supervisor, MSc in Public Health.: ‘Investigating incidence trends of Human papillomavirus related and unrelated head and neck cancers’, QUB 2010.
  • 1st supervisor, MPH: 'Determination of the predictors of Acute Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 and 2 for the targeted screening using p24 Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay: a retrospective study from populations in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda' University of Liverpool, 2010.

Undergraduate

  • 1st supervisor, Public Health ‘Attitudes and behaviours regarding tanning in Northern Ireland: A mixed-methods study of Queen’s University of Belfast students.’ UoA 2021-2022.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Attitudes and behaviours regarding tanning in Northern Ireland: A mixed-methods study of Queen’s University of Belfast students.’ QUB 2017-2018.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Coeliac Disease – Diagnosis, Trends, Cancer Risk and Mortality’ QUB 2017-2018.
  • 2nd supervisor, Human Biology ‘Gluten Free’ Food for Thought.’ QUB 2018-2019.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Occupational risk factors for myeloproliferative neoplasms.’ QUB 2017-2018.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Incidence of Paediatric Cancer in Africa: a systematic review.’ QUB 2017-2018.
  • 2nd supervisor, Human Biology ‘Knowledge, Attitudes & Practice of Paediatric Cancer in Africa: a systematic review’ QUB 2017-2018.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Parental knowledge & attitudes to HPV vaccination.’ QUB 2016-2017.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Oral dysplasia transformation rate’. QUB 2015/16.
  • 1st supervisor, Human Biology ‘Incidence, prevalence and survival of MGUS’ QUB 2015-2016.
  • 1st supervisor, Biomedical Science ‘Human Papilloma virus in head and neck cancers’, 2012-2013.
  • 1st supervisor, Biomedical Science ‘Langerhans’ cells and immune response biomarkers in head and neck cancers’, 2012-2013.
  • 1st supervisor, BSc Anatomy ‘Investigating psychological risk factors for oesophageal adenocarcinoma’, QUB 2010-2011.
  • 1st supervisor, BSc Anatomy ‘Investigating survival differences between HPV-related and unrelated head and neck cancers’, QUB 2010-2011.

·       Portfolio Tutor for undergraduate Medical students, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2015/16, 2016/17.

  • Mentor for Biomedical Sciences, QUB, 2012-2014.

Funding and Grants

Current Research

  • Anderson (PI), McShane, McMullin, McKnight. MPN Discovery - assessing gene-environment interaction. Blood Cancer UK. 2023-2026. £277,666.11.
  • Anderson (PI), Toenail trace elements for assessing risk of myeloproliferative neoplasms. Friends of Anchor, 2023-2024. £11,193.
  • Anderson (PI), Abutheraa N, Iversen L, Robertson C, Tarburn E. Investigating the incidence, prevalence and outcomes of myeloproliferative neoplasms to aid service planning and delivery in NHS Grampian. NHS Endowments, 2023-2024. £18,837.
  • Anderson (PI), Lip (CI), Staff, De Vries. Grampian's Evaluation of Mia an Innovative National Breast Screening Initiative. Kheiron Medical Technologies Limited under NIHR Phase 4 AI Award. 2022-2023, £413,689 (£281,126 to UoA).
  • Elsberger, Anderson (Co-I), Murchie. Scottish National Audit of Breast Cancer in Older Patients (S_NABCOP). NHSG Endownment Breast Cancer Research Fund 2022-2023, £13,422.
  • Omar, Anderson (Co-I), MacLennan, MacLennan, Speirs & European Association of Urology Guidelines Office. Optimal treatment for patients with solid tumours in Europe through artificial intelligence.. European Commission, 2021-2026, €10,459,997.00 (£565,400 to UoA). Part of the 21.3 million Euro project. https://www.optima-oncology.eu/
  • Farrow, Anderson (Co-I) & Ashcroft. ARCHERY PROJECT: AI TO REVOLUTIONISE THE PATIENT CARE PATHWAY IN HIP AND KNEE ARTHROPLASTY. Chief Scientist Office, Scotland, 2021-2024, £237,568.
  • MOSAICC study https://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforPublicHealth/Research/CancerEpidemiology/MOSAICCStudy/
  • Anderson (PI). MOSAICC (MyelOproliferative neoplasmS: An In-depth Case-Control) study in Aberdeen. Friends of Anchor, 2021-2023. £22,064.
  • Anderson (PI), McShane, Mc Mullin, Duncombe, Fritschi, DeVocht, Mesa. MOSAICC study. MPN Voice. 2021-2023. £75,631.
  • McShane, Anderson (Co-I), McMullin. MOSAICC study. Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, £47,000. 2021-2022.
  • McShane, Gavin, Anderson (Co-I). Investigating the impact of geographic inequalities and local service provision on multiple myeloma patient outcomes within the UK. Myeloma UK, 2021-2023. £100,000.

 

Prior Research

  • Abderson (PI), Abutheraa N. Using Occupational Integrated Database Exposure Assessment (OccIDEAS) to assess occupational exposure risk for MyeloProliferative Neoplasms (MPN) patients and their control: A comparison study. University of Aberdeen Internal Funding to Pump-Prime Research and Research Networks. 2023. £9,931.75.
  • Harrison, Blackwood, Anderson (Co-I). The Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics https://icaird.com/. Extension bid (2022-2023). Innovate UK. £1,611,191. Total iCAIRD project grant £9,970,020 (UoA total: £394,477).
  • Anderson (PI), D’Ambruoso, Camanda, Buco, Chocolate, Lohfeld. Evaluating opportunities and barriers to establishing an autonomous and functional sickle cell anaemia (SCA) unit in Cabinda, Angola. Scottish Funding Council, 2020-2021, £45,563.
  • Murchie, Anderson (Co-I), Analysing NCDA data to support the adoption of Early Cancer Diagnostic Centres in Scotland. Chief Scientist Office, Scotland, 2021. £50,000.
  • Black, Anderson (Co-I), Fluck, Hollick, Nath, Sawhney. MINIMISING IMPACT ON VULNERABLE PATIENTS: DATA DRIVEN DESIGN, MONITORING AND ADAPTATION OF COVID AND NON-COVID CLINICAL CARE PATHWAYS. Chief Scientist Office, Scotland. 2020. £61,452.
  • McShane, Kunzmann, Anderson (Co-I), Lohfeld, Donnelly, Bayarmongol, Jigjidsuren, Enkhjargal, Tudev, Badamsuren, Jugder. Reducing cancer burden in Mongolia: Co-developing an Evidence-based Plan to Strengthen the Health Care System and Inform Policy. NIHR, £93,487.
  • Gavin, Anderson (Co-I). Northern Ireland Colorectal cancer Audit, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, £81,531.
  • Gavin, Anderson (Co-I). Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, £823,560.
  • Gavin, Anderson (Co-I). Northern Ireland Cardiovascular Registry. Heart Research UK, 2019-2021. £149,991.
  • Lohfeld, Anderson (Co-I), Santin, Donnelly, Franziska, Jenkins, Burgess, Nguyen, Murphy, Hang, Truong, Schroeder, Hang. Documenting how the arts and storytelling can save lives: The Viet Nam Breast Cancer project, MRC-AHRC. 2018-2020. £165,416.
  • Anderson (PI), MOSAICC study. Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, 2018-2021, £50,000.
Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

 

PhD Opportunities

Supervising students with an interest in Health Data Science and cancer research.  Please contact lesley.anderson@abdn.ac.uk 

Publications

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  • Glycaemic index, carbohydrate and fibre intakes and risk of reflux oesophagitis, Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma

    Coleman, H., Cantwell, M., Anderson, L., Johnston, B., Murphy, S. J., Ferguson, H., McGuigan, J., Reynolds, J. V., Comber, H., Murray, L.
    Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts
  • Risk for myeloproliferative malignancies in persons with autoimmune conditions

    Anderson, L.
    Contributions to Conferences: Posters
  • The association between alcohol and reflux esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma: results from the FINBAR study.

    Anderson, L.
    Contributions to Conferences: Posters
  • Tumor markers and treatments for Kaposi sarcoma

    Anderson, L. A., Goedert, J. J.
    AIDS, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. 1637-1639
    Contributions to Journals: Editorials
  • A population-based association study of SNPs of GSTP1 MnSOD GPX2 and Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma

    Murphy, S. J., Hughes, A. E., Patterson, C. C., Anderson, L. A., Watson, R. G., Johnston, B. T., Comber, H. H., McGuigan, J., Reynolds, J. V., Murray, L. J.
    Carcinogenesis, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 1323-1328
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Risk factors for Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma: Results from the FINBAR study

    Anderson, L. A., Watson, R. G., Murphy, S. J., Johnston, B. T., Comber, H., McGuigan, J., Reynolds, J. V., Murray, L. J.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 1585-1594
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • COX-2 and inos gene polymorphisms in the reflux oesophagitis-Barrett's oesophagus-oesophageal adenocarcinoma sequence

    Ferguson, H., Murray, L., Johnston, B. T., Anderson, L., Murphy, S., Watson, P., McGuigan, J., Reynolds, L., Comber, H., Wild, C., Hardie, L.
    Gut, vol. 56, pp. A69-A69
    Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
  • Polymorphisms in DNA repair genes and their associations with risk of reflux oesophagitis, Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma

    Ferguson, H., Murray, L., Johnston, B. T., Anderson, L., Murphy, S., Watson, P., McGuigan, J., Reynolds, L., Comber, H., Wild, C., Hardie, L.
    Gut, vol. 56, pp. A69-A69
    Contributions to Journals: Abstracts
  • Malignancy and mortality in a population-based cohort of patients with coeliac disease or 'gluten sensitivity'

    Anderson, L. A., McMillan, S. A., Watson, R. G., Monaghan, P., Gavin, A. T., Fox, C., Murray, L. J.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 146-151
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • 'Relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric atrophy and the stages of the oesophageal inflammation, metaplasia, adenocarcinoma sequence: results from the FINBAR case-control study'

    Anderson, L., Murray, L.
    Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts
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