Personal profile


John is a Professor of Epidemiology

Leadership roles

Deputy Director, Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis (CfE), University of Manchester. The CfE leads the development and use of digital methods in epidemiology to integrate and interrogate electronic health records and person-generated data, to track the occurrence and progression of disease and identify causal mechanisms, to remotely monitor and assess patients, and deliver digitised interventions

Research Director, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester

REF Unit of Assessment 1 Lead, University of Manchester

Centre for Primary Care Versus Arthritis, Keele University

Research activities

Research topics: Occurrence and progression of disease; prediction of undiagnosed disease; treatment including digital therapeutics; interventions for global health change

Research datasets: Analysis of large complex datasets (ELSA, CPRD, UK BIOBANK); novel bespoke datasets integrating routinely collected primary and secondary care records, patient generated health data, and biological samples

Research methods: Modelling population level disease data; analysis of longitudinal data; clustering longitudinal data to identify disease states and disease clusters; modelling transitions between disease states in comorbidity and multimorbidity; causal inference for binary and ordinal outcomes

Information governance: Data extraction and integration of routinely collected primary and secondary care electronic health records; safe data use; transparent and reproducible data capture and analysis pipelines; processes to manage data access requests and data provision; statistical output checking, including for machine learning algorithms

Conditions of interest

Chronic disease including immune mediated inflammatory disease, non-inflammatory rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, co-morbidity and multimorbidity, and common symptoms including chronic pain and fatigue


Undergraduate: Biomedical Science (Years 1-3, industrial placement supervisor), MBChB (Academic Advisor, APEP and PEP supervisor,)

Postgraduate: MSc in Clinical Rheumatology Epidemiology module lead, PhD supervisor

Epidemiology: Introduction to Epidemiology, Advanced Epidemiology, Manchester Digital Epidemiology Summer School

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Scientific Committee, European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology
  • Heberden Committee, British Society for Rheumatology
  • Research Strategy Committee, British Society for Rheumatology
  • International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
  • European Federation of IASP Chapters (EFIC)
  • British Pain Society (UK chapter of IASP)
  • American College of Epidemiology
  • British Society for Rheumatology

Social responsibility

Governing Board, City of Manchester Learning Partnership


M.A. Hons. Psychology (First Class), University of Dundee, 1991

PhD Clinical Epidemiology, University of Manchester, 2001

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Policy@Manchester
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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