Study staff

Acknowledgements and funding

We thank all the participants in this study for generously helping us in this research. We also thank all the doctors, nurses and other practice staff who have kindly assisted us by collecting blood samples from participants. EPIC-Oxford is supported by the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK.

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Professor Tim Key

Deputy Unit Director, Professor of Epidemiology

Tim has studied veterinary medicine, nutrition and epidemiology. His main interests are the roles of diet and sex hormones in the aetiology of cancer, particularly cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. Recent papers have shown that breast cancer risk is strongly related to the serum concentration of oestradiol, that vegetarian diets the incidence of ischaemic heart disease but not colorectal cancer, and that diets containing only plant proteins reduce insulin-like growth factor-I, a growth factor that may be important in the development of several types of cancer. Timothy Key works mostly on the EPIC European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, as the principal investigator of the Oxford cohort of 65,000 participants and the chairman of the EPIC prostate cancer group. He also co-ordinates the Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group, which conducts pooled analyses of prospective data on endogenous hormones and breast cancer risk, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. He joined the Unit in 1985.

Paul Appleby

Senior Statistician

Paul Appleby is a Senior Statistician who joined CEU full-time in October 1996. He is responsible for the preparation and statistical analysis of data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) as well as various collaborative and meta-analyses. Paul is an experienced Fortran programmer and makes extensive use of graph plotting subroutines and the Stata statistical package. He has also developed a nutrient database based on McCance & Widdowson’s, “The Composition of Foods”, which is used to estimate nutrient intakes from food frequency questionnaires or other food consumption data.

Krys Baker

Research Co-ordinator

Krys is the CEU Study Co-ordinator and manages the establishment and maintenance of linkage of EPIC-Oxford to datasets such as those for the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the National Cancer Intelligence Network, and other NHS datasets.

Georgina Fensom


Georgina is responsible for statistical analyses in EPIC and other prospective studies of diet, cancer and other diseases, with a focus on metabolomics.

Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago

Nutritional Epidemiologist

Aurora joined the unit in 2015. She holds a PhD in Food, Physiology and Health from the University of Navarra in Spain and works on the epidemiology of prostate cancer in EPIC and other prospective studies.

Zoe Pollard

Research Administrative Assistant

Zoe works on the EPIC-Oxford study. She deals with queries from study participants, maintaining the EPIC-Oxford website with current published papers and managing other EPIC-Oxford data tables. Zoe also provides administrative support to the Principal Investigators, Epidemiologists and Research Coordinator for EPIC-Oxford.

Dr Julie Schmidt

Statistical Epidemiologist

Julie joined the unit in July 2012 after finishing a Master of Health Science at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her primary research interest is the role of modifiable risk factors, especially diet and hormones, in the aetiology of cancer. She is also involved in a study investigating the effects of shift work on cancer and cardiovascular diseases, funded by the Health and Safety Executive.

Associate Professor Ruth Travis

Molecular Epidemiologist

Ruth is a molecular epidemiologist working primarily on the hormonal, lifestyle and genetic determinants of cancer, with a particular focus on breast and prostate cancer. She leads several projects for the Endogenous Hormones, Nutritional Biomarkers and Prostate Cancer Collaborative Group, which conducts pooled analyses of prospective data on biomarkers and prostate cancer risk. Ruth is also principal investigator of a study on the effects of shift work and circadian rhythms on cancer, funded by the Health and Safety Executive, and has published research on the association of melatonin in relation to breast cancer risk. She is involved in several working groups within EPIC-Europe, including the EPIC-prostate and EPIC-lymphoma working groups, and represents EPIC as a member of the international Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) and PRACTICAL consortium. Ruth joined the Unit in 2001 and obtained a DPhil in cancer epidemiology in 2005.

Eleanor Watts

DPhil Student

Eleanor Watts is a DPhil student supervised by Tim Key, Ruth Travis and Aurora Perez-Cornago. Her research focuses on hormonal risk factors for prostate cancer, using EPIC and other prospective cohort studies.

Dr Tammy Tong

Nutritional Epidemiologist

Tammy joined the Unit in January 2017. She holds a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge. Her main research interest is the role of diet in non-communicable diseases. Her current research examines the health effects of a vegetarian diet, using data from EPIC-Oxford and other cohorts.

Dr Keren Papier

Nutritional Epidemiologist

Keren joined the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in 2018 after completing a PhD in Epidemiology at the Australian National University. Her primary research interest is assessing the role of diet and lifestyle in chronic disease epidemiology. Her current research within the Unit is part of the Wellcome Trust funded LEAP (Livestock, Environment and People) project and examines the relationship between animal sourced foods and health outcomes, using data from EPIC-Oxford and other cohorts.

Dr Anika Knüppel

Nutritional Epidemiologist

Anika joined the Unit in July 2018. Anika holds a PhD in Epidemiology & Public Health from University College London (UCL). Her current research examines the role of animal-sourced foods in health.

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