John’s main epidemiological research interests are the explanation and amelioration of health inequality with a particular focus on the role of factors acting in earlier life and the use of routine data in epidemiological research. Clinically his research has focused on the treatment of substance use in the community and on screening and treatment for Chlamydia in primary care.
He is a co-director of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and leads a Wellcome Trust funded programme developing methods to follow-up population based cohorts through linkage to administrative health and social data.
John studied medicine in Liverpool after a first degree in Marine Biology. Following hospital jobs in Edinburgh he completed his vocational training in general practice at Muirhouse Medical Group in 1995. During this period he also worked as a medical officer for a primary care project run by and for street sex workers in Leith. Supported first by a Wellcome Trust clinical epidemiology training fellowship and later by a National Institute of Health Research Career Scientist award he has combined NHS service practice with academic teaching and research. He has an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD on the influence of psychological stress on social inequalities in heart disease from the University of Birmingham.
Since 1995 John has been involved in the follow up of a cohort of injection drug users recruited through Muirhouse Medical Group where he trained in General Practice. Recent findings from this study include confirmation that Opiate Substitution Therapy delivered in routine Primary Care effectively increases survival. The paper describing these findings was awarded "Paper of the Year" by the RCGP in 2011.
Kimber J, Copeland L, Hickman M, Macleod J, McKenzie J, De Angelis D, Robertson JR. Survival and cessation in injecting drug users: prospective observational study of outcomes and effect of opiate substitution treatment BMJ. 2010;341:c3172. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3172.PMID: 20595255
John teaches medical undergraduates across all years of the curriculum and also contributes to the School programme of postgraduate short courses. He is element lead for the fourth year course in Community Orientated Medical Practice (part 1) covering evidence based medicine, public health and child health.
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