Dr Amy Downing

Dr Amy Downing


I studied Human Biology at Loughborough University and undertook my PhD in epidemiology at the University of Birmingham.

I joined the University of Leeds in 2005 and have worked on a wide range of studies looking at the treatment and outcomes of patients with breast, colorectal, prostate and bladder cancer. I lead the Cancer Epidemiology Group which focuses on the analysis of large, population-level, routinely collected datasets, such as cancer registration, hospital admissions and radiotherapy data. When linked together these datasets offer huge potential to study the care and outcomes of cancer patients.

I also have an interest in the collection and use of Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) data, particularly large-scale surveys of cancer survivors. Linkage of such PRO data with other datasets unlocks a wealth of information which can be used to inform and improve practice and, ultimately, improve outcomes.


  • Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Group

Research interests

My work has covered a range of cancers but has focused particularly on colorectal cancer, with an emphasis on applying appropriate methods to account for the complexities in routine data.

I am currently working on several research studies:

CORECT-R – funded by Cancer Research UK, this programme aims to bring together existing and novel datasets to create a UK colorectal cancer intelligence hub;

Life And Bladder Cancer – funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, this study involves cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys of patients with bladder cancer, in order to further understand and ultimately improve their quality of life;

Yorkshire Cancer Research Bowel Cancer Improvement Programme – working with providers across Yorkshire to improve the care and outcomes of bowel cancer patients.



  • PhD in Epidemiology
  • BSc (Hons) Human Biology (2:1)

Professional memberships

  • Society for Social Medicine

Student education

I currently supervise PhD students and MSc student projects.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Cancer Epidemiology Group
  • Cancer Survivor Intelligence Group
  • Pathology and Data Analytics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>