Biography and research overview
Dr Michael Jones joined the Institute of Cancer Research in 2001. His main research interests are in the design and analysis of complex large epidemiological studies. He has been working on the Breast Cancer Now Generations Study, a large cohort study of over 100,000 women, since it started in 2003.
This study investigates the effects of reproductive, environmental and lifestyle factors, including modifiable factors such as physical activity and weight, as well as density of the breast, hormone levels, and genetic factors, on the risk of breast cancer overall and by sub-type. This information is essential for women’s understanding of their risks and for prevention, to give advice to policy makers and doctors, and to individual women and their children about their risk of breast cancer, and what they might be able to do to reduce that risk.
His work with the Generations Study has shown that risks associated with menopausal hormone therapy have been previously underestimated, risk of breast cancer is greater if women start smoking in adolescence, and (reassuringly) that breast cancer risk in Generations Study participants was not associated with night-shift work.
Dr Jones obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Natural Sciences (Physics) from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in Applied Statistics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London.
He previously worked at the National Physical Laboratory and the Business Statistics Office (now part of the Office for National Statistics) in the UK. After completing his MSc he became a Research Fellow (Biostatistician) at the Menzies Centre for Population Health Research (University of Tasmania, Australia) working on the design and analysis of case-control and cohort studies.
He received a WHO Special Training Award held at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lyon, France) where he worked on world-wide incidence and mortality trends in malignant melanoma. After he returned to the UK to complete a PhD he was appointed as a Lecturer in Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and was the inaugural Course Organiser for a distance learning MSc in Epidemiology: Principles and Practice.