Professor Ciaran Woodman MB, BCh, BAO, MRCOG, MFPHM, MD, FFPHM


Professor Of Cancer Epidemiology

School of Cancer Sciences


Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 2804/8480

Fax +44 (0)121 415 8781


School of Cancer Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Room EG6, IBR West Ground Floor
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Ciaran Woodman is Professor of Cancer Epidemiology in the School of Cancer Sciences.


FFPHM 1999

MD 1989

MFPHM 1988

MRCOG 1986

MB, BCh, BAO 197


After a clinical career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Professor Woodman joined the Department of Social Medicine in the University of Birmingham in 1986.

He was subsequently invited to become the Director of the West Midlands Cancer Registry and to direct the activities of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit in the Department of Social Medicine.

In 1991, Professor Woodman was appointed to the Chair of Cancer Epidemiology in the University of Manchester. He established the Centre for Cancer Epidemiology and recruited the public health, statistical, programming and epidemiological expertise necessary both to develop a broad based research portfolio and to meet the intelligence needs of those commissioning and providing cancer services in the North West. Within this mixed service and academic department, the research outputs were formed from two main streams of inquiry: aetiological investigations and clinical effectiveness studies. The former included his long-standing interest in the aetiology and natural history of early cervical neoplasia, the latter focused on the evaluation of the effectiveness of preventative and therapeutic interventions, the effectiveness of screening programmes and the optimisation of service delivery.

In 2005, he returned to the University of Birmingham taking up the Chair of Cancer Epidemiology in the School of Cancer Sciences.

Professor Woodman now leads an epigenetics group which focuses on the epigenetic reprogramming which follows infection with oncogenic viruses and also on the opportunities to reverse using therapeutic agents, the epigenetic reprogramming which occurs in cancer.


  •  Lectures and leads on the small group teaching on “primary and secondary cancer prevention” in the Cancer Causes to Cure course for second year undergraduates.
  • Along with Andrew Hayman, Prof Woodman delivers the Cancer Epidemiology and Statistics module on this course. 

  • Deputy director with Professor Deekes of the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics PhD consortium and have supervised the completion of a project for the MRES. 

  •  Deputy Head of Education in the School of Cancer Sciences.

  •  From 2006 to 2009 Professor Woodman was the Lead for the School of Cancer Sciences’ CPD programme.

Postgraduate supervision

During the last five years he has been the primary supervisor for four PhD students who have now successfully submitted their theses; second supervisor for one other; and is currently supervising three other students.


The epigenetic reprogramming which follows exposure to environmental and behavioural risk factors and the opportunities to reverse using therapeutic agents the epigenetics reprogramming which occurs in cancer.

Natural history of cervical HPV infection and its relationship to the development and progression of early cervical neoplasia.

The secondary prevention of vulval cancer and the early detection of drug resistance in women with ovarian cancer.

Investigating the contribution of EBV to the pathogenesis of its associated malignancies.

Other activities



Anderton JA, Bose S, Vockerodt M, Vrzalikova K, Wei W, Kuo M, Helin K, Christensen J, Rowe M, Murray PG, Woodman CB. The H3K27me3 demethylase, KDM6B, is induced by Epstein-Barr virus and over-expressed in Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Oncogene. 2011

Leonard S, Wei W, Anderton J, Vockerodt M, Rowe M, Murray PG, Woodman CB. Epigenetic and transcriptional changes which follow Epstein-Barr virus infection of germinal centre B cells and their relevance to the pathogenesis of Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Virol. 2011; 85:9568-77

Leonard S, Wei W, Collins S, Pereira M, Diyaf A, Constandinou-Williams C, Young L, Roberts S, Woodman C. Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus imposes an instructive pattern of DNA methylation changes which parallel the natural history of cervical HPV infection in young women. Carcinogenesis.2012; 33(7):1286-93

Vrzalikova K ,†,* , Leonard S,† , Fan Y , Bell A , Vockerodt M, Flodr P ,Wright K , Rowe M , Tao Q , Murray PG. Hypomethylation and Over-Expression of the Beta Isoform of BLIMP1 is Induced by Epstein-Barr Virus Infection of B Cells; Potential Implications for the Pathogenesis of EBV-Associated Lymphomas. Pathogens 2012, 1(2), 83-101; (†These authors contributed equally to this work).

Ma YT, Collins SI, Young LS, Murray PG, Woodman CB Smoking initiation is followed by the early acquisition of epigenetic change in cervical epithelium: a longitudinal study.Br J Cancer. 2011;104:1500-4

Disruption of the E2 gene is a common and early event in the natural history of cervical human papillomavirus infection: a longitudinal cohort study. Collins SI, Constandinou-Williams C, Wen K, Young LS, Roberts S, Murray PG, Woodman CB. Cancer Res. 2009; 69:3828-32

Is human papillomavirus viral load a clinically useful predictive marker? A longitudinal study. Constandinou-Williams C, Collins SI, Roberts S, Young LS, Woodman CB*, Murray PG. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010; 19(3):832-7

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