Dr Susan Jill Stocks PhD


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Epidemiologist with a strong background in experimental science. Expertise in applying quantitative methods to large datasets, evaluating complex interventions using observational data and public and patient involvement in research.


Post-career break

In 2001, following a 10 year career break for family reasons, I decided that my research should contribute more directly towards improving health at the population level. As a first step I took a position at the Centre for Cancer Epidemiology at the University of Manchester researching into models of acute stroke care delivery. In 2003 I was awarded a Daphne Jackson fellowship to study alkylation damage in sperm and the associations with male infertility at the Centre of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Manchester. Daphne Jackson Fellowships are specifically for scientists who have had a career break. Working in the field of molecular epidemiology led quite naturally in to an interest in occupational exposures and work-related ill-health, particularly the evaluation of interventions aiming to prevent work-related ill-health. More recently I have used similar analytical techniques on routinely-collected large datasets aiming to improve patient safety. I also involve members of the public in my work. Take a look at my research outputs to see what I have achieved in the 11 years since returning to work (full-time equivalent).

Returning to a career in science after a career break is a challenge and the Daphne Jackson Trust does great work in returning scientists to work. Taking a career break was not a lifestyle choice for me; a post-doctoral salary might cover nursery fees for one child but no more. People returning to work after a career break can make a useful contribution to science and should be supported and encouraged to develop their careers as much as anybody else.

Pre-career break

During my PhD at the University of British Columbia in Canada I developed a method for separating viable cells according to their antigenic profiles with a view to treating auto-immune diseases and some cancers, for example through bone marrow purging. I followed this with a position as a senior scientist in a UK-based biotechnology company developing chromatographic packing materials. In 1991 I moved to the USA which coincided with starting a family and a career break.  From 1995 to 1996 I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University studying the cellular uptake of chemotherapeutic drugs.

Social responsibility

I lead the dissertation module for the Peoples-uni - a non-profit organisation aiming to build public health capacity in developing countries through low cost online education.

As a former Daphne Jackson (DJ) Fellow I retain strong ties with the DJ Trust. I represent the Trust at meetings and give talks on their behalf. At my suggestion the PSTRC sponsored a DJ Fellow who I mentored.

I have a strong interest in involving patients and the public (PPI) in my research. I initiated a collaborative project with 3 members of the public resulting in 2 papers that are a rare example of PPI from start to finish. I also evaluated the public involvement in GMPSTRC resulting in one publication and contributed to several events to engage the public in the work of GMPSTRC.

In 2011 I was a founding member of High Peak Oxfam Group and chaired the group since then. We raise funds and awareness on behalf of Oxfam and although we are a small group of 4 - 5 people we typically raise £4000-5000 per year.

I have recently organized 2 large charity fund-raisers - a dinner and talk at the University of Derby that raised £3500 for Oxfam and a charity ball that raised £3300 for a local hospice.


1989 PhD University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Cell separations by immunoafinity partition.

1986 MSc 1st class University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Development of a general ligand for immunoaffinity partition in two-phase aqueous polymer systems.

1982 BSc (Hons) 2.1 University of Reading. Chemistry and Food Science.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of University Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team

External positions

Dissertation Module Leader, People's Uni

2017 → …

Modernet Core member

2014 → …

Modernet Management Committee, European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST)


Education / academic qualifications

  • 1989 - Doctor of Science, Cell Separations by Immunoaffinity Partition, University of British Columbia (1986 - 1989)
  • 1986 - Master of Chemistry, Development of a general ligand for immunoaffinity partitioning in two phase aquous polymer systems, University of British Columbia (1984 - 1986)
  • 1982 - Bachelor of Science, Chemistry and Food Science, The University of Reading (1979 - 1982)

Related information


Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

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Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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