Professor Mark Elwood



I am an epidemiologist and public health specialist, mainly involved in cancer, and have been in the department, part-time, since 2011. Before that, I worked in cancer epidemiology and cancer control in Canada, Australia, the UK, and Dunedin. My research has been into cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis, and improvements in treatment. This has covered many types of cancer. Recent studies relate to breast cancer outcomes, including predictive models; lung cancer occurrence and treatment with respect to genetic markers; early diagnosis of colorectal cancer; and international comparisons of outcomes. All this work is done in collaboration with clinical colleagues and is relevant to individual patients as well as to communities. I also study potential environmental hazards such as electromagnetic radiation, and have studied other diseases such as congenital abnormalities. I have taught epidemiology at all levels and have written a textbook on methods. I have previously held various positions: Vice-President of the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada; Director of the National Cancer Control Initiative in Australia; Professor and chair of the Department. of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Nottingham, UK; and Professor at the University of Otago. 

Research | Current

Studies of outcomes of breast cancer in New Zealand, development of predictive models of outcomes, and aspects of quality of care. Studies of lung cancer in New Zealand, with special regard to genetic subtypes, such as EGFR mutations. Studies of the presentation and outcome of colorectal cancer. Studies of the management of cancer in primary care, with links to the International Cancer Benchmarking Project. Assessments of progress in cancer control in New Zealand, with international comparisons. Studies of other cancers including melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and endometrial cancer. Health effects of electromagnetic fields including low frequency (power line) and radiofrequency (mobile phone) fields.

Teaching | Current

I am not teaching courses at present.

Postgraduate supervision

Past and current supervision of  PhD, MPH, and BHSc honours dissertation students. All completed students have published papers.


Previously Vice-President, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Australia. Previously Director of the National Cancer Control Initiative, Australia. Post-doctoral research prize, Society of Epidemiological Research (US). Past-president, Australasian Epidemiological Association. Distinguished lecturer, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.


Member of the NZ National Screening Advisory Committee (Ministry of Health).

Areas of expertise

Epidemiology, Public Health Medicine, cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, electromagnetic fields.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member of editorial boards of Melanoma Research, Journal of Medical Screening.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Elwood, J. M., Tawfiq, E., TinTin, S., Marshall, R. J., Phung, T. M., Campbell, I., ... Lawrenson, R. (2018). Development and validation of a new predictive model for breast cancer survival in New Zealand and comparison to the Nottingham prognostic index. BMC cancer, 18 (1)10.1186/s12885-018-4791-x
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Roger Marshall, Ian Campbell, Sandar Tin Tin, Essa Tawfiq
  • Elwood, M. (2017). Critical Appraisal of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials. Oxford University Press. Pages: 483.
  • Menzies, S. W., Emery, J., Staples, M., Davies, S., McAvoy, B., Fletcher, J., ... Ward, A. (2009). Impact of dermoscopy and short-term sequential digital dermoscopy imaging for the management of pigmented lesions in primary care: a sequential intervention trial. Br J Dermatol, 161 (6), 1270-1277. 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09374.x


Contact details

Office hours

Usually Tues, Wed, Thurs

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 1, Room 1106
New Zealand

Web links