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Debra Howell



Debra is a Professor and Deputy Director of the Epidemiology and Cancer Statistics Group (ECSG) and is a founding member of the Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN), ECSG’s main research programme, which was instigated in 2004. Debra leads ECSG’s qualitative research team, and the patient and public involvement (PPI) activities associated with this work. She oversees the Yorkshire and Humberside Haematology Network (YHHN), and is responsible for managing all HMRN data collection processes.

Debra trained in Social Anthropology at Durham University and worked for several years as a researcher in southern Africa, with particular focus on the sustainable use of natural resources in Mozambique. Prior to this, Debra completed a BSc (hons) in Environmental Management at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and worked as a Registered General Nurse, after qualifying in Leeds. Debra undertook her PhD in Health Service Research at the University of York, graduating in 2005, with a thesis focusing on pathways to diagnosis of lymphoma.


  • PhD Health Service Research, University of York
  • MA Social Anthropology, Durham University
  • BSc (hons) Environmental Management, University of Northumberland at Newcastle
  • Registered General Nurse, Leeds General Infrmary



Areas of interest:

Patient experiences of the diagnosis and treatment of haematological malignancies, specifically:

  • Symptoms, help seeking behaviour and routes to diagnosis
  • Emergency presentation
  • Socio-economic determinants of survival inequalities
  • Treatment decisions and shared decision-making processes
  • Information needs and resources
  • End of life care and access to specialist palliative care
  • Preferred and actual place of death



Debra would be interested in surpervising PhD students in any of the above areas.


Full publications list

External activities


  • YHHN Patient Partnership Committee (Chair)
  • York Haematology Support Group (Co-treasurer)
  • Myeloma UK Early Diagnosis Steering Committee

Media coverage


Contact details

Professor Debra Howell

Tel: 01904 32(1895)