Photo of Professor Martin O'Flaherty

Professor Martin O'Flaherty MD, MSc, PhD, Hon(FPH)

Professor in Epidemiology and Head of Department Public Health, Policy & Systems


Personal Statement

My work is aimed to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in populations by addressing its structural drivers. Understanding the current trends and its drivers, and modelling its future impact led me to hypothesize a future we don’t want to experience in the UK by 2040, in an essay in The Lancet here and in my inaugural lecture here

I am a professor of Epidemiology and Head of Department in the Department of Public Health and Policy of the University of Liverpool. I trained as a physician in a large tertiary academic hospital where I promptly realized that the same patients appeared through the same door over and over again. As a result of this frustration, I progressively developed his interest in Public Health and Epidemiology and become a full convert at a rather late age.
My interest in trend analyses of mortality rates has allowed us to develop the concept of rapid changes in cardiovascular mortality rates, an exciting new paradigm with potentially profound implications for prevention and public health (Lancet 2011). Much of this novel work on the dynamics of coronary heart disease “epidemics” formed the basis of my PhD awarded in 2012 and resulted in key publications: Circulation 2016 ; BMJ 2009 and Lancet 2011.

I lead the Modelling Group in the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention and Food Policy Research TeamModelling Group in the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention and Food Policy Research Team at the Department of Public Health and policy. I particularly enjoy the role of translating complex methodological and computational concepts for colleagues focusing on other aspects of our multi-disciplinary research programmes. This has proved to be fertile ground from which solid and productive UK and international research collaborations have developed and contributed to local and national policies in CVD prevention. Key examples:Int J Cardiol 2016; PlosMed 2018 , Lancet Public Health 2017 and BMJ 2016

I collaborated with Prof Capewell in explaining trends in coronary heart disease mortality in more than 20 countries around the globe, including high, middle and low-income settings highlighting that changes of risk factors for cardiovascular disease at population level is a powerful driver of the cardiovascular disease burden. Key papers : BMJ 2012, JAMA 2010

I am a member of the UK National Cardiovascular Disease Prevention System Leadership Forum, the American Heart Association Council-on-Epidemiology-and-Prevention, and served two periods in the Statistics committee, responsible for the chapter on Coronary Heart Disease Epidemiology on the Annual Statistical Update. I also led the chapter on the Epidemiology of atherosclerotic Disease in The European Society of Cardiology Textbook of Preventive Cardiology

You can see my current and past research projects here

And a full list of publications here

Please look also at the Department pages ( ) to explore the groundbreaking research that my department is conducting in improving health for everybody in our communities as a strong voice engaged in the key public health challenges we are facing.