Donnan, Peter

Professor, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Director DEBU, Co-Director Tayside Clinical Trials Unit

  • 8623 Citations
  • 51 h-Index
1990 …2025
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Personal profile


Peter Donnan is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Medical School Division of Population Health Sciences within the Medical Research Institute, University of Dundee. He has 30 years’ experience in the design and analysis of Health Services and Population Research observational studies as well as randomised controlled trials of drugs (steroids in Bell’s Palsy, NEJM, 2007) as well as public health interventions (screening for breast cancer, The Lancet, 1990, Football Fans In Training, The Lancet, 2014) and informatics (DQIP, NEJM 2016).

 He leads the Dundee Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (DEBU) and co-leads the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit (TCTU) which has UKCRC registration and successfully manages approximately 20 clinical trials. He has also carried out extensive population record-linkage research on drug safety, adherence and management of long term conditions using Tayside’s and Scotland’s unique prescribing population databases and is the author of over 210 publications (h-index 50, m-index 1.42), as well as an investigator on research projects to a total of over £32 million.

 He has developed a number of prognostic algorithms, most notably predicting Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) in people with type 2 diabetes (Diabetes Care, 2006), and Chief Scientist Office funded algorithm to predict risk of emergency admissions in primary care (PEONY) with a view to developing cost-effective interventions for long term conditions (Archives Internal Medicine, 2008). An NIHR HTA-funded study has developed aids to clinical decision making with abnormal liver function tests in primary care. He is senior author of a study to predict outcomes for those admitted to hospital with Acute Pancreatitis using health informatics across Scotland. 

 He has supervised 16 PhD and MSc students and externally examined PhD theses across the UK. He has developed Master’s level modules in clinical trials and provides a record linkage analysis module for the Dundee MPH (15 students) as well as the Scottish-wide Stratified Medicine and Pharmacological Innovation MSc (35 students).

 In 2004, Prof. Donnan was invited to become a member of the New Drugs Committee of the Scottish Medicines Consortium which seeks to advise Area and Drug Therapeutics Committees across Scotland regarding the cost-effectiveness of new drugs and continues in this work with expertise in indirect comparisons, missing data and survival analysis in trials.




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Projects 2011 2025

Research Output 1990 2019

17 Downloads (Pure)

Adaptation and Implementation of a Mobile Phone-Based Remote Symptom Monitoring System for People With Cancer in Europe

Furlong, E., Darley, A., Fox, P., Buick, A., Kotronoulas, G., Miller, M., Flowerday, A., Miaskowski, C., Patiraki, E., Katsaragakis, S., Ream, E., Armes, J., Gaiger, A., Berg, G., McCrone, P., Donnan, P., McCann, L. & Maguire, R., 14 Mar 2019, In : JMIR cancer. 5, 1, p. 1-14 14 p., e10813.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Cell Phones
Randomized Controlled Trials
7 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Randomized Controlled Trials
Health Services Research
26 Downloads (Pure)

Serum sodium level variability as a prognosticator in older adults

Barma, M. A., Soiza, R. L., Donnan, P. T., McGilchrist, M. M., Frost, H. & Witham, M. D., 3 Jan 2019, In : Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation. 78, 7-8, p. 632-638 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Patient rehabilitation
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abdominal massage plus advice, compared with advice only, for neurogenic bowel dysfunction in MS: a RCT

McClurg, D., Harris, F., Goodman, K., Doran, S., Hagen, S., Treweek, S., Norton, C., Coggrave, M., Norrie, J., Rauchhaus, P., Donnan, P., Emmanuel, A., Manoukian, S. & Mason, H., Oct 2018, In : Health Technology Assessment. 22, 58, p. 1-133 133 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Neurogenic Bowel
Multiple Sclerosis
Quality-Adjusted Life Years
Confidence Intervals
36 Downloads (Pure)

Amputation-free survival in 17,353 people at high risk for foot ulceration in diabetes: a national observational study

Scottish Diabetes Research Network Epidemiology Group, Vadiveloo, T., Jeffcoate, W., Donnan, P. T., Colhoun, H. C., McGurnaghan, S., Wild, S., McCrimmon, R. & Leese, G. P., Dec 2018, In : Diabetologia. 61, 12, p. 2590-2597 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Observational Studies


Analysis of outcomes following emergency admission in patients with dementia and/or cognitive impairment and/or delirium

Author: Zang, J., 2015

Supervisor: Donnan, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


A population based study of primary hyperparathyroidism in Tayside, Scotland

Author: Yu, N., 2011

Supervisor: Donnan, P. (Supervisor) & Leeese, G. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


PRECIS-2 : Making trials matter: providing an empirical basis for the selection of pragmatic design choices in clinical trials

Author: Loudon, K., 2015

Supervisor: Donnan, P. (Supervisor), Sullivan, F. (Supervisor), Treweek, S. (Supervisor), Zwarenstein, M. (External person) (Supervisor) & Treweek, S. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Quantifying the Risk of Beta-Blockers and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in Asthma

Author: Morales, D., 2014

Supervisor: Guthrie, B. (Supervisor), Donnan, P. (Supervisor) & Jackson, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy