Personal profile

Research overview

This is my second spell at the University. My previous appointment (2008-2014) is described below. During the period between leaving and returning I was, amongst other things, President and CEO of a large Provincial Public Health Agency in Canada. In 2021 I was appointed as Professor of Public Health Medicine and Director of the Sir James Mackenzie Institute for early diagnosis. This cross University initiative involving many schools seeks to focus the world class research talent of St Andrews on improving the early diagnosis of human disease, thus preserving life, reducing impairment and avoiding unnecessary healthcare costs.

Our four streams of research and forthcoming events can be accessed as below

During my previous appointment, as St Andrews first Professor of Public Health Medicine, I built a team of individuals with diverse backgrounds and sought to provide an opportunity for doctoral study to a variety of students including those following atypical academic career paths. My principle focus at that time was on violence reduction on which subject I worked closely with the World Health Organisation and colleagues in a number of countries including South Africa, Jamaica and Lithuania. Closer to home we evaluated a violence reduction and gang member rehabilitation programme in Glasgow (which became a REF case study) and worked on a number of issues related to the Scottish Government's equally well programme. 

In a career of over 30 years, which has combined academia with senior leadership positions, I have remained fascinated by the application of epidemiological principles to practical problems of health improvement and healthcare delivery. This extends to an interest in Health Sytems; their organisation, funding, governance and accountability and how they can be optimised to maximise patient benefit and to reduce health inequalities.  In this area I have enjoyed working with the WHO, OECD, the Milbank Memorial Fund in New York and policy makers and politicians from around the world.  

Academic/Professional Qualification

Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB ChB) Edinburgh University; Masters in Business Administration (MBA) (with Distinction) Stirling University; Programme for Management Development, Harvard University; Masters in Public Health (MPH), University of Wales College of Medicine; Medical Research Doctorate (MD) University of Edinburgh; Fellow Faculty of Public Health (FFPH) FRCP ( London and Edinburgh) Specialist registration with UK General Medical council

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Peter Duncan Donnelly is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or