Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell

Prof Anna Campbell

Associate Professor


I trained as a immunologist/ biochemist and worked in the biotechnology industry until 1998. Since graduating in 2000 with a MSc in Sport and Exercise Science, I have concentrated on researching the physical and psychological effects of exercise and physical activity after a cancer diagnosis. I have published over 30 research papers and three academic book chapters in the field of exercise and cancer survivorship.

My research has been based around pragmatic interventions for cancer survivors and the physical and psychological effects of physical activity / exercise on physical and psychological well being. These studies have involved working with breast, gynaecological, colorectal and lung cancer patients.

I consider myself as a "Pracademic" ie my academic work is closely connected to the practitioner's world - health professionals working in the field of oncology and fitness professionals working in community setting with clients with chronic conditions. I designed two exercise DVDs for cancer survivors funded by Macmillan and Breast Cancer Care; I set up the first free community based exercise programme for cancer survivors in the UK - the basis of Macmillan Cancer Care's MoveMore Programme; and I am Director of CanRehab ( which was established to train fitness professionals to provide safe effective exercise programmes for anyone post cancer diagnosis .

In addition to my research interests and establishing best practice, I am also involved in the development and teaching of Clinical Exercise Science M.Sc at Edinburgh Napier.This Masters degree builds on the Sport Exercise and Health’s research and expertise in the therapeutic role of exercise in a number of clinical settings (cancer, cardiovascular, stroke, multiple sclerosis etc.). This Masters is unique in providing a strong applied component to this degree. These MSc students work with cancer survivors to learn how to perform clinical exercise tests, exercise consultations/ behaviour change interventions and how to design individualised safe and effective exercise programmes for real clients. The module “Cancer Survivorship and Exercise” incorporates the CanRehab Level 4 national occupational standard vocational qualification into this Module.

I am a consultant for Macmillan Cancer Care, assisting the charity in the establishment and evaluation of UK wide community based exercise programmes for cancer patients and survivors.



Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Co-Chair ACSM cancer special interest group
  • Prepare-ABC Trial Steering Committee
  • National Cancer Research Institute Lifestyle and Behaviour Change Subgroup
  • Cancer and Physical Activity Standard Evaluation Framework Group
  • Trial steering committee – B-AHEAD 2 Manchester
  • Breast Cancer Campaign Research Gap Advisory Group
  • NICE PDG development on guidance on physical activity and cancer survivorship
  • Macmillan Physical Activity and Cancer Advisory Group


External Examining/Validations

  • External reviewer of University of Chichester Masters programmes


Fellowships and Awards

  • Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • MBE for services to cancer survivorship and exercise rehabilitation


Grant Reviewer

  • Referee for programme work: Prostate Cancer UK
  • Prostate Cancer UK
  • Chief Scientist Office (Health Services Research)
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Dutch Cancer Society Research Grants
  • External reviewer for Irish Cancer Society’s PhD studentships
  • National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)
  • Macmillan Cancer Support


Invited Speaker

  • Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh Annual Symposium (March 2017)
  • Royal Mardsen Cancer Exercise conference (November 2016)
  • Cancer Symposium: ISBNPA, Cape Town, South Africa (June 2016)
  • International Physical Activity and Health Conference Sydney, Australia, (November 2012)
  • “Stacking the Odds against Cancer Occurrence and Recurrence” Scottish Cancer Prevention Network, Edinburgh (November 2011)
  • BASES Conference “Challenging the Dogma” - Glasgow (September 2010)
  • British Dietetic Association “Living with and Beyond Cancer – Thinking Outside the Box” Brighton (September 2012).
  • British Association of Exercise and Science (BASES) annual conference St George’s Park, Staffordshire (December 2015)
  • “Bone Health and Cancer Clinical Implications and Palliative Care” - Surrey University (March 2012)
  • Scottish Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Group Annual Meeting - Dundee (November 2011)
  • Scottish Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Research Group Annual Meeting – Edinburgh (January 2016)
  • Royal Marsden talk at conference “Exercise – the fourth cancer treatment (January 2015)
  • Royal College of Medicine GP Masterclass in cancer survivorship (December 2015)
  • e-ESO webinar “The role of exercise in cancer rehabilitation” ( (Jan 2013)
  • Conference - Cancer and Consequences of Treatment, Warwick University (October 2010)
  • Denmark and Sweden Visit: 3 days of presentations and workshops in Copenhagen, Odense and Oslo to health professionals working in cancer rehabilitation with research colleague from National Institute of Health (NIH), USA.(March 2015)
  • International Sydney Breast Cancer Conference, Sydney Australia (October, 2012)
  • European Urology Nursing Oncology (EUAN) conference, Madrid (May 2015)
  • European Cancer Congress (ECCO) “Cancer, now what? Returning to normal life”, Amsterdam (September 2013)
  • Keynote “Innovations in Oncology – Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton (June 2013)
  • Keynote British Psychological Society “Sport & Exercise Psychology in Action” University of Chichester (October 2012)


Research Degree External Examining

  • External examiner for PhD student Lauri McDermott, University of Ulster
  • External examiner for PhD Kevin Kipling at University of Huddersfield
  • External examiner for PhD: Eric Martin at New South Wales University, Sydney Australia



  • Referee for two Cochrane Reviews
  • Cancer Causes and Control,
  • British Medical Journal (BMJ),
  • Health Education Research
  • European Journal of Cancer Care,
  • European Journal of Oncology Nursing,
  • Physical Therapy,
  • J Cancer Survivorship,
  • J Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Journal Clinical Oncology,
  • Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise


Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • EFFECT: Breast Cancer Campaign £60,000
  • TREATWELL: CSO £138,721
  • Feasibility of Chi-gung intervention for cancer survivors: Macmillan Cancer Care:£18,200
  • CRIB: NIHR; : £279,956
  • Consultancy Income for one day/week Macmillan Cancer Care £60,000
  • 5 year follow up on breast cancer survivors in RCT exercise intervention: Macmillan Cancer Care £35,000
  • B-AHEAD: NIHR £250,000
  • Cancer as a catalyst for change: CSO; £246,404

Current Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • PhD:Effects of Exercise on Lung Cancer Survivors - University of Surrey
  • PhD: Exercise in the management of cancer related fatigue: feasibility, barriers and facilitators University of Ulster
  • Ph D: Physiotherapy management of cancer related fatigue in the gynaecological cancer population: University of Ulster