John Cherrie

+44 (0)131 451 3307
Room 3.02
William Perkin Building
Heriot-Watt University
Roles and responsibilities

I head up the Environment and Health Group. My research is concerned with understanding the relationship between environmental exposures and health.


Research into the links between environmental factors and human health is entering a new era, with greater emphasis on integrating exposures to different agents and different situations through the concept of the “exposome”.  Increasing involvement of citizens and workers in the collection of scientific data that can contribute to these investigations will help accelerate these changes. The main benefit will be a better understanding of the causation of disease, which should enable appropriate interventions to protect health. My main scientific aim is to help develop the concept of the exposome and to apply this approach in my research to help eliminate health inequalities.

Current research projects:

Selected publications

Semple S, Mueller W, Leyland AH, Gray L, Cherrie JW. Assessing progress in protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke. Tobacco control; 2018 Aug 29 :tobaccocontrol–2018–054599–4. Link

Dimakakou E, Johnston H, Streftaris G, Cherrie J. Exposure to Environmental and Occupational Particulate Air Pollution as a Potential Contributor to Neurodegeneration and Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Epidemiological Research. IJERPH 2018 Aug;15(8):1704–35. Link 

Steinle S, Sleeuwenhoek A, Mueller W, Horwell CJ, Apsley A, Davis A, et al. The effectiveness of respiratory protection worn by communities to protect from volcanic ash inhalation. Part II_ Total inward leakage tests. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health Elsevier; 2018 Jul 1;221(6):977–84. Link

Cherrie JW, Apsley A, Cowie H, Steinle S, Mueller W, Lin C, et al. Effectiveness of face masks used to protect Beijing residents against particulate air pollution. Occup Environ Med 2018 Apr 9:oemed–2017–104765. Link

Haynes EN, McKenzie L, Malin SA, Cherrie JW. A Historical Perspective of Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction and Public Health. Oxford University Press; 2018. p. 1–33. Link

Cherrie JW, McElvenny D, Blyth KG. Estimating past inhalation exposure to asbestos: A tool for risk attribution and disease screening. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health Volume; 2018: 221(1): 27-32 Link



I have previously worked at the University of Aberdeen as a Reader, in Environmental and Occupational Medicine (1991-2003), and then as Research Director at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh (2003-2015). I still work part time at the IOM as a Principal Scientist. Most of my research work is carried out in collaboration with colleagues at the IOM.