Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Global Health Innovation

Visiting Professor







Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Julia Riley is Head of the Department of Palliative Medicine at the Royal Marsden and Royal Brompton NHS Trusts and Senior Research Fellow at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

Dr Riley graduated in medicine from the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa. She studied Fine Arts in London before completing her Palliative Medicine training in London.

Dr Riley has two main research interests.  The first is in the inter individual variation in patients’ response to opioids.  This translational research involves genetic, metabonomic and proteomic investigations.  The second is the development of models of end of life care that include the seamless transition between the acute and the community sector, improve quality of life, decrease in the number of unnecessary hospital admissions and increase the number of patients being cared for, and dying in their preferred place.

She is Chair of the Supportive & Palliative Care Group South West London, a member of NICE consideration panel for cancer, advisor to the Care Quality Commission, member of the executive committee Association Palliative Medicine and Editor of the European Journal for palliative care (the journal for the European Association of Palliative Care).



Ross JR, Riley J, 2008, Commentary: Controversies in SIGN guidance on pain control in patients with cancer, British Medical Journal, Vol:337, ISSN:0959-535X

Droney J, Ross J, Gretton S, et al., 2008, Constipation in cancer patients on opioids, Supportive Care in Cancer, Vol:16, Pages:453-459

Ross JR, Riley J, Taegetmeyer A, et al., 2008, Genetic variation and response to morphine in cancer patients: Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) and multi-drug resistance (MDR-1) gene polymorphisms are associated with central side-effects., Cancer, Vol:112, Pages:1390-1403


Droney M, Gretton SK, Ross JR, et al., 2008, OPIOID RECEPTORS AND ANALGESIC RESPONSE TO MORPHINE IN CANCER PATIENTS, 33rd European-Society-for-Medical-Oncology Congress, OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages:273-273, ISSN:0923-7534

Riley J, Ross JR, Gretton SK, et al., 2007, Proposed 5-step World Health Organization analgesic and side effect ladder, 3rd Asia Pacific Symposium on Pain Control, WILEY, Pages:23-30, ISSN:1090-3801

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