Professor Swerdlow was educated in medicine at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and holds doctorates in epidemiology from Glasgow, London and Oxford Universities. After junior posts in clinical medicine, Professor Swerdlow worked in epidemiology and joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 1987. He moved to the Institute of Cancer Research in 2000, where he is Professor of Epidemiology, and an honorary consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital. His research has been in chronic disease epidemiology, mainly cancer. He is PI for the Generations Study, a cohort study of over 110,000 women in the UK.