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Miriam Johnson completed her higher specialist training in palliative medicine in 1999, having gained her MD on "VTE in advanced cancer". The thesis focused on the prevalence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in hospice in-patients using light reflection rheography as a screening tool, and the management of established VTE in these people with advanced cancer and thrombosis.

She is Professor of Palliative Medicine at Hull - York Medical School, (the University of Hull) where she continues her research interests in VTE, breathlessness and palliative care inequalities as the co-director of the Supportive care, Early Diagnosis, and Advanced disease group (SEDA) at the University of Hull.

She is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Supportive and palliative care Clinical Study Group, its rehabilitation research sub group and associated breathlessness research group. She is an elected member of the Association for Palliative Medicine (UK)'s science committee. She was principal investigator for the recently completed NIHR funded "Doctors decide" project: Diagnosis and Management of VTE in patients with advanced cancer: how do physicians decide?” She currently holds three further National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) grant awards.

She is lead palliative care research clinician for her cancer clinical alliance network and is local specialty group lead for palliative care for the North East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire regional Clinical Local Research Network. Amongst her other publications in this field, she is a co-editor of the first book specifically addressing the problems of VTE in people with advanced disease.