Professor of Medical Statistics in the Centre for Biostatistics.

Deputy Director (Methodology), Manchester Academic Health Science Centre Trials Co-ordination Unit

Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Biostatistics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London.  

Theme lead on stratified medicine in the MRC North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research,

Lead for Trials@Manchester network 

I have previously held an MRC Early Career Centenary Award and an MRC Career Development Award in Biostatistics. 


I graduated from the Victoria University of Manchester with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics with Statistics in June 2003.  I was awarded an MRC Studentship to study for a PhD on "Statistical Models of Selection and Causation" under the supervision of Professor Graham Dunn and Professor Andrew Pickles.

I became a Research Associate in October 2006 working on an MRC Methodology Grant investigating the design and methods of analysis of trials of complex interventions in mental health. In October 2009, I was appointed as a Research Fellow after being awarded a 3 year MRC Career Development Award in Biostatistics to continue aspects of this research.  As part of this Award, I spent five months in 2011 as a visiting researcher at the Program on Causal Inference in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health.  I was awarded an MRC Early Career Centenary Award to extend this Fellowship until April 2013.

In October 2012, I was appointed Lecturer in Biostatistics, promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2015 and Professor of Medical Statistics in August 2016.  I am also Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Biostatistics at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

Collaborators and affiliated staff

Methodology collaborations:
Professor Graham Dunn - Professor of Biomedical Statistics
Professor Andrew Pickles - Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
Dr Ian White - MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge
Professor Sabine Landau - Institute of Pschiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
Professor Tyler VanderWeele - Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
Professor Andrew Forbes - Monash University

Selected clinical collaborations:
Mental health and psychology: Prof Jonathan Green, Prof Gillian Haddock, Prof Tony Morrison, Prof Philippa Garety, Prof Daniel Freeman, Prof Tom Craig, Prof Nav Kapur, Prof Rachel Calam, Prof Kathryn Abel, Prof Shon Lewis, Dr Richard Drake, Dr Sandra Bucci, Dr Katherine Berry, Dr Warren Mansell

Cancer: Prof Andrew Renehan

Diabetes: Dr Martin Rutter, Prof Darren Ashcroft, Dr Doug Steinke

PhD Students:

Emily Eisner (2011 - 2016). Identifying relapse risk in psychosis using subjectively experienced “basic symptoms”: assessment and predictive validity. FMHS Faculty Studentship Award (part-time).

Lesley Anne-Carter (2012 – 2015). To develop rigorous methods for the analysis, reporting and evaluation of experience sampling methodology data. NIHR Doctoral Fellowship.

Antonia Marsden (2013 – 2016). Causal modelling in stratified and personalised health: developing methodology for analysis of primary and secondary care databases in stratified medicine. NIHR BRU Musculoskeletal Award.

Sarah Steeg (2013 – 2016). Estimating treatment effects from observational self-harm data in England: the use of propensity score modelling to measure associations between clinical management in general hospitals and patient outcomes. NIHR Doctoral Fellowship.

Lydia Morris (2013 – 2016). Randomised Controlled Trial, and examination of mechanisms, of a transdiagnostic group for clients with anxiety and depression. NWDTC CASE studentship.

Natalie Berry (2014 - 2017). How can we use technology to deliver interventions in serious mental health problems? MRC HeRC Studentship.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Society Memberships

Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society

Member of the International Biometric Society (IBS)

Member of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics

Member of the Society for Clinical Trials


Committee Memberships

Chairman, Royal Statistical Society Manchester Local Group (2009 - present)

Member, Royal Statistical Society Medical Section Committee (2013 - present)

Vice-Chair, Royal Statistical Society Conferences and Events Board (2015 - present)

Chair, Steering Group for UK Causal Inference Meeting (UK-CIM) (2012 - present)


Other Group Memberships and Roles

Secretary of the Mental Health Research Network Methodology Research Group (2006 - 2014)

IBS representative on the Steering Committee  for the International Year of Statistics 2013 (2011 - 2014)

Member, International Programme Committee for International Biometric Conference 2014 (2011 - 2014)

British and Irish Region correspondent for Biometric Bulletin (2010 - 2013)

Associate Faculty member, Faculty 1000 (2009 - 2014)

Member of the British and Irish Region IBS Committee (2009 - 2012)

Inaugural member of the RSS Young Statisticians' Forum (2005 - 2007)

Methodological knowledge

Design and analysis of randomised trials

Complex interventions in mental health

Statistical methodology for causal inference

Latent variable modelling including mixture models and latent growth models

Methodology for stratified medicine


BSc (2003) Mathematics with Statistics, Victoria University of Manchester

PhD (2007) Medical Statistics, The University of Manchester

GradStat (2008)

Research interests

My research aims to answer four key questions: Are treatments effective?  How do they work?  Which groups are they most effective for?  What factors make them work more effectively?

This involves the development of statistical methods for causal inference, and efficacy and mechanisms evaluation. Current applications of these methods include trials of complex interventions in mental health and trial designs and associated analysis methods in stratified medicine.

Much of this research has been summarised in a recent open access monograph:
Dunn G, Emsley R, Liu H, Landau S, Green J, White I, Pickles A. Evaluation and validation of social and psychological markers in randomised trials of complex interventions in mental health: a methodological research programme (2015). Health Technology Assessment, volume 19, number 93.

My other research interests include the application of causal inference methods in pharmacoepidemiology and routinely collected datasets (eHealth).  I am a member of the MRC Health eResearch Centre, part of the Farr Institute, a co-investigator and theme lead on the MRC North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research, and a scientific collaborator on the AR UK Centre of Excellence in Epidemiology and the MRC Manchester Molecular Pathology Innovation Centre (MMPathIC).

I am the initiator and member of the steering group for the UK Causal Inference Meeting (UK-CIM), secretary of the Mental Health Research Network Methodology Research Group, and a member of the Psychosis Research Partnership project, funded by The Wellcome Trust and led from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.  

Currently I supervise seven PhD students, and welcome interest from potential PhD students interested in these research areas.  I also supervise MSc and DClinPsy students.


I co-lead the statistics teaching on the MRes alliance across the Faculty. I supervise dissertations for the MSc in Statistics.

I have previously lectured and been module leader on the SPSS module on the Research Methods Programme in the School of Dentistry, and taught on the MSc in Biostatistics Causal Inference module, the Fundamentals of Epidemiology and Biostatistics modules of the Masters in Public Health course and the MSc in Clinical Rheumatology.

I contribute to the teaching of undergraduate medical students by: supervising first and fourth year PEPs, providing statistical support to fourth year PEP students, and conducting undergraduate admissions interviews.

Short Couse and other training
I deliver short courses in causal inference and mediation analysis and lead the training workshop programme for the Centre for Biostatistics.  On request, I teach bespoke sessions on mediation analysis to clinical trial units and other University groups.

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