Newcastle has an internationally recognised biostatistics research group who work at the interface of theory and practice. Members of the group have made significant contributions to both statistical methodology and clinical understanding.

One active research area is nonparametric curve fitting and prediction, based on Gaussian process regression for longitudinal/functional data. This is being used, amongst other things, to develop methods for analysing human movement, which are particularly relevant in the rehabilitation of paraplegics. The group also works on missing data problems for longitudinal analysis. This is being extended to missing data in clinical trials, especially crossovers and meta-analyses with missing confounders. There is also interest in both the design of clinical trials and biological assays, and in causal inference from observational data, including dynamic treatment allocation.

There is a strong tradition of collaborative research with colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine and there are links with the Clinical Trials Unit based in the Institute of Health and Society. The many ongoing projects include the analysis of healthcare indicators in HIV infection, dynamic anticoagulation treatment allocation, survival time prediction for hospice patients, cancer epidemiology and prognosis, trial design for haemodialysis in babies, analysis of resurfacing data related to total hip replacement, the effect of lifestyle on blood pressure and the effect of dietary intake on wellbeing in children.

Current grants, fellowships, and studentships

  • Limbs alive - monitoring of upper limb rehabilitation and recovery after stroke through gaming, Wellcome trust grant on HICF (Health Innovation Challenge Fund, total of 2.1 million pounds, Jan. 2012-Dec.2014, Dr Jian Q Shi is the leader of Work Package 1: Data Analysis and Validation) with PI Prof. Janet A Eyre.

Recent grants, fellowships, and studentships

  • Predictive dynamic modelling for next generation processing — Javier Serradilla, EPSRC CASE funded PhD student sponsored by BP Oil International Ltd (2008–11), supervised by Dr Jian Q Shi and Prof Julian Morris.
  • INVESTIGATE-1 a pragmatic multicentre pilot study to assess the feasibility of a future randomised controlled trial (Hilton, McColl, Howel, Deverill, Buckley, Lucas, Wagg, Tincello, Armstrong) Funded by NIHR HTA (2011–2013).
  • Brief alcohol intervention to reduce risky drinking in pregnancy: a pilot randomised controlled trial. (Kaner, Rankin, Howel, Deverill) NIHR RfPB (2011–2013)
  • Nonparametric Methods for Curve Fitting and Prediction with Large Data-set (PI: Dr. Jian Q Shi), funded by EPSRC.
  • Predictive Analysis — Gang Yi, BP Postgraduate Project, supervised by Dr Jian Q Shi. PhD awarded in 2009.
  • A randomised preference trial of medical vs surgical termination of pregnancy (Robson, Howel, May, Deverill, Hewison) Funded by NIHR HTA (2005–2008).


For information on publications, please see the personal web page of each member of the group.