Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Statistical design and analysis contribute to, and inform, many areas of our health-related research. The statistical and epidemiological research group CHICAS undertakes methodological research into the analysis of longitudinal and spatial variation in health outcomes, and leads important applied research projects in environmental epidemiology in both resource-rich and resource-poor countries. Our work has generated important insights on the epidemiology of leptospirosis in Brazil, Loa loa in equatorial Africa, meningitis in the sub-Saharan 'meningitis belt', human campylobacter and other food-borne infections in the UK.

Research areas

Particular research areas within the biostatistics and epidemiology theme include:

  • Novel spatial statistical modelling and analytical methods
  • Epidemiology of infectious and non-communicable diseases
  • Research design and statistical analysis

Research successes

Notable research successes include:

  • Real-time analysis of the spatial distribution non-specific gastro-intestinal illness as reported to NHS Direct (with Hampshire Health Protection Agency, now Public Health England)
  • Mapping of Loa loa prevalence throughout the 19 member countries of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (with APOC and WHO Tropical Disease Research)
  • Presentation of novel methodology for longitudinal and spatial analysis at Ordinary Meetings of the Royal Statistical Society


Researchers working in this area, together with a short description of their research interests, are listed below.

  • Professor Peter J Diggle: Longitudinal and spatial statistical methodology; spatial epidemiology of infectious and non-communicable disease
  • Anna Hart: Robust design and analysis of clinical studies; systematic reviews
  • Dr Tom Keegan: Epidemiology of non-communicable diseases, environmental and occupational epidemiology
  • Barry Rowlingson: Software for implementation of statistical methods and presentation; spatial statistics applications; reproducible research techniques
  • Dr Ben Taylor: Methodology for the analysis of spatial and spatio-temporal epidemiological data; sequential analysis of data; combining data measured at multiple spatial scales; spatial modelling of survival outcomes
  • Dr Kirk Allen: Modelling studies of coronary heart disease and other non-communicable diseases; trends in treatment uptakes and population-level risk factors; policy analysis
  • Dr Alison Hale: Analysis of spatio-temporal epidemiological data; real-time health surveillance
  • Paula Moraga: Spatio-temporal statistical methods for public health surveillance; disease mapping, detection of clusters, early detection of infectious disease outbreaks


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