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Lei Clifton

Lei Clifton

Lei Clifton

BSc, MSc, PhD


Senior Researcher

Statistical expertise in epidemiology and clinical studies.

I joined the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) in 2019 as the team leader of the Translational Epidemiology Unit (TEU), under its Director Professor David Hunter. I lead a programme of research in translational cancer epidemiology. Key research includes assessing the performance of large-scale information on lifestyle and environment, assisting in development of exposure assessment instruments suitable for use at scale.

I manage specialist grant funded research projects, including the recruitment, supervision and operational management of a research group. I line manage other members of the team, contributing to their development through induction, appraisal, and coaching.

From 2014 - 2018, I worked for Prof Doug Altman in the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), where I lead statistical work on clinical trials, observational studies, and research on trial methodology. I was a senior advisor on the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) team, which provides free advice on research design to researchers in the South Central region. I collaborated extensively with principle investigators in trial design and grant applications.

During my 5 years in CSM, I also provided statistical supervision in fellowship applications, taught statistics at the postgraduate level, and review grant proposals for the NIHR. I was a Scientific Research Committee (SRC) member of the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS), responsible for reviewing proposals and allocating research grants.

From 2009 - 2014, I worked in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, in the University of Oxford, where I undertook research into statistical time-series models for providing early warning of deterioration in post-surgery patients. From 2007-2009, I was a post-doctoral researcher in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, where I developed mathematical models and prototype apparatus for measuring the lung function of ICU patients.

I was awarded a PhD in Statistical Signal Processing in 2007 from UMIST (now the University of Manchester), after completing my BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology, China. I joined CSM in 2014.

Joining CSM and then NDPH has been one of the best choices I have made in my life, as I thoroughly enjoy working with the team on epidemiology and other medical studies. When I am at home, you can find me practising yoga, making noise on the violin, planting in the garden, or sewing pillowcases for my two boys.