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Lei Clifton

Lei Clifton

UK Biobank: from downloading data to extracting variables

Download Lei Clifton's step-by-step guide on the first steps of handling UK Biobank data.

View an introduction to how to use UKBiobank data on the Translational Epidemiology Unit webpage.

Lei Clifton

BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Researcher

  • Official Fellow in AI and Machine Learning, Reuben College

Statistical and machine learning expertise in epidemiology and clinical studies.

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

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

From 2014 - 2018, Lei worked for Prof Doug Altman in the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), where she lead statistical work on clinical trials, observational studies, and research on trial methodology. Lei 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. She collaborated extensively with principle investigators in trial design and grant applications.

During Lei's 5 years in CSM, she provided statistical supervision in fellowship applications, taught statistics at the postgraduate level, and review grant proposals for the NIHR. Lei 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, Lei worked in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, in the University of Oxford, where she undertook research into statistical time-series models for providing early warning of deterioration in post-surgery patients. From 2007-2009, Lei was a post-doctoral researcher in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, where she developed mathematical models and prototype apparatus for measuring the lung function of ICU patients.

Lei was awarded a PhD in Statistical Machine Learning in 2007 from UMIST (now the University of Manchester), after completing her BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology, China. She joined CSM in 2014.

She firmly believes joining CSM and then Oxford Population Health has been one of the best choices she has made in life, as Lei thoroughly enjoys working with the team on epidemiology and other machine learning.

When she's at home, you can find Lei painting watercolours, practising yoga, and making noise on the violin.