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Usama Ali

BSc (Hons), MSc

DPhil Student

Passionate about improving and developing population health through innovative and collaborative clinical research.

DPhil Project Title

Epidemiology of Primary Brain and Central Nervous System Tumours in England: Analysis of linked cancer registry and hospital record data 

Summary & Background

Usama's research is focused on the epidemiology of primary tumours of the brain and central nervous system (CNS). In particular, he is involved in studying the health and outcomes of people diagnosed with primary brain and other central nervous system tumours. He is investigating long-term patterns and trends in incidence, survival and mortality for CNS tumours, as well as identifying geographic variation and healthcare inequalities in access to treatments and care. He is conducting a large-scale study based on the entire population of England using high-quality data spanning several decades. Capturing the patient journey leading up to diagnosis, as well as from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, may provide valuable insights into the patient and health/social care burden of this debilitating and potentially fatal disease; a disease that often causes substantial morbidity and is currently the leading cause of cancer deaths in people under the age of 40 in the UK. 

Prior to NDPH, Usama worked as a Medical Statistician at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford. There, he worked on a wide range of clinical trials and observational studies, funded by a National Institute for Health Research Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care grant. Usama holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Science degree in Medical Statistics. His MSc thesis was entitled: ‘Incorporating Real World Evidence with Randomised Controlled Trials in Network Meta-Analysis: A Case Study on Multiple Sclerosis’.

Usama is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and also a member of the National Cancer Research Institute Brain Tumour Group, the British Neuro-Oncology Society, the Society of British Neurological Surgeons and the Society for Neuro-Oncology. 

Additional Roles

  • NDPH Student Committee
  • Medical Sciences Division (MSD) Graduate Joint Consultative Committee
  • Oxford Medical Statistics Network (OxStat) Committee
  • British Neuro-Oncology Society Student-Trainee Subcommittee

Usama has also undergone training by the University as a Peer Supporter and can be contacted by students from across all departments within the MSD for peer support. 


  • Sarah Darby, Professor of Medical Statistics, Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health

  • Andrew Judge, Professor of Translational Statistics, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences

  • Puneet Plaha, Consultant Neurooncology Surgeon & Honorary Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences