New NIHR Fellows to join leading research groups

Two internationally-renowned research groups at the University of Leicester are to be bolstered with a group of new researchers following Fellowship Awards of more than £2 million from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

The 10 new NIHR Fellows will expand research in the Biostatistics Research Group (six) and The Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies (TIMMS) multi-disciplinary group (four), both within the College of Life Sciences.

Researchers will expand studies in areas including the policy and practice of mid-trimester care, risks and trends of paediatric intensive care for premature children, and statistical analysis of public health data including the long-term effects of COVID-19.

They include:

The Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies (TIMMS):

  • Lucy Smith, NIHR Advanced Fellowship
  • Tim van Hasselt, NIHR Doctoral Fellowship
  • Megan McGovern, two-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Deborah Bamber, one-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Biostatics Research Group:

  • Lucy Abell, two-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Louise Haddon, two-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Angus Jennings, two-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Francesca Maher, two-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Elnaz Saeedi, one-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Rachael Stannard, one-year NIHR Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Professor Elizabeth Draper is a Professor of Perinatal and Paediatric Epidemiology and heads the TIMMS research group.

She said: “This is fantastic news for our research group and the department of Health Sciences. These Fellowships cover a wide range of topics ranging from very early pregnancy loss to the longer term impact of preterm birth and other perinatal morbidities on both the health service and families.

“Many congratulations to all our successful fellows and their supervisors. We look forward to working with you over the coming years.”

Professor Laura Gray is a Professor of Medical Statistics and Research Group Lead for the Biostatistics Research Team.

She added: “This is amazing news. These prestigious awards not only fund important research and develop our researchers but also fund places on our MSc Medical Statistics programme.

“Our five Fellows will undertake methodological research across a number of areas including modelling the effect of COVID-19 on cancer survival, using long-term data to predict COVID outcomes, dealing with patient preference in clinical trials, untangling the effects of complex public health interventions, comparing methods for assessing diabetic foot monitoring programmes and estimating long-term patient outcomes in oncology using multiple data sources.

“We congratulate all those who were successful and look forward to working with them on these exciting projects.”

Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted to welcome this latest round of early-career health researchers to the University of Leicester.

“We are immensely proud of Leicester’s long heritage of wide-ranging health research, which would not be possible without the collaboration enabled by research groups such as those in Biostatistics and TIMMS.

“Congratulations to those joining the University – we look forward to welcoming you to Leicester.”

The Biostatistics Research Group specialises in the development, application and teaching of statistical methods in medical research with the ultimate aim of improving the health of the population.

The group receive funding from numerous sources including Health Data Research UK, the Medical Research Council, NIHR, Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation. Further details can be found here.

TIMMS is a collaborative multi-disciplinary group of researchers undertaking regional, national and international research with expertise in epidemiology, statistics, neonatology, psychology, sociology and database application development.

Researchers study the causes, consequences, and management of morbidity and mortality of the foetus, infant, and child related to pregnancy, delivery, infancy and childhood in defined populations in order to influence policy, education and clinical practice in reproductive, perinatal and paediatric medicine.