People

Professor Laura Gray

Professor of Medical Statistics, Departmental Research Director, Co-Lead Biostatistics Research Group

School/Department: Health Sciences

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5491

Email: lg48@leicester.ac.uk

Profile

I have developed a portfolio of cross-disciplinary research which spans both methodological and clinical areas. The majority of my research is in the clinical field of the identification, prevention and management (particularly through the use of complex interventions) of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and other long term conditions. My methodological research is driven by the practical clinical problems I encounter in my applied work. I have focused on the design and analysis of clinical trials (particularly those of a cluster or stepped wedge design), the development and validation of prognostic models and evidence synthesis.

As a statistician, I have integrated a specialist understanding of this clinical area alongside these specific methodologies which has enabled me to both successfully lead research in this area and to collaborate with national and international clinical leaders in this field.

Research

I lead the data2Health theme of the NIHR ARC East Midlands. This theme focuses on methodological translation - ensuring that appropriate, innovative and fully evaluated methods are used to inform the design and analysis of research studies. It also ensures maximal use of existing large-scale linked data resources to address important questions for patients and the public, both locally and nationally. 

I am also a key named researcher in the current Leicester BRC and I am a co-theme lead on the BRC shortlisted resubmission. This theme focuses on the use of data to answer key questions regarding ethnicity and multiple long-term conditions. 

Current funded research projects include:

Co-I: Khunti K (PI) Developing and Evaluating A Multifactorial Intervention to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes and Current or Previous Diabetic Foot Ulcers (MiFoot). NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. £2,138,195. Start date April 2021 (5.25 years).

Co-I: Davies M (PI) Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in 18 – 40 year olds: A Multifactorial Management Intervention to Address Multimorbidity in Early-Onset T2D in Adults (The M3 Research Programme). NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. £2,570,619.00. Start date Aug 2020 (5 years).

Co-I: Pareek M (PI) COV0140 - UK-REACH: United Kingdom Research Study into Ethnicity And COVID-19 outcomes in Healthcare workers. UKRI/MRC £2,128,823. Start date July 2020 (1 year).

Co-I: Burton J (PI) A randomised controlled trial assessing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of thrice weekly, extended, in-centre nocturnal haemodialysis versus standard care using a mixed methods approach. £1.7m HTA TBC 2020 (5 years).

Co-I: Bown (PI) Peripheral arterial disease, High blood pressure and Aneurysm Screening Trial (PHAST) – An evaluation of the acceptability, effectiveness and cost effectiveness of screening for peripheral arterial disease and high blood pressure at the same time as abdominal aortic aneurysm. £2.3m NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. TBC 2020 (8.3 years).


Publications

(0) I have co-authored over 200 papers (138 last 10 years), Google Scholar h-index 54, citations >12,000. My work has been cited in 48 policy/patent documents, including WHO, UK Governments, NICE/SIGN guidelines, Scottish government and European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. In the last 10 years 5.1% of my publications are in the top 1% most cited (field-weighted), 18.8% top 10% and 41.3% top 25%.  

Key papers include: 

Kristunas C, Grayling M, Gray LJ, Hemming K. Mind the gap: covariate constrained randomisation can protect against substantial power loss in parallel cluster randomised trials.  BMC Med Res Methodol. 2022 Apr 13;22(1):111. doi: 10.1186/s12874-022-01588-8.

Sze S, Pan D, Nevill CR, Gray LJ, Martin CA, Nazareth J, Minhas JS, Divall P, Khunti K, Abrams KR, Nellums LB, Pareek M. Ethnicity and clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine. 2020 Nov 12:100630. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100630. Online ahead of print.

Byrne JL, Dallosso HM, Rogers S, Gray LJ, Waheed G, Patel P, Gupta P, Doherty Y, Davies MJ, Khunti K. Effectiveness of the Ready to Reduce Risk (3R) complex intervention for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Med. 2020 Jul 27;18(1):198. doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01664-0.

Willis A, Crasto W, Gray L.J, Dallosso H, Waheed G, Davies M, Seidu S, Khunti K (2020) Effects of an Electronic Software ""Prompt"" With Health Care Professional Training on Cardiovascular and Renal Complications in a Multiethnic Population With Type 2 Diabetes and Microalbuminuria (the GP-Prompt Study): Results of a Pragmatic Cluster-Randomized Trial. Diabetes Care. 2020 May 19:dc192243. doi: 10.2337/dc19-2243. Online ahead of print.

Kristunas CA, Hemming K, Eborall H, Eldridge S, Gray L.J (2019) The current use of feasibility studies in the assessment of feasibility for stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials: a systematic review. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2019 Jan 10;19(1):12. doi: 10.1186/s12874-019-0658-3.

Edwardson CL, Yates T, Biddle SJH, Davies MJ, Dunstan DW, Esliger DW, Gray L.J, Jackson B, O'Connell SE, Waheed G, Munir F (2018) Effectiveness of the Stand More AT (SMArT) Work intervention: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2018 Oct 10;363:k3870. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k3870.

Barber SR, Dhalwani NN, Davies MJ, Khunti K, Gray L.J (2017) External national validation of the Leicester Self-Assessment score for Type 2 diabetes using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Diabet Med. 2017 Nov;34(11):1575-1583. doi: 10.1111/dme.13433. Epub 2017 Aug 20.

Kristunas CA, Smith KL, Gray L.J (2017) An imbalance in cluster sizes does not lead to notable loss of power in cross-sectional, stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials with a continuous outcome. Trials. 2017 Mar 7;18(1):109. doi: 10.1186/s13063-017-1832-8.
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Supervision

I interested in supervising projects in the following areas: design and analysis of clinical trials (particularly those of a cluster or stepped wedge design), the development and validation of prognostic models and evidence synthesis.

Current students:

2022-Present     Daniel Pan, NIHR Doctoral Fellow, 3rd supervisor. Project title - Mapping patterns of viral load emission in exhaled breath over the course of acute respiratory virus infections.

2020-Present     Hannah Worboys, PhD, co-primary supervisor. Project title - Addressing methodological issues associated with using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life tool in a trial of nocturnal dialysis to estimate effectiveness and cost effectiveness.

2020-Present     Ellesha Smith, NIHR Doctoral Fellow, 2nd supervisor for third year only. Project title - Complex Evidence Synthesis Using Network Meta-Analysis, Individual Participant Data and Multiple Outcomes.

2019-Present     Anna Meffen, PhD, primary supervisor. Project title - Can we use routinely collected primary care medical records to assess and explain variations in amputation rates across the UK?

2019-Present     Zehra Yonel, NIHR Doctoral Fellow based at University of Birmingham, Primary supervisor. Project title - INtroducing DIabetes Checks in A denTal practice Environment: INDICATE.

2017-Present     Humaira Hussein, PhD, primary supervisor. Project title - Comparative effectiveness of sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists in type 2 diabetes mellitus: randomized and real-word evidence.

Completed students:

2016-2020          Caroline Kristunas, NIHR Doctoral Fellow, primary supervisor. Project title – Feasibility studies for Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomised trials, appraising and informing practice.

2015-2018          Rupert Major, Kidney Research UK Doctoral Fellow, primary supervisor. Project title – Predicting cardiovascular disease risk in chronic kidney disease.

2012-2015          Shaun Barber, PhD primary supervisor. Project title - Developing and validating a set of risk scores for identifying those at high risk of Type 2 Diabetes in a multi-ethnic UK population.

Teaching

I lead modules and teach on the following courses:

  • MSc Medical Statistics
  • MRes Applied Health Research
  • iMSc Medical Research

I am (2019-Present) the External Examiner for the MSc Global Health Science & Epidemiology, University of Oxford.

Since 2014 I have been an Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Press and media

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
Screening for Type 2 Diabetes
Clinical trial design and analysis
Development and validation of risk prediction models
Evidence synthesis

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