Professor Mark S Gilthorpe

Professor Mark S Gilthorpe

Professor of Statistical Epidemiology

0113 343 1913

Summary: Statistical Epidemiology in Lifecourse Epidemiology

Location: Division of Biostatistics

Teaching Commitments: Module manager and teacher for "Advanced Modelling" for the MSc in Statistical Epidemiology.




Research Area

In biomedical observational research, evidence of underlying association between an exposure and subsequent disease is difficult to demonstrate unequivocally. Evidence of causation may only be inferred, yet there are many real-life situations for which we seek an understanding that cannot be subjected to experimentation. Epidemiology, the methodological foundation of observational research, provides structure to the conduct of biomedical research through appropriate study design, conduct, and statistical analysis. However, many study designs experience analytical challenges and overcoming these is an ongoing mission for applied methodological researchers such as myself. My main area of interest is lifecourse epidemiology, where one studies adverse events in later life in relation to exposures that may have occurred throughout the lifecourse, possibly before birth or during pregnancy. Moreover, it is the accumulative compounding experiences of many exposures throughout life that one has to disentangle in the search for putative factors that affect health and well-being and which may lead to disease and morbidity or ultimately death. My research seeks new analytical strategies for these types of observational research problems. I work on the development of statistical methods and models to examine observational longitudinal data, to assess if and how experiences throughout the lifecourse might lead to adverse health outcomes later in life. The methods I research may focus on data spanning decades of life, or merely a few months, days, or even seconds. The nature of the data can be complex and involve different types of observations throughout the lifecourse, such as repeated measures of human growth (e.g. weight or body mass index), or a series of patient experiences (e.g. diagnosis, treatment, quality-of-life measures) as a patient journeys through our healthcare systems. I seek to establish appropriate analytical strategies to address important research questions in a number of health domains (cardiovascular disease, cancer, childhood obesity, oral health, to name but a few).