Dr Lesley Smith (nee Fairley)

Dr Lesley Smith (nee Fairley)


I am a senior research fellow in the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health working on a programme of research on the early diagnosis of cancer. I initially joined the University of Leeds in March 2015 as a senior statistician working with the Yorkshire Specialist Register of Cancer in Children and Young People and completed a PhD in Jan 2020 investigating cure and long-term outcomes for children and young adults diagnosed with cancer. Prior to this I was the senior statistician on the Born in Bradford birth cohort study and worked at the Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service (NYCRIS). I have a background in medical statistics and epidemiology, completing an MSc in Medical Statistics in 2002.

Research interests

My current research is focused upon improving the early diagnosis of cancer through a series of implementation and innovation studies. I am interested in the methodological developments in the field of early cancer diagnosis, using electronic health records incorporating biomarkers for population-based research, the statistical methods relating to the analysis of routine health data, and the social determinants of health. 


  • MSc Medical Statistics
  • BSc Mathematics and Statistics
  • PhD Cancer Epidemiology

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Society for Social Medicine and Population Health

Student education

I contribute to teaching on the MSc in Health Data Analytics.

ESREP supervision

Research groups and institutes

  • Cancer Survivor Intelligence Group
  • Cancer
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences