Dr Wendy J Harrison

Dr Wendy J Harrison


I am a Lecturer in Biostatistics in the School of Medicine and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). I have a BSc(hons) in Mathematics and Physics, an MSc in Medical Statistics and a PhD in Latent Variable Modelling for Complex Observational Health Data.

I first worked in the telecommunications industry, before pursuing a career change. After attaining my MSc, I worked within the NHS for three years as a statistician in the Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service (NYCRIS) before moving to the University of Leeds in 2007. Since then, I have developed my expertise in data analytics through my PhD studies and collaborative research projects. I have also gained qualifications and experience in teaching, leading to Fellowship of the HEA and to a PGCLTHE qualification in 2011.


  • Research, Evaluation and Special Studies (RESS) Year 2 ICU Lead
  • Latent Variable Modelling for MSc Health Data Analytics co-manager

Research interests

My research interests lie in the development and application of data analytical methods relevant to causal inference for observational data. I have particular expertise in multilevel and latent variable modelling, and an enthusiasm for tackling previously intractable problems arising from the inherent complexities of observational data. I have a strong interest in the application of methodological advances in causal inference to a wide range of applied contexts, including obesity, cancer epidemiology and paediatric cardiology.


  • PhD Latent Variable Modelling for Complex Observational Health Data
  • PGCLTHE (merit)
  • MSc Medical Statistics
  • BSc(hons) Combined Studies Mathematics / Physics

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (GradStat)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Student education

I lead a large medical undergraduate module in Year 2 of the MBChB, with focus on developing medical students' understanding of research and evaluation skills. I also make substantial contributions to teaching in other areas of the MBChB across Years 1-3, through lecturing and small-group teaching. 

I co-manage and lecture on a postgraduate module for the MSc in Health Data Analytics, with a focus on latent variable methods, and I co-deliver the LIDA Summer School "Causal inference with observational data: challenges and pitfalls".

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
  • Clinical and Population Science
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>