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 first degree in Mathematics and Physics, a 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). I secured my current role at the University of Leeds in 2007. Since then, I have gained qualifications and experience in teaching, leading to Fellowship of the HEA and to a PGCLTHE qualification in 2011. I also completed a part-time PhD in 2017.


  • Research, Evaluation and Special Studies (RESS) Year 2 ICU Lead

Research interests

My research interests lie in the robust use of causal methods for the analysis of complex observational health data. My PhD thesis explored the use of multilevel latent variable modelling in this context, and I am developing my knowledge of causal inference modelling using directed acyclic graphs (DAGs). I have a wide range of applied and clinical interests, including cancer epidemiology, obesity, alcohol use and paediatric cardiology.


  • PhD Latent Variable Modelling for Complex Observational Health Data
  • PGCLTHE (merit)
  • MSc Medical Statistics
  • BSc 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 MBChB undergraduate module (MEDI2217 RESS Year 2).

I make a substantial contribution to teaching in other areas of the MBChB across Years 1-3, with a focus on research skills, statistics and statistical software.

I also contribute to postgraduate teaching on the MSc in Health Data Analytics, with a focus on latent variable methods, and to the Summer School "Causal inference with observational data: challenges and pitfalls".

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>