Nominees for RSS Council 2017

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At the end of this year, seven members of the RSS Council are due to finish their term and new members will be needed to replace them and in January we asked fellows to nominate suitable candidates.

Society regulations require Council to put forward two more nominations than the number of vacancies for ordinary members of Council. So having carefully taken into account all suggestions received, Council has now nominated the nine fellows named below for the seven vacancies which due at the end of the year.

At this stage, further nominations can be made, should any four fellows wish to nominate another fellow as an ordinary member of Council. Such nominations should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Shah by 1 July, together with the written consent of the nominee(s).

An election for ordinary members will be held in September and October.

The nine nominees for the seven vacancies on Council are listed below. The list of the current members of Council is available on the RSS main site at


Lisa Hampson, Gradstat (elected 2012)
Lisa is a lecturer in statistics at Lancaster University and currently holds a Medical Research Council (MRC) Career Development Award in biostatistics. She obtained a BSc in Mathematics and PhD in statistics from the University of Bath, and an MSc in biometry from the University of Reading. Lisa’s research interests lie in developing Bayesian and adaptive methods for the design and analysis of clinical trials; her most recent work has focused on the design of paediatric trials and trials in rare diseases. She enjoys working with clinical collaborators to implement state-of-the-art methods in practice. She is a member of the MRC’s North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research and co-leads its workstream on early phase clinical trials.

Lisa has served as secretary of the Royal Statistical Society’s Lancashire local group (2012-2014) and represented the Lancashire local group on the President Nominating Committee in 2015. In 2013, she co-authored a paper on the design of clinical trials with delayed responses which was read to the Royal Statistical Society and subsequently appeared in JRSS B.    


Arnoldo Frigessi (elected 1992)
Arnoldo Frigessi was born in Italy in 1959 and studied mathematics at the University of Milano. He is professor of statistics at the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Oslo since 2002 and is also affiliated with the Norwegian Computing Centre. Frigessi is the director of Statistics for Innovation, one of the Norwegian centres of excellence for research-based innovation, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The centre receives a funding of €4.5m yearly from the council and from private and public corporate partners. More than 100 researchers are affiliated with the centre. Previously, Frigessi was associate professor at the University of Roma III and Venice, and researcher at the Istituto per le Applicazioni del Calcolo, also in Rome and chief researcher at the Norwegian Computing Centre in Oslo.

Frigessi has developed statistical methodology motivated by specific problems in science, technology and industry. He has designed stochastic models to study principles, dynamics and patterns of complex dependence. Inference is usually based on computationally intensive stochastic algorithms. Frigessi's research has focused on Bayesian statistics, and is both methodological and applied. Currently, he has research collaborations in genomics (cancer and psychiatric diseases mainly), veterinary infectious diseases, finance, insurance and climate research. He has published more than 70 papers in peered reviewed journals and has supervised about 30 PhD students.

Frigessi has been a member of the appointment committees for professors in many countries, including for the Universities of München, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Goteborg, Aarhus, Lancaster. He has evaluated projects and has been a panel member for the research agencies in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, USA, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland. He is an elected member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and is part of the faculty of the master in industrial mathematics and statistics, University of Hawassa, Ethiopia.


Silvia Liverani (elected 2011)
Silvia is currently a lecturer in statistics at Brunel University London. She has also held a postdoctoral position at the University of Bristol and a Leverhulme early career fellowship at Imperial College London. She holds a PhD in statistics (2009) and an MSc in statistics (2006) from the University of Warwick and a BSc in statistics (2005) from the Universita' di Firenze in Italy. She has taught statistics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and her main area of research is in clustering methods and Bayesian statistics. The applications of her work range from psychology to epidemiology and bioinformatics.

She has been a highly active member of the Royal Statistical Society, sitting on the committee for the Avon local group (2010-2011) and the Young Statisticians Section (2012-2015). As a member of the latter, she sat on the Publications Network (2013-2015), co-organised the Statistical Showcase (2012), funding workshops (2013-2014), pre-Ordinary meetings (2015) and a professional development session at the RSS Conference (2015). She has been on the committee for the Significance Writing award (2012-2015) and the Journal Club Advisory Group (2014-15). She was nominated by the Royal Statistical Society to represent the Council for Mathematical Sciences at the Voice of the Future event at the House of Parliament in 2015, an event broadcast by BBC Parliament.


Simon Briscoe (elected 1991)
Simon is a consultant with a diverse background in economic, social and business statistics. He is a specialist adviser (on statistics) to a House of Commons Select Committee, is deputy chair of the ESRC committee responsible for data infrastructure, and works with a number of start-up companies. He spent three years establishing (then selling) a data start-up following a decade as statistics editor at the Financial Times. Prior to that he worked in the City as an investment banking researcher and a civil servant (mostly in the GSS) in the Treasury, Central Statistical Office and the EU in Brussels.

He has been on a number of RSS committees non-stop for 20 years and served on RSS Council between 1998 and 2003. He worked for the establishment of Significance magazine and was on its founding editorial board for some years. He is a trustee of FullFact, the fact checking charity, and has written several books on the use and abuse of statistics. 


Lucinda Billingham, CStat (elected 1991)
Lucinda is professor of biostatistics within the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham. She has worked for over twenty years as a biostatistician at their Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, one of the largest of the National Cancer Research Institute Accredited Clinical Trials Units in the UK. She is now director of statistics for the unit, working with a large team of Biostatisticians on an extensive portfolio of early and late phase trials and has particular interest in lung cancer and sarcoma research. She is a selected member for the National Cancer Research Institute Lung Cancer Clinical Studies Group and the British Thoracic Oncology Group Steering Committee and is an invited member of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Expert Review Panel providing statistical advice for funding applications.

Lucinda obtained a BSc in mathematics from Leicester University, an MSc in applied statistics from Sheffield Hallam University and obtained a PhD in 2003 from Leicester University with thesis entitled ‘Statistical Methods for the Simultaneous Analysis of Quality of Life and Survival Data’. She has general expertise in the design and analysis of cancer clinical trials with specific areas of interest additional to her PhD including application of Bayesian methods in trials, design and analysis of trials in rare cancers, early phase trial design and statistical methodology for biomarker discovery, validation and evaluation for stratified medicine. She lectures on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Birmingham, teaches widely on external courses and provides PhD supervision.

Lucinda has been a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society since 1991, being awarded chartered statistician status in 1999 and was chair of the Medical Section Committee from 2011 to 2013. She has also been actively involved in the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics, being on the Executive Committee from 2008-2012 and currently the Chair of the Local Organising Committee for their 37th Annual Conference in Birmingham in 2016.


Andy Sutherland, CStat, CSci (elected 1983)
Andy has a diploma in mathematical statistics from Cambridge (1979) and a PhD in animal genetics from Edinburgh (1983). He is currently working as a consultant statistician/analyst in health statistics, having spent over 20 years working full time in that area, most recently as the head of profession for statistics in the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds. Prior to that he worked in the government departments of Health and of Transport. He started his career doing research and statistical consulting in the then National Vegetable Research Station, leading to production of a number of research papers.

Andy is currently a member of the RSS Professional Affairs Committee and the RSS Leeds and Bradford Local Group Committee. His interests include making sense of health statistics, helping others make sense of health statistics, how statistics are presented in the media, and trying to understand the relationship between 'data science' and statistics.


Mario Cortina Borja (elected 2000)
Mario is professor of biostatistics at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. He studied actuarial science, mathematics and statistics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and has a PhD in statistics from the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath. Before coming to UCL in 2000, Mario was a statistician in the Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas in Mexico city, a research officer in applied mathematics at the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, a lecturer, then senior lecturer, in statistics in the Department of Statistics at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, and, for five years, statistical consulting and teaching officer in the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford. He has supervised 19 PhD students in epidemiology and statistics, five of them as first supervisor, and, as first supervisor, 20 MSc students in applied statistics. 

His research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, especially HIV during pregnancy and childhood, toxoplasmosis and hepatitis C; rare diseases, physical activity in children, and birth timing and birthdays. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers and chapters in books, and many book reviews and non-peer-reviewed articles notably in Significance and Significance online. He is statistical editor of The Journal of Clinical Pathology and The Psychiatric Bulletin, and regularly contributes to peer-reviewing in biomedical and statistical journals, notably Archives of Disease in Childhood, The Lancet and Lancet HIV, and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. Since 2014 he is a member of the Medical Research Council’s Industrial Collaborative Training and Careers Assessment Panel, and was a statistician at the London Bloomsbury Research Ethics Committee between 2007 and 2012. 

Mario has been a member of the editorial board of Significance since 2006 and is currently its chairman (2015-2018). He was a member of the RSS General Applications section between 2001 and 2014 and was its chairman in 2013. 


Phil Woodward, CStat (elected 1992)
Phil works for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer as vice president, global head of statistics for the Research Division covering Neuroscience, Pain and Rare Diseases. His department supports the development of new medicines from disease target and compound discovery, through to demonstrating proof of concept in patients (Phase 2a/b). He also sits on various multi-disciplinary technical review and advisory committees as part of his senior management role within Pfizer. Phil received his BSc in statistics and mathematics from Brunel University in 1984 and completed his MPhil (part-time) at Nottingham Trent University in 1990, researching the use of Bayesian methods to support quality control of manufacturing processes. He spent the first 13 years of his career applying statistics to new product design and manufacture in the engineering industries, joining Pfizer in 1997.

Phil has been an active member of the RSS, and previously the Institute of Statistics, ever since starting his career as a statistician.  Most notably he was chair of the Business and Industry Section between 1997 and 1999, being a committee member for nearly 10 years, and was also an original member of the editorial board of the magazine Significance, also serving in this role for 10 years. Phil was the 2008 RSS Guy Lecturer for schools, and the inaugural winner of the RSS/PSI award for statistical excellence in the pharmaceutical industry for the work he led, and continues to lead, implementing Bayesian methods in the early stages of drug development. He is still passionate about the application of statistics and statistical thinking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scientific process, in particular the use of Bayesian methods.

Phil is the creator of the BugsXLA GUI for Win/OpenBUGS that facilitates the use of such methods. Since 2015 Phil has been a member of the MRC Methodology Panel that funds work on underpinning methodologies for trials, experimental medicine, epidemiology, statistics and a range of other areas.


Claire Gormley, CStat (elected 2015)
Claire is a lecturer in statistics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University College Dublin. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in mathematics in 2003, and a PhD in Statistics in 2007, both from Trinity College Dublin. She spent a period of her doctoral studies in the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. In 2011 she was awarded the 2011 Chikio Hayashi Award and in 2016 she was awarded chartered statistician status by the Royal Statistical Society.

Since 2006 Claire has lectured in statistics in UCD at both undergraduate and graduate level, and has supervised a number of PhD and MSc Statistics students. She enjoys teaching and recently has become involved in teaching fully online graduate level statistics programmes. 

Her research involves the development of novel statistical methods required to deal with applied problems, including the development of clustering methods for different data types, to the development of statistical models for longitudinal, high-dimensional data. Claire's research has lead to collaborations with a range of disciplines, including social science, metabolomics, genomics, sports science and political science, resulting in publications in JRSS A and JRSS C. She has also collaborated with industry and government bodies.
Claire has served as a reviewer for a wide range of journals, and currently serves as associate editor for the Annals of Applied Statistics. She has been an organising committee member for a number of international conferences. Claire was a founding member of the Young Statisticians' Section of the Royal Statistical Society in 2008 and she remained on the committee until 2012, during which time the section became firmly established. 


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