Dr Sheila Barton is an Associate Professor of Statistical Genetics within Medicine at the University of Southampton.
Sheila Barton obtained an MSc in Statistics with Applications in Medicine from the University of Southampton in 2000 and began working as a statistician in the School of Medicine in October 2000. She obtained a PhD in May 2010 from the University of London entitled ‘Statistical analysis of proteomic profile data generated by tandem mass spectrometry’. She was appointed as a Senior Statistician at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (Southampton) in August 2010. In 2013 Sheila was invited to be the Senior Trial Statistician for the NiPPeR Trial, a multicentre multi-ethnic randomised control trial of a preconception nutritional intervention designed to improve the glucose tolerance of participants during pregnancy and improve the health of their offspring. This is the first randomised trial of an intervention starting before conception. In early 2020 she was promoted to the role of Associate Professor in Statistical Genetics at the MRC LEU.
Sheila’s current research is mainly focused on analysis strategies for data generated by the NiPPeR Trial.
She is also keen to improve current methodology for the analysis of genomic data and communicating these improvements in a way that can be easily understood by the wider genomics community. This is evidenced by her recent papers on the importance of statistical assumptions when analysing genomic data (BMC Genomics 2013, New Frontiers in Genetics 2019).
The main purpose of improving analysis strategies is to enhance discovery of associations between genetic or epigenetic measurements and subsequent phenotype. Current research in the children of the Southampton Women’s Survey is aimed at searching for associations between epigenetic methylation measurements taken at various locations across the genome, and phenotypes such as asthma and allergy, body composition and cardiovascular phenotypes.
Sheila works closely with collaborators in the Epigen Academic Consortium (University of Auckland and AgResearch New Zealand, the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences and the National University of Singapore) to advise on statistical analysis of genomic and phenotype data from multi-ethnic cohorts.
Current PhD Students
- Module Lead for the Statistical Genetics module in the Faculty of Social Sciences MSc Statistics and MSc Statistics with Applications in Medicine
- 7 years’ experience of teaching in a U.K. Comprehensive School across the full age and ability range (ages 11 to 18), including A-Level statistics
- Supervises Summer Projects for the MSc Statistics/Statistics with Applications in Medicine, also active in contributing to assessment procedures/forms for the assessment of MSc SAM dissertations resulting from these Summer Projects
- Lecturing on how to use statistics in genetics to the Faculty of Medicine PhD students
- Lecturing the Faculty of Medicine postdoctoral students on types of data and basic statistics
- Appointed Statistical Editor of the British Journal of Nutrition and the Journal of Nutritional Science (2019)
- Vice Chancellor's Award 2017 - Sheila Barton (2017)