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The University of Southampton
Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute

Professor Ruth Pickering BSc, MSc, PhD, CStat


Professor Ruth Pickering's photo

Professor Ruth Pickering is a Professor of Medical Statistics within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Ruth is a medical statistician in the Faculty of Medicine involved in both teaching and research. Her areas of collaboration have largely been in the care of the elderly, particularly balance and falling in Parkinson’s and stroke. She is currently involved in projects covering many other areas of health care, including in-hospital nursing care, identifying obstructive sleep apnoea in Down syndrome children, and long term survivorship following prostate cancer. In addition as a result of teaching statistics to postgraduate students and researchers in the Faculty, she has an interest in the quality and reporting of statistics in laboratory science.

Her main research interests have arisen from the collaborative work described above especially from randomised controlled trials, and evaluations of diagnostic tests. It has led to particular interests in methods used in measurement error; mixed models; and more recently to regression models for count data. Her current PhD student is looking at how best to fit outcome counts of falls from trials in Parkinson’s using negative binomial models.

Following degrees in Mathematics and Statistics, Ruth was awarded her PhD from the University of Glasgow under the supervision of Gordon Murray. She did her PhD whilst working in a Government funded research unit analysing routinely collected Scottish maternity and neonatal records. Her PhD concerned regression models for categorical data.

She then moved to Southampton, and has been a lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor, and professor of Medical Statistics. During her time here she has been involved in a wide variety of studies in many areas, particularly but not exclusively relating to problems encountered by the elderly. She reviews for several journals on a regular basis, is on the grant awarding panel of Parkinson’s UK, and review applications for funding to several NIHR streams.

Ruth is actively involved in teaching statistics to medical students and health professionals on several masters programmes in the Faculty, and has also taught the module on clinical trials (Masters in Statistics with Application in Medicine; Faculty of Social, Human & Mathematical Sciences) for many years. As a result of teaching statistics to postgraduate researchers in laboratory science, she has supervised students conducting reviews of the statistics used, and their manner of reporting in experimental biology.


BSc, Mathematics, University College London, 1978

MSc Statistics, Imperial College London, 1979

PhD Statistics, University of Glasgow, 1987

CStat, Royal Statistical Society, 1996


Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Southampton, 2017-2020

Associate Professor in Medical Statistics, University of Southampton, 2014-17

Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics, University of Southampton, 2002-14

Lecturer in Medical Statistics, University of Southampton, 1988-2002

Temporary lecturer, Social Statistics, University of Southampton, 1987-88

Statistician, Social Paediatric and Obstetric Research Unit, University of Glasgow, 1981-87

Research Assistant, Department of Statistics, London School of Economics, 1979-81

Research interests

PhD supervision

Ruth is currently supervising Han (Alex) Zheng.

Research projects

PDSafe - A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of PDSAFE to prevent falls among people with Parkinson’s disease

Research group

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Affiliate research groups

Clinical and Experimental Sciences , Population Health Sciences Research group

Module Lead for the Statistics and Qualitative Research Methods module within the Masters in Public Health Programme, Faculty of Medicine

Module Lead for the Clinical Trials module within the Masters in Statistics with Applications in Medicine, Faculty of Social, Human & Mathematical Sciences Medicine

Primary Care and Population Sciences Teaching Lead

Professor Ruth Pickering
Primary Care and Population Sciences (Mailpoint 805), South Academic Block, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD

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