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Usama Ali

BSc (Hons), MSc

DPhil Student

Passionate about improving and developing population health through innovative and collaborative clinical research.

DPhil Project Title

Epidemiology of Primary Tumours of the Central Nervous System in England: Analysis of linked cancer registry and hospital record data (1971-Present)

Summary & Biography

Usama joined the Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) within the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) to commence his research which is focused on the epidemiology of primary tumours of the central nervous system (CNS).

In particular, he is involved in studying the health and outcomes of people diagnosed with primary brain or spinal cord tumours. He is investigating long-term patterns and trends in incidence, survival and mortality for CNS tumours, as well as identifying geographic variation and healthcare inequalities in access to treatments and care. He is conducting a large-scale study based on the entire population of England using high-quality data spanning five decades. Capturing the patient journey leading up to diagnosis, as well as from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, may provide valuable insights into the (patient and health/social care) burden of this debilitating and potentially fatal disease; a disease that often causes substantial morbidity and is currently the leading cause of cancer deaths in people under the age of 40 in the UK. 

Prior to NDPH, Usama was a Medical Statistician at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford. There, he worked on a wide range of clinical trials and observational studies, funded by a National Institute for Health Research Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care grant. Usama holds a Bachelor of Science degree (with honours) in Mathematics and a Master of Science degree in Medical Statistics. His MSc thesis was entitled: ‘Incorporating Real World Evidence with Randomised Controlled Trials in Network Meta-Analysis: A Case Study on Multiple Sclerosis’.

Usama is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a core member of the National Cancer Research Institute Brain Tumour Group, a member of the British Neuro-Oncology Society and a member of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons.

Usama also has methodological interests in the analysis of large routine healthcare datasets, survival analysis and prediction modelling.


  • Sarah Darby, Professor of Medical Statistics, Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health

  • Andrew Judge, Professor of Translational Statistics, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences

  • Puneet Plaha, Consultant Neurooncology Surgeon & Honorary Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences