Imperial College London

Dr Melody Zhifang Ni

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Senior Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 3312




Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Wing (QEQM)St Mary's Campus






Melody Ni studied Applied Mathematics in Tongji University in Shanghai. She then did her postgraduate degrees in Decision Sciences at the London School of Economics, before joining Imperial in 2007. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Dept of Surgery & Cancer. 

Melody has carried out a wide range of research in decision making, statistics, Bayesian networks, behavioural sciences and health technology assessments, with a focus on improving quality of clinical decision making, especially in terms of surgical quality, patient safety and health innovations.

Health technology assessments: Melody is a senior methodologist within the NIHR-London In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (formerly NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative), which comprises of a highly multi-disciplinary team working at the interface of research, clinical environments and emerging technologies. Melody leads the HTA research on developing methods of evidence generation to enable better technology translation for patients and clinical benefits. 

Patient safety: To improve safety of feeding using blindly inserted nasogastric feeding tubes, Melody has used Bayesian networks to synthesise evidence  and visualise the dynamics between test results and feeding safety. This has led to new testing method being developed and validated through a multi-centred diagnostic performance study.  A neonatal clinical study is also being carried out.

Surgical quality: Melody worked within the National Training Programme in Laparoscopic Colorectal Cancer Surgeries (Lapco), which trained 144 consultant colorectal surgeons in England between 2009 and 2013. Our most recent research demonstrated an association between training performance and uptake of laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgeries as well as clinical outcomes. Lapco is considered best practice of training at the post-graduate (consultant) level and has been adopted internationally for implementing new surgical techniques and technologies. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Markar SR, Ni M, Gisbertz SS, et al., 2020, Implementation of Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy From a Randomized Controlled Trial Setting to National Practice., J Clin Oncol, Vol:38, Pages:2130-2139

Markar SR, Ni M, Mackenzie H, et al., 2020, The effect of time between procedures upon the proficiency gain period for minimally invasive esophagectomy, Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques, Vol:34, ISSN:0930-2794, Pages:2703-2708

Harris A, Butterworth J, Boshier PR, et al., 2020, Development of a Reliable Surgical Quality Assurance System for 2-stage Esophagectomy in Randomized Controlled Trials., Ann Surg

Ni M, Borsci S, Walne S, et al., 2020, The Lean and Agile Multi-dimensional Process (LAMP) - a new framework for rapid and iterative evidence generation to support health-care technology design and development, Expert Review of Medical Devices, Vol:17, ISSN:1743-4440, Pages:277-288

Subbe CP, Bannard-Smith J, Bunch J, et al., 2019, Quality metrics for the evaluation of Rapid Response Systems: Proceedings from the third international consensus conference on Rapid Response Systems, Resuscitation, Vol:141, ISSN:0300-9572, Pages:1-12

Huddy JR, Ni M, Misra S, et al., 2019, Development of the Point-of-Care Key Evidence Tool (POCKET): a checklist for multi-dimensional evidence generation in point-of-care tests, Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Vol:57, ISSN:1434-6621, Pages:845-855

Borsci S, Uchegbu I, Buckle P, et al., 2017, Designing medical technology for resilience: Integrating health economics and human factors approaches, Expert Review of Medical Devices, Vol:15, ISSN:1743-4440, Pages:15-26

Ni MZ, Huddy JR, Priest OH, et al., 2017, Selecting pH cut-offs for the safe verification of nasogastric feeding tube placement: a decision analytical modelling approach., Bmj Open, Vol:7, ISSN:2044-6055

Markar S, Mackenzie H, Ni Z, et al., 2017, The influence of procedural volume and proficiency gain on mortality from upper GI endoscopic mucosal resection, Gut, Vol:67, ISSN:1468-3288, Pages:79-85

Acharya A, Markar SR, Matar M, et al., 2016, Use of Tumor Markers in Gastrointestinal Cancers: Surgeon Perceptions and Cost-Benefit Trade-Off Analysis, Annals of Surgical Oncology, Vol:24, ISSN:1068-9265, Pages:1165-1173

Mamidanna R, Ni Z, Anderson O, et al., 2016, Surgeon Volume and Cancer Esophagectomy, Gastrectomy, and Pancreatectomy: A Population-based Study in England, Annals of Surgery, Vol:263, ISSN:1528-1140, Pages:727-732

Ni M, Mackenzie H, Widdison A, et al., 2016, What errors make a laparoscopic cancer surgery unsafe? An ad hoc analysis of competency assessment in the National Training Programme for laparoscopic colorectal surgery in England, Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques, Vol:30, ISSN:0930-2794, Pages:1020-1027

Huddy JR, Ni MZ, Barlow J, et al., 2016, Point-of-care C reactive protein for the diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection in NHS primary care: a qualitative study of barriers and facilitators to adoption, Bmj Open, Vol:6, ISSN:2044-6055

Markar SR, Wiggins T, Ni M, et al., 2015, Assessment of the quality of surgery within randomised controlled trials for the treatment of gastro-oesophageal cancer: a systematic review, Lancet Oncology, Vol:16, ISSN:1470-2045, Pages:E23-E31

Miskovic D, Ni M, Wyles SM, et al., 2013, Is Competency Assessment at the Specialist Level Achievable? A Study for the National Training Programme in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery in England, Annals of Surgery, Vol:257, ISSN:0003-4932, Pages:476-482

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