Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Director of the School of Public Health



+44 (0)20 7594 8704deborah.ashby Website




153Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus




Research Interests

 Her research interests are in clinical trials, risk-benefit decision making for medicines, and the utility of Bayesian approaches in these areas. She has led the benefit-risk workstream of the IMI-funded PROTECT project, bringing together academic, pharmaceutical, regulatory and patient expertise to determine best practice, and innovate on both underpinning methods and communication of the benefits and risks of medicines.

Guest Lectures

RSS President's Address 2019- Pigeon-holes and mustard seeds: Growing capacity to use data for Society, Royal Statistical Society, RSS London, 2019

Plenary Talk, Exeter University, Exeter, UK, 2019

“A Statistician’s Adventure in Wonderland:Using Statistical Theory,Epidemiology and Clinical Trials for Public Health Impact”, University of Leicester, Leicester, 2019

Invited to participate as a speaker by DIA Pharmacovigilance and Risk Management Strategies Conference on "Aspects of Benefit-Risk Assessment", DIA (Drug Information Association), Washington DC, 2019

Invited speaker HRB-TMRN 4th Annual Trial Methodology Symposium 2018 on “Methodological innovations in randomised trials” Galway, October 2018, Annual Trial Methodology Symposium, 2018

Lancaster University Data Science Institute Distinguished Lecture ‘Better benefit-risk decision-making in the regulation of medicines: new opportunities for statistical and data sciences’ Lancaster April 2018, Lancaster University Dat Science Institute, 2018

Athena Swan lecture ‘A Statistician’s Adventures in Wonderland: Using Statistical Theory, Epidemiology and Clinical Trials for Public Health Impact’ London February 2018, Imperial College London School of Public Health, 2018

Dean’s Distinguished Lecture, University of Warwick ‘Using Statistical Theory, Epidemiology and Clinical Trials for Public Health Impact’ Coventry, February 2018, University of Warwick, 2018

Invited to give a talk at the Bayesian Biostatistics Workshop ,Cambridge on Bayesian approaches in the regulation of medicines: current and future potential., MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 2018

Invited as a keynote speaker by the University of Liverpool to talk on The Importance of Outliers., University of Liverpool, Liverpool, 2018

Invited to give a Keynote presentation on Clinical Trials for Health Technology Assessment Past, Present and Future, University College London, London, 2018

Opening Keynote speaker at 2017 ASA American Statistical Association Biopharmaceutical Section Regulatory-Industry Statistics Workshop on ‘Patient-centric benefit-risk decision-making in the regulation of medicines’ Washington DC, September 2017, American Statistical Association, 2017

The Stephen Frankel Lecture at the University of Bristol on ‘Using Statistical Theory, Epidemiology and Clinical Trials to PROTECT Population Health’, Bristol, December 2016, University of Bristol, 2016

Keynote talk at the Annual meeting of the Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research on ‘Formal approaches to benefit-risk decision-making in licensing of medicines and other therapies’ Cambridge, November 2016, 2016

Invited speaker at American Statistical Association Biopharmaceutical Section Statistical Workshop on ‘What role should formal risk-benefit decision-making play in the regulation of medicines?’ Washington DC, September 2015, American Statistical Association, 2015

Key Speaker at the 10th Annual Meeting on ‘IMI-PROTECT Work Package 5: Concept, results and the future of benefit-risk integration and representation in medicine’ DIA – Drugs Information Association Japan 2013, Tokyo, November 2013, 2013

Invited to speak at ICPE – International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology Montreal Plenary session on ‘Benefit-risk assessment and communication: A case study of natalizumab and PML’ Montreal August 2013, 2013

President's Invited Speaker Keynote Lecture to the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics ISCB33 conference in on “A Benefit–Risk Analysis of using Formal Benefit-Risk Approaches for Decision-Making in Drug Regulation” Bergen August 2012, International Societ for Clinical Biostatistics, 2012

Keynote presentation “More transparent decision-making for drug regulation: What do Bayes and other formal statistical approaches have to offer?’’ at the 2011 CANNeCTIN Cutting Edge Symposium on Advanced Biostatistics and Methodological Issues in Clinical Trials, Hamilton, Canada. April 2011, 2011

Research Student Supervision

Gonzalez-Maffe,J, Application of Bayesian Methods to Biomarker Evaluation

Hockley,K, What role should formal risk-benefit decision-making play in the regulation of medicines?

Kinnersley,N, Evaluation of methods for the conversion of prior opinion

Mt-Isa,S, Improving evidence-based risk-benefit decision-making of medicines for children

Santhakumaran,S, Quantifying variation in clinical outcomes across neonatal units in England

Waddingham,E, Bayesian statistics in the assessment of the benefit-risk balance of medicines using Multi Criteria Decision Analysis’