Prof Laura Gray

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA

Professor of Medical Statistics

Laura Gray.jpg

Biostatistics Research Group

Department of Health Sciences
University of Leicester
George Davies Centre
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Tel: +44 (0)116 258 4043 or +44 (0)116 252 5491

Personal details

Bsc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA

I joined the University of Leicester in 2008 after I was awarded my PhD from the University of Nottingham. My PhD assessed methods for designing and analysing clinical trials with ordinal outcomes. Although I am based in the Biostatistics Research Group I collaborate extensively with the Diabetes Research Centre and much of my work is within this clinical area. I am also a Senior Associate Statistician at the Leicester Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) and I played a key role in this unit’s successful accreditation in 2013.

The areas of medical statistics I am particularly interested in are the design and analysis of clinical trials, especially those of a cluster design or with an ordinal outcome, development and validation of risk scores and evidence synthesis.

I lead a programme of research developing, validating and implementing risk scores for the early detection of type 2 diabetes and those at risk of developing diabetes in the future. The Leicester Self-Assessment Score was designed for members of the public to assess their diabetes risk. The score is available on the Diabetes UK website (, where it has been completed by over one million people to date, and is also available in all Boots and Tesco pharmacies nationally. I also have an interest in diabetes prevention and management and I have been the senior statistician on many studies in these areas. In 2015, I graduated from Diabetes UK Innovators in Diabetes programme.


Full list of publications on PubMed

External activities

  • External expert reviewer for an European Commission Framework Programme 7 (FP7) project on the prevention of diabetes
  • Member of NIHR Dissemination Centre Panel of Expert Commentators
  • External expert reviewer for PhD project on NHS health checks programme at Imperial College
  • Independent Trial Steering Committee Member for an NIHR Public Health Research Programme funded trial - LIMIT Trial, University of Birmingham
  • Independent Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee Member for two external clinical trials: EU funded EDIBLE Trial, University of Liverpool, Stroke Association funded PRESERVE Trial, University of Cambridge
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Panel member (2013-2016) East Midlands NIHR Research for Patient Benefit funding stream
  • Graduate (2013-2015) of the Diabetes UK Innovators in Diabetes Programme
  • Editorial board member (2008-2013) for Significance, Royal Statistical Society Journal
  • Committee member (2008-2013) of the Young Statistician Section of the Royal Statistical Society

Visiting fellowships

May 2013
Visiting Research Fellow (One month), The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders. University of Sydney, Australia.

March 2012
Visiting Research Fellow (One month), Departamento de Epidemiologia Clínica, Medicina Preditiva e Saúde Pública, University of Porto, Portugal


  • I am a member of the Department of Health Sciences Learning and Teaching Committee and the Departmental Board of Examiners.
  • I have acted as both an Internal and External PhD Examiner.
  • I was a Department Postgraduate Tutor from 2011-2013.


  • Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Screening and early detection of disease
  • Management of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Clinical trial design and analysis
  • Development and validation of risk prediction models
  • Evidence synthesis

I have secured over £10 million grant income as either Principal/co-Investigator. I have developed a portfolio of research in the area of identification, prevention and management (particularly through the use of complex interventions) of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). As a statistician, I have fostered a specialist understanding of this clinical area as well as specific methodologies which have enabled me to both successfully lead research in this area and to collaborate with clinical leaders in this field.

Key current research projects

  • I lead a programme of research around developing, validating and implementing risk scores for the early detection of disease
  • I supervise methodological work assessing the use of feasibility work in the design of stepped wedge studies
  • I am a key researcher for the Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and provide statistical leadership
  • I am the senior statistician on a number of projects funded by NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands
  • I lead a work package on an EU funded project developing a risk tool for use in adolescents
  • I am a co-Investigator on an NIHR funded programme grant aiming to increase uptake to structured education in people with type 2 diabetes
  • I am a co- Investigator on two Investigator Initiated Studies funded by pharmaceutical companies
    Boehringer Ingelheim - GLT-2 Inhibitor Empagliflozin Effects on Appetite and Weight Regulation – The SEESAW Study 
    Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc - A Randomised Controlled Trial for People with Established Type 2 Diabetes during Ramadan: Canagliflozin vs. Sulphonylurea-based regimen. The ‘Can Do Ramadan’ Trial)
  • I am a co-Investigator on HTA grant - The PRomotion Of Physical activity through structured Education with differing Levels of ongoing Support for those with prediabetes (PROPELS): randomised controlled trial in a diverse multi-ethnic community
  • I collaborate on a number of projects assessing the use of evidence synthesis for preclinical data

Key completed research projects

  • I was commissioned by Public Health England to conduct a rapid review to inform the specification for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
  • I was the lead statistician and led a work package of an NIHR programme grant developing a method for identification of those at risk of diabetes in primary care and developing and testing a prevention intervention – Let’s Prevent Diabetes
  • I was a co-investigator and lead statistician for an NIHR funded Programme Grant - Development of a structured screening and lifestyle intervention for prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in a population with Learning Disabilities


Current students

Humaira Hussein - Primary supervisor

Full time, 2017-2020

Project title: Comparative effectiveness of sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists in type 2 diabetes mellitus: randomized and real-word evidence

Caroline Kristunas - Primary supervisor

Full-time NIHR Doctoral Fellow, 2016-2019
Project title: Feasibility studies for Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomised trials, appraising and informing practice.

Rupert Major - Primary supervisor
Full time Kidney Research UK Doctoral Fellow, 2015-2018
Project title: Predicting cardiovascular disease risk in chronic kidney disease.

Completed students

Thomas Chalk - Second supervisor
Full time MPhil student, 2015-2018
Project title: Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases in Adults with Learning (Intellectual) Disabilities

Shaun Barber - Primary supervisor
Full time PhD student, 2012-2015
Project title: Developing and validating a set of risk scores for identifying those at high risk of Type 2 Diabetes in a multi-ethnic UK population

Chloe Redshaw - Second supervisor
Full time MPhil student, 2012-2015
Project title – Hypoglycaemia in Type 2 Diabetes.

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