• Short Course: Bayesian Analysis of Small Area Health Data using WinBUGS/GeoBUGS Workshop
    Dr Marta Blangiardo and Dr Ioannis Bakolis
    23 Mar, 2015 to 25 Mar, 2015
    Imperial College London
    School of Public Health
    St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place
    United Kingdom
    More Information:


    Use of Bayesian methods is becoming increasingly widespread in spatial epidemiology for analysing data with complex structure – for example, hierarchical data, spatial and temporal dependence, measurement error and so on. However, very few data analysts have any formal training in Bayesian methods. This three-day course aims to introduce quantitative researchers to the basic principles of Bayesian inference and simulation-based methods for estimating Bayesian models, and to then focus specifically on Bayesian methods for disease mapping and modelling of small area health data, and how to implement these methods using the WinBUGS/GeoBUGS software. There is a large practical component to this course with time for hands-on data analysis using a variety of examples in spatial epidemiology.


    Course content: 

    • Key concepts for spatial epidemiology
    • Introduction to Bayesian thinking and conjugate models
    • Introduction to Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods
    • Hierarchical models, priors and model selection
    • Bayesian spatial models for small area health data  
    • Ecological and hierarchical related regression models
    • Bayesian space-time models for small area health data
    • Model-based geostatistics for point data
    • Hands-on experience of using WinBUGS/GeoBUGS software to fit Bayesian models for small area health data


    Target audience: 

    Statisticians, data analysts, epidemiologists and quantitative health researchers who are interested in learning about Bayesian methods for modelling small area health data, and how to implement these methods using the WinBUGS/GeoBUGS. No previous experience of Bayesian methods or WinBUGS is necessary. However, attendees should have strong quantitative data analysis skills, including a good working knowledge of the practice and principles of linear and generalized linear models, and be familiar with standard statistical terminology and common probability distributions (normal, binomial, Poisson). 


    Course tutors:

    This three day specialist workshop will be led by researchers from the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health:


    Dr Marta Blangiardo

    Marta Blangiardo is a lecturer in Biostatistics at Imperial College London. Her key research areas are: Bayesian modelling of exposure to air pollutants, integration of air pollution concentration from different sources; Bayesian hierarchical models for combining individual and ecological data in epidemiological studies; Bayesian measurement error models.


    Dr Ioannis Bakolis

    Ioannis Bakolis is a Research Associate in Biostatistics at Imperial College London. His research involves development and application of hierarchical statistical methods in health and social science with particular interest in environmental epidemiology and the application of Bayesian hierarchical models to model small area health data.


    The registration fees are as follows:

    £250 for students

    £360 for other academic/public sector

    £500 for commercial/industry


    To book please use the following link:




  • Non-communicable disease forum: The effects of climate change on water quality
    Dr Adrian Butler and Professor Paolo Vineis
    19 Mar, 2015
    Roger Bannister Lecture Theatre
    Imperial College London
    School of Public Health
    St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place
    Paddington, London
    United Kingdom
    More Information:


    Effects of climate change on water quality and chronic diseases in coastal areas

    Professor Paolo Vineis, School of Public Health

    Dr Adrian Butler, School of Engineering

    register nowCoastal populations in southwest Bangladesh have been experiencing increasing salinity levels in their drinking water sources and there is now evidence that increased salinity in drinking water in this and other coastal areas of South-East Asia is associated with increased blood pressure in the population.

    Several causes have been hypothesised. In 1975 India completed a barrage at Farakka, which diverts a portion of the Ganges and decreases the flow into Bangladesh. Salinity levels in downstream tributaries of the Ganges River flowing through southwest Bangladesh have been inversely related to the decreasing volume of the Ganges water flow into Bangladesh. Longer-term climatic changes have also been associated with an increase in river salinity in the area. These include rising sea level, increased ocean temperature, and changes in precipitation which have led to more frequent coastal flooding and increased salinity.

    This seminar will review the evidence on the origins of these changes, the effects on health and potential strategies for ameliorating the situation both in the long and short term.



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