Skip to main contentSkip to footer
A finger pointing at a scan
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Staff Profiles

BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Stephen Bremner

Professor Stephen Bremner

Prof Stephen Bremner

Professor Stephen Bremner (BSc MSc PhD FHEA)

Professor of Medical Statistics
Location: Watson Building, Dept. of Primary Care & Public Health, University of Brighton Falmer Campus, BN1 9PH

Areas of expertise: Medical statistics, epidemiology, clinical trials

Research areas: Cardiology, Geriatrics, Global Health, Health Services Research, Hepatology, HIV & Sexual Health, Infection, Mental health, Oncology, Paediatrics & neonatal health, Primary care, Public Health, Surgery

Other relevant positions: Departmental Research Lead, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Preferred gender pronouns: him/his/he


Stephen is Professor of Medical Statistics at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. After completing a BSc in mathematical sciences (University of Strathclyde, 1995) and an MSc in medical statistics (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 1996), he spent three years as a statistician at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London, working on studies of the short term effects of air pollution on health. Following a year in Sao Paulo, Brazil, conducting data analysis in air pollution epidemiology and advising at the Brazilian Cochrane Centre, Stephen returned to St. George's in 2000 to conduct further research in air pollution and to undertake his PhD in primary care epidemiology.

In 2007, employed as a statistician at the Healthcare Commission in London, Stephen analysed Hospital Episode Statistics and data from the NHS Surveys Programme. Between 2008 and 2015, he was a lecturer at the Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit, Queen Mary University of London, where he was also seconded to the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, Newham Centre for Mental Health.

Stephen joined BSMS in 2015 as a senior lecturer and has been closely involved with the development of the Brighton and Sussex Clinical Trials Unit (BSCTU) which achieved full registration status with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration in 2023. Stephen is also a senior statistician for the NIHR Centre for Global Health Research in Neglected Tropical Diseases at BSMS and a member of the Pre-Sponsorship Review Panel, run by the Joint Clinical Research Office. He is an Editor-in-Chief for the BioMed Central journal, Pilot and Feasibility Studies.


Stephen was awarded his PhD in 2007, having investigated early-life risk factors for childhood hayfever by conducting matched case-control studies, nested in birth cohorts defined in two large scale primary care databases of electronic patient records.

His current principal research interests centre on the design and analysis of pragmatic randomised controlled trials of complex interventions in community healthcare settings. Pragmatic trials evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in real-practice settings. He also has a strong interest in the rigorous design, analysis and reporting of pilot and feasibility studies i.e. research conducted to establish whether a future large-scale study is possible. Stephen applies various research designs across a wide range of medical specialties and allied healthcare disciplines.

One example of a pragmatic trial Stephen is the senior trial statistician and co-applicant on is the NIHR Health Technology Assessment funded "Palliative Long-term abdominal drains versus repeated drainage in untreatable ascites due to advanced cirrhosis: a randomised controlled trial (REDUCe 2 Study)" led by hepatologist Professor Sumita Verma (BSMS) and run by the BSCTU.


Stephen teaches a session on statistical concepts in trial design on the MSc module, MDM112 Clinical Trials Management, University of Brighton. 

Selected publications

Cumberworth, J., Chequers, M., Bremner, S., Boyd, O., & Philips, B. (2022). Mortality and readmission rates of patients discharged in-hours and out-of-hours from a British ICU over a 3-year period. Scientific Reports, 12(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-022-10613-1

Ruffles, T., Basu, K., Inglis, S. K., Bremner, S., Rabe, H., Memon, A., . . . Fidler, K. (2022). Mannose-binding lectin genotype is associated with respiratory disease in young children: A multicenter cohort study. Pediatric Pulmonology, 57(11), 2824-2833. doi:10.1002/ppul.26109

Gillard, S., Bremner, S., Patel, A., Goldsmith, L., Marks, J., Foster, R., . . . Priebe, S. (2022). Peer support for discharge from inpatient mental health care versus care as usual in England (ENRICH): a parallel, two-group, individually randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 9(2), 125-136. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00398-9

Kong, R., Hutchinson, N., Hill, A., Ingoldby, F., Skipper, N., Jones, C., . . . Hildick-Smith, D. (2022). Randomised open-label trial comparing intravenous iron and an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent versus oral iron to treat preoperative anaemia in cardiac surgery (INITIATE trial). British Journal of Anaesthesia, 128(5), 796-805. doi:10.1016/j.bja.2022.01.034

Hashim, A., Bremner, S., Grove, J. I., Astbury, S., Mengozzi, M., O’Sullivan, M., . . . Verma, S. (2022). Chronic liver disease in homeless individuals and performance of non-invasive liver fibrosis and injury markers: VALID study. Liver International, 42(3), 628-639. doi:10.1111/liv.15122

Hayward, M., Berry, K., Bremner, S., Jones, A. M., Robertson, S., Cavanagh, K., . . . Strauss, C. (2021). Increasing access to cognitive–behavioural therapy for patients with psychosis by evaluating the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial of brief, targeted cognitive–behavioural therapy for distressing voices delivered by assistant psychologists: the GiVE2 trial. BJPsych Open, 7(5). doi:10.1192/bjo.2021.983

Rabe, H., Bremner, S. A., Ahluwalia, A., Mcfarlane, R., . . . Dionne, J. M. (2021). Antenatal and perinatal factors influencing neonatal blood pressure: a systematic review. Journal of Perinatology, 41(9), 2317-2329. doi:10.1038/s41372-021-01169-5

Basu, K., Inglis, S. K., Bremner, S. A., Ramsay, R., Abd, A., Rabe, H., . . . Mukhopadhyay, S. (2020). Filaggrin gene defects are associated with eczema, wheeze, and nasal disease during infancy: Prospective study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 146(3), 681-682. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2020.02.036

Macken, L., Bremner, S., Gage, H., Touray, M., Williams, P., Crook, D., . . . Verma, S. (2020). Randomised clinical trial: palliative long-term abdominal drains vs large-volume paracentesis in refractory ascites due to cirrhosis. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 52(1), 107-122. doi:10.1111/apt.15802

Dionne, J. M., Bremner, S. A., Baygani, S. K., Batton, B., Ergenekon, E., Bhatt-Mehta, V., . . . Rabe, H. (2020). Method of Blood Pressure Measurement in Neonates and Infants: A Systematic Review and Analysis. Journal of Pediatrics, 221, 23-31.e5. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.02.072

Click here to elements profile >