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Professor Stephen Bremner

Prof Stephen Bremner

Professor Stephen Bremner (BSc, MSc, PhD)

Professor of Medical Statistics
T: +44 (0)1273 644126
Location: Watson Building, Room 322, University of Brighton Falmer Campus, BN1 9PH

Areas of expertise: Applied statistics; biostatistics; clinical trials; data analysis; epidemiological statistics; epidemiology; health informatics; mental health (human disease); primary care (health); statistical modelling; statistics for clinical trials

Research areas: Pragmatic randomised controlled trials; epidemiology using large patient databases


After completing a BSc in Mathematical Sciences (University of Strathclyde, 1995) and an MSc in Medical Statistics (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 1996), Prof Stephen Bremner 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.

In 1999, he travelled to São Paulo and spent eight months at the Brazilian Cochrane Centre supporting clinicians doing systematic reviews. Returning to St. George’s, in 2001, Stephen commenced a PhD in which he carried out case-control studies, nested in birth cohorts from two primary care databases, to investigate early life risk factors for childhood hay fever. He also worked on a large systematic review of air pollution and health.

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 employed as a lecturer in the Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. 

Stephen joined the Division of Primary Care & Public Health, BSMS in 2015.  His current principal research interests centre on the design and analysis of randomised controlled trials of complex interventions in community healthcare settings.


Stephen is Senior Statistician at Brighton and Sussex Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) and has oversight of the statistical aspects of research linked to the CTU, and at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust via the Protocol Review Committee. He is an independent member on several trial steering and data monitoring committees and associate editor for BMC Pilot and Feasibility Studies. Stephen is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Stephen is the senior trial statistician co-applicant on an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research led by Dr Steve Gillard, St. George’s, University of London entitled “Enhanced discharge from inpatient to community mental health care: a programme of applied research to manualise, pilot and trial a Peer Worker intervention.” He is also trial statistician co-applicant on an NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) grant for a feasibility RCT on the use of gaming consoles to improve motor function in children with cerebral palsy (CI: Dr Will Farr), trial statistician on REDUCEe (RfPB) (CI Dr Sumita Verma), a feasibility RCT of long-term abdominal drains versus repeated drainage in individuals with untreatable ascites, and trial statistician on PRIME (RfPB) (CI Dr Khalid Ali), a Prospective study to develop a model to stratify the risk of medication-related harm in hospitalised elderly patients in the UK.

Stephen is second/third supervisor to a number of PhD/MD students at BSMS and a PhD student at QMUL. He supports researchers at BSMS and BSUH at a weekly statistics clinic, held in Watson Building.


Stephen leads a two-day course on “Handling and preparing data for publication”, which runs every few months for researchers at BSMS and its partner NHS Trusts.

Selected publications

Bradshaw, Daniel, Gilleece, Yvonne, Verma, Sumita, Abramowicz, Iga, Bremner, Stephen and Perry, Nicky(2020) Protocol for a phase IV, open-label feasibility study investigating non-invasive markers of hepatic fibrosis in people living with HIV-1 and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease randomised to receiving optimised background therapy (OBT) plus maraviroc or OBT alone. BMJ Open, 10. a035596 1-9. ISSN 2044-6055 

Iwuji, Collins C, Churchill, Duncan, Bremner, Stephen, Perry, Nicky, To, Ye, Lambert, Debbie, Bruce, Chloe, Waters, Laura, Orkin, Chloe and Geretti, Anna Maria (2020) A phase IV randomised, open-label pilot study to evaluate switching from protease-inhibitor based regimen to bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide single tablet regimen in integrase inhibitor-naïve, virologically suppressed HIV 1 infected adults harbouring drug resistance mutations (PIBIK study): study protocol for a randomised trial. BMC Infectious Diseases. ISSN 1471-2334 (Accepted) 

Macken, Lucia, Bremner, Stephen, Gage, Heather, Touray, Morro, Williams, Peter, Crook, David, Mason, Louise, Lambert, Debbie, Evans, Catherine J, Cooper, Max, Timeyin, Jean, Steer, Shani, Austin, Mark, Parnell, Nick, Thomson, Sam J, Sheridan, David, Wright, Mark, Isaacs, Peter, Hashim, Ahmed and Verma, Sumita (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). pp. 107-122. ISSN 0269-2813 

Dionne, Janis M, Bremner, Stephen A, Baygani, Simin K, Batton, Beau, Ergenekon, Ebru, Bhatt-Mehta, Varsha, Dempsey, Eugene, Kluckow, Martin, Koplowitz, Luana Pesco, Apele-Freimane, Dina, Iwami, Hiroko, Klein, Agnes, Turner, Mark and Rabe, Heike (2020) Method of blood pressure measurement in neonates and infants: a systematic review and analysis. Journal of Pediatrics, 221. 21-31.e5. ISSN 0022-3476

Basu, Kaninika, Inglis, Sarah K, Bremner, Stephen A, Ramsay, Rebecca, Abd, Ali, Rabe, Heike, Strange, Elizabeth, Phillips, Veronica, Seddon, Paul, Tavendale, Roger, Memon, Anjum, Palmer, Colin N A, Fidler, Katy and Mukhopadhyay, Somnath (2020) Filaggrin gene defects are associated with eczema, wheeze and nasal disease during infancy: prospective study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. pp. 1-2. ISSN 0091-6749

Hayward, Mark, Berry, Clio, Cameron, Ben, Arnold, Kate, Berry, Katherine, Bremner, Stephen, Cavanagh, Kate, Fowler, David, Gage, Heather, Greenwood, Kathryn, Hazell, Cassie, Jones, Anna-Marie, Robertson, Sam and Strauss, Clara (2020) Increasing access to CBT for psychosis patients: a feasibility, randomised controlled trial evaluating brief, targeted CBT for distressing voices delivered by assistant psychologists (GiVE2). Trials, 21. a302. ISSN 1745-6215 

Nahar, Papreen, van Marwijk, Harm, Gibson, Linda, Musinguzi, Geofrey, Anthierens, Sibyl, Ford, Elizabeth, Bremner, Stephen A, Bowyer, Mark, Le Reste, Jean Yves, Sodi, Tholene and Bastiaens, Hilde(2020) A protocol paper: community engagement interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention in socially disadvantaged populations in the UK: an implementation research study. Global Health Research and Policy, 5. a12. ISSN 2397-0642  

Ford, Elizabeth, Rooney, Philip, Hurley, Peter, Oliver, Seb, Bremner, Stephen and Cassell, Jackie (2020)Can the use of Bayesian analysis methods correct for incompleteness in electronic health records diagnosis data? Development of a novel method using simulated and real-life clinical data. Frontiers in Public Health, 8. a54. ISSN 2296-2565 

Titheradge, Daniel, Isaac, Mokhtar, Bremner, Stephen and Tabet, Naji (2020) Cambridge Cognitive Examination and Hachinski Ischemic Score as predictors of MRI confirmed pathology in dementia: a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 74 (2). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1368-5031