Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Centre for Electronic Health Records research And Methodology (CEHRAM)

The Centre for Electronic Health Records research And Methodology (CEHRAM) is a multidisciplinary research team working on a range of clinical and methodological topics in collaboration with colleagues in London, the UK and around the world. CEHRAM integrates two very active groups. The THINK Research Group organises seminars for discussion of the analysis of electronic health records every month. The Primary Care Methodology Research Group organises seminars for discussion of quantitative methodologies every 8 weeks. All these seminars welcome everyone, including statisticians, epidemiologists, health economists and data scientists working with routinely collected health data. If you want to receive updates about our seminars, courses and other activities, please subscribe here (mailing list).

What we do

The team includes epidemiologists and statisticians who work on a range of clinical and methodological topics in collaboration with colleagues in London, UK and around Europe. 

Using different data sources and methods we work on topics such as: 

  • Does antidepressant treatment in pregnancy increase the risk of congenital heart defects? 
  • What is the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the UK and how is it pharmacologically managed? 
  • Is it possible to predict postnatal depression using pregnant women's electronic health records? 
  • How many people are prescribed antibiotics in a year, and how many antibiotics are they prescribed? 
  • Does diabetes mellitus increase the risk of caesarean section? 
  • Does smoking increase the risk of schizophrenia? 
  • Common infections in patients prescribed systemic glucocorticoids. 
  • How women use primary care services after childbirth. 
  • New methods to deal with missing data in electronic health records. 
  • Innovative study designs and analytical methods to answer clinical/epidemiological questions with routinely collected data 
  • These methods include machine and deep learning tools, statistical methods, sampling procedures, 



  • Brendan Hallam 

  • Holly Smith is a PhD student, and her research interests include using electronic health records for research, women’s health after childbirth and the mental health of parents. She is funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. 

  • Kingshuk Pal 

  • Takahiro Itaya 

  • Christina Avgerinou 

  • Danielle Nimmons 

  • Laura Horsfall

  • Doug McKechnie 

  • Kristian Svendsen 

  • Siti Watiqah Samsuddin is a PhD student currently interested in researching the psychotropic polypharmacy use in individuals with depression using UK and Brunei electronic health records. She holds a Masters in Pharmacy degree (MPharm, UK) and prior to doing her PhD research full-time, she had worked as a responsible pharmacist with a Mental Health Trust in England.  

  • Karan Mehta is a PhD student researching the development of all-cause mortality risk prediction algorithms using classical and machine learning modelling techniques and an electronic healthcare primary care dataset. 

  • Rini Veeravalli 

  • Rachael Hunter 

  • Cini Bhanu (THINK Group Coordinator) 

  • Elizabeth O’Nions (THINK Group Coordinator) Liz is a post-doctoral researcher based at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology. She working on the AUDIT-50 project funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust. She is investigating underdiagnosis of autism in the UK, plus physical and mental health in UK autistic people. 

  • Caroline Clarke (Methodology Group Coordinator) Caroline is a Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics based in Priment CTU at PCPH who works with the HEART (Health Economics Analysis and Research methods Team) on a number of clinical trials and other studies and projects across UCL and elsewhere. 

  • JC Bazo-Alvarez (CEHRAM Co-Director) is a Research Fellow based at the UCL Department of Primary Care & Population Health. His methodological research is mainly focused on interrupted time series analysis and missing data handling, both of them for individual-level data (e.g., electronic health records). His applied research is focused on mental health and its connection with long-term physical health, with special emphasis on health inequalities. 

  • Irene Petersen (CEHRAM Director) is a Professor of Epidemiology and Health Informatics at UCL. r almost two decades, she has focused largely on the use of electronic health records for aetiological and epidemiological research. Since she moved to UCL in 2003, she built a vibrant and productive research environment around analysis of primary care databases. Irene has led and supported several projects funded by MRC, NIHR and various charities and have co-authored around 200 papers based on electronic health records and population registries. 



Some recent publications

See also a full list of publications.


  • Introduction to primary care data: This course includes an overview of primary care datasets characteristics, basics on programming and data management, codelists creation, incidence estimation, cohort construction and sampling. Practical and examples are provided with Stata codes. The course is usually given once a year for PhD students, post-docs and other colleagues starting in primary care data analysis. 
  • Introduction to Stata + R: This course focuses on teaching the basics on Stata and R coding for people with previous knowledge on statistics. No previous knowledge on coding is required. Main topics are data management, data visualisation, basic statistical tests, and regression models. Each topic is developed in Stata and R simultaneously.  
  • Introduction to interrupted time series with electronic health records: In this course, students explore the basis of interrupted time series (ITS) as a study design, how ITS design can be applied to both population and individual level data (e.g., electronic health records), and the way it can also be used to evaluate interventions applied at the population or individual level. The course includes details on ITS analysis with Stata and R.  

Recorded presentations

  • May 2017: Communicating risks and evidence to patients in a clear and balanced way - presented by Alex Freeman from the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication (slides


Joint de group

  • Register in a course 
  • PhD opportunities 
  • Contact us 

Broaden research areas (PhD/ Post-Doc)

If you are interested in study a PhD within CEHRAM, these are the research areas we are delighted to support: 

  • Methods for missing data handling in electronic health records 
  • Complex Interrupted Time Series designs applied to individual-level data 
  • Machine Learning tools applied to advanced cluster analysis 
  • Strengths and limitations of synthetic data 
  • Machine and Deep Learning to improve health events predictions with electronic health records 
  • Validation of codelists and algorithms for health conditions and study of long-term drug treatment prescriptions   

For informal questions about PhD/Post-Doc opportunities, please contact Prof Irene Petersen (irene.petersen@ucl.ac.uk) or Dr JC Bazo-Alvarez (juan.alvarez.16@ucl.ac.uk