UCL Institute of Health Informatics


Maximiliane Lara Verfürden

PhD Student

Institute of Health Informatics
Faculty of Population Health Sciences


Research summary

My research focuses on "Is there an effect of infant formula composition on cognitive ability? A proof-of-concept-study on the reactivation of dormant randomised controlled trials using linked administrative data"

In my PhD I am using linked data on historical clinical trials on baby formula milk and national school records. The two main goals I hope to achieve are: (1) to compare the school attainment for children who received special nutrient-enriched formula milk and those who received standard formula milk as babies and (2) to establish a proof-of-concept, demonstrating a new method to reduce bias and costs by using data from trials conducted in the past linked to administrative records. My supervisors are Professors Ruth Gilbert, Mary Fewtrell and John Jerrim. I also have an interest in using big data sets and conducting cross-country comparisons. Most recently I was involved in projects using linked national administrative data to analyse childhood mortality and chronic conditions in childhood. I hold an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.



  • Hardelid P, Verfürden ML, McMenamin J, Smyth RL, Gilbert R. The contribution of child, family and health service factors to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospital admissions in the first 3 years of life: birth cohort study in Scotland, 2009 to 2015. Eurosurveillance. 2019 Jan 3;24(1).

  • Verfürden ML, Gilbert R, Sebire N, Hardelid P. Avoidable mortality from respiratory tract infection and sudden unexplained death in children with chronic conditions: a data linkage study. Archives of disease in childhood. 2018 Dec 1;103(12):1125-31.

  • Verfürden ML, Fewtrell M, Kennedy K, Lucas A, Jerrim J, Harron K, Gilbert R. Unconsented linkage between dormant trials and administrative data: practical and regulatory implications. International Journal of Population Data Science. 2018 Jun 7;3(2).

  • Harron K, Verfürden ML, Ibiebele I, Liu C, Kopp A, Guttmann A, Ford J, Hjern A, van der Meulen J, Gilbert R. Preterm birth, unplanned hospital contact and mortality in infants born to teenage mothers in five countries: a cross-country comparison using linked administrative data. International Journal of Population Data Science. 2018 Jun 7;3(2).

  • Hardelid P, Verfürden ML, McMenamin J, Gilbert R. Risk factors for admission to hospital with laboratory-confirmed influenza in young children: birth cohort study. European Respiratory Journal. 2017 Sep 1;50(3):1700489.

  • Wijlaars L, Zylbersztejn A, Verfürden ML, Gilbert R, Hardelid P. Phenotyping congenital anomalies in England and Scotland: a comparison of three coding clusters using retrospective hospital data. International Journal of Population Data Science. 2017 Apr 19;1(1).

  • Yu Y, Verfürden ML, Hardelid P, Zylbersztejn A, Liew Z, Olsen J, Gilbert R, Li J, Fu B. Maternal socioeconomic status and infant mortality with low birth weight as a mediator: an inter-country comparison between Scotland and Denmark using administrative data. International Journal of Population Data Science. 2017 Apr 19;1(1).

  • Floud S, Barnes I, Verfürden ML, Kuper H, Gathani T, Blanks RG, Alison R, Patnick J, Beral V, Green J, Reeves GK. Disability and participation in breast and bowel cancer screening in England: A large prospective study. British journal of cancer. 2017 Nov;117(11):1711.