Prof. John Newell

Professor of Biostatistics
SFI Principal Investigator (INSIGHT and CURAM)

Research interests

  • Biostatistics
  • Clinical Trials
  • Translational Statistics
  • Sports Analytics

Research overview

Biostatistics is a primary and an enabling discipline.  It is unique in that it is a key component to all clinical research areas, but especially in population health and health services research, and involves collaboration with researchers in numerous disciplines (e.g. clinical research, health economics, clinical psychology).

My primary areas of research in Biostatistics are in the theory and application of statistical methods in clinical trials of health service and population health interventions and in the development of novel analytic approaches in Sports and Exercise Science (h-index 27).  My research interests include statistical modelling, statistical computing, design and analysis of cluster randomised trials, smoothing techniques and derivative estimation, survival analysis, tree based classification problems and sports analytics.

I was the founder and leader of the first Biostatistics Unit in the network of HRB Clinical Research Facilities in Ireland, based at HRB-Clinical Research Facility Galway (HRB CRFG) and am an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, Christchurch,  New Zealand.

My role as an educator in Biostatistics includes my co-authorship of the first text book on Biostatistics specifically for Sports and Exercise Scientists. The book assumes no prior knowledge of statistics and uses real-life case studies to introduce the importance of statistics in sport and exercise science.  Code is available on the book’s accompanying website to replicate all analyses in Minitab, SPSS and R.

I have written free software to calculate blood lactate markers which is available here as a Shiny package in R.

Selected publications

  1. Alvarez-Iglesias, A., Hinde, J., Ferguson, J. and Newell, J. (2016) 'An alternative pruning based approach to unbiased recursive partitioning'. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 106 :90-102
  2. Ferguson, J., Alvarez-Iglesias, A., Newell, J., Hinde, J. and O'Donnell, M. (2016) 'Estimating average attributable fractions with confidence intervals for cohort and case-control studies'. Statistical Methods In Medical Research
  3. Mooney, R,Corley, G,Godfrey, A,Osborough, C,Newell, J,Quinlan, LR,OLaighin, G (2016) 'Analysis of swimming performance: perceptions and practices of US-based swimming coaches'. Journal Of Sports Sciences, 34 :997-1005
  4. Lewis, NA,Newell, J,Burden, R,Howatson, G,Pedlar, CR (2016) 'Critical Difference and Biological Variation in Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress and Nutritional Status in Athletes'. Plos One, 11
  5. Alvarez-Iglesias, A., Newell, J., Scarrott, C. and Hinde, J. (2015), Summarising censored survival data using the mean residual life function. Statistics in Medicine, 34: 1965–1976. doi: 10.1002/sim.6431.
  6. Glynn, LG,Hayes, PS,Casey, M,Glynn, F,Alvarez-Iglesias, A, Newell, J,OLaighin, G,Heaney, D,O'Donnell, M,Murphy, AW (2014) 'Effectiveness of a smartphone application to promote physical activity in primary care: the SMART MOVE randomised controlled trial'. British Journal Of General Practice, 64:384-391.
  7. Simpkin, A and Newell, J. (2013) 'An additive penalty P-spline approach to derivative estimation'. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis , 68 :30-43.
  8. Casey, D. Murphy, K. Devane, D. Cooney, A. Mee, L. McCarthy, B., Newell, J., Scarrott, C. O' Shea, E. Gillespie, P. Kirwan, C. Murphy, AW. (2013) 'The effectiveness of a structured education pulmonary rehabilitation programme for improving the health status of people with moderate and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary care: The PRINCE cluster randomised trial'. Thorax, 68 (10):922-928
  9. Feil, S., Newell, J., Minogue, C., Paessler, H.H (2011) 'The effectiveness of supplementing a standard rehabilitation program with superimposed neuromuscular electrical stimulation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a prospective, randomized, single-blind study'. American Journal Of Sports Medicine, 39 (6):1238-1247.
  10. Newell, J., McMillan, K., Grant, S., McCabe, G. (2006) 'Using Functional Data Analysis to Summarise and Interpret Lactate Curves'. Computers in Biology and Medicine , 36 (3):262-275.
  11. Newell, J., Kay, JW., Aitchison, TC. (2006) 'Survival ratio plots with permutation envelopes in survival data problems'. Computers in Biology and Medicine , 36 :526-541.
  A complete list of my publications to date is available here.