Dr Nicola Fitz-Simon

PhD

Contact Details

LECTURER ABOVE THE BAR
E: NICOLA.FITZ-SIMON@nuigalway.ie
Lecturer in Medical Biostatistics
T: +35391495970
@NicolaFitz
 
researcher
 

Biography

I joined the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway in November 2018.

I have an MSc in Statistics (2000) and a PhD in Biostatistics (2006), both from Trinity College Dublin.  I also have an MEd in University Learning and Teaching from Imperial College London (2018).

Before coming to NUI Galway, I worked at the Department of Mathematics and the Neonatal Data Analysis Unit at Imperial College London (2012-2018), the Department of Social and Environmental Health Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2010-2012), the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford (2008-2010), and the School of Public Health at University College Dublin (2004-2008).

Research Interests

My main research interests are in statistical methods for the analysis of observational data.  I am especially interested in statistical causal inference methods to address real-life questions about causes and effects in human health. 

For instance:
- does alcohol use during pregnancy affect childrens' cognitive outcomes?
- does exposure to a pollutant (perfluourooctanoic acid) in drinking water affect cholesterol levels?
- in preterm infants, does the type of feeding cause necrotising enterocolitis?
- is the association between maternal depression and children's behaviour explained by pregnancy or post-pregnancy exposure?

The analysis of observational data brings many challenges.  There are almost always missing, poorly measured and unmeasured data.  Selection of study participants can lead to biased effect estimates.  Selection may also limit the generalisability of findings.  Dealing with these challenges requires understanding via collaboration with clinical and scientific colleagues who know the data well. 



   

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2013) 'Rejoinder: Understanding uncertainties in a change versus change study'
Fitz-Simon N;Fletcher T;Armstrong B; (2013) 'Rejoinder: Understanding uncertainties in a change versus change study'. Epidemiology, 24 (4) [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Reductions in serum lipids with a 4-year decline in serum perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid'
Fitz-Simon N;Fletcher T;Luster MI;Steenland K;Calafat AM;Kato K;Armstrong B; (2013) 'Reductions in serum lipids with a 4-year decline in serum perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid'. Epidemiology, 24 (4) [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'Comparison between free serum thyroxine levels, measured by analog and dialysis methods, in the presence of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate'
Lopez-Espinosa MJ;Fitz-Simon N;Bloom MS;Calafat AM;Fletcher T; (2012) 'Comparison between free serum thyroxine levels, measured by analog and dialysis methods, in the presence of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate'. Reproductive Toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.), 33 (4) [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Abstracts of the Winter Scientific Meeting of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. December 8, 2010. Dublin, Ireland'
(2011) 'Abstracts of the Winter Scientific Meeting of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. December 8, 2010. Dublin, Ireland'. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 180 Suppl 6 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Heartwatch: the effect of a primary care-delivered secondary prevention programme for cardiovascular disease on medication use and risk factor profiles'
Fitzpatrick P;Fitz-Simon N;Lonergan M;Collins C;Daly L; (2011) 'Heartwatch: the effect of a primary care-delivered secondary prevention programme for cardiovascular disease on medication use and risk factor profiles'. European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation : official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology, 18 (1) [DOI] [Details]
(2010) 'Stroke associated with atrial fibrillation--incidence and early outcomes in the north Dublin population stroke study'
Hannon N;Sheehan O;Kelly L;Marnane M;Merwick A;Moore A;Kyne L;Duggan J;Moroney J;McCormack PM;Daly L;Fitz-Simon N;Harris D;Horgan G;Williams EB;Furie KL;Kelly PJ; (2010) 'Stroke associated with atrial fibrillation--incidence and early outcomes in the north Dublin population stroke study'. Cerebrovascular Diseases, 29 (1) [DOI] [Details]
(2009) 'A non-synonymous variant in ADH1B is strongly associated with prenatal alcohol use in a European sample of pregnant women'
Zuccolo L;Fitz-Simon N;Gray R;Ring SM;Sayal K;Smith GD;Lewis SJ; (2009) 'A non-synonymous variant in ADH1B is strongly associated with prenatal alcohol use in a European sample of pregnant women'. Human Molecular Genetics, 18 (22) [DOI] [Details]
(2007) 'Predictors of self-reported poor mental health at area level in Ireland: a multilevel analysis of deprivation and social capital indicators'
Fitzsimon N;Shiely F;Corradino D;Friel S;Kelleher CC; (2007) 'Predictors of self-reported poor mental health at area level in Ireland: a multilevel analysis of deprivation and social capital indicators'. Irish Medical Journal, 100 (8) [Details]
(2007) 'Mothers' dietary patterns during pregnancy and risk of asthma symptoms in children at 3 years'
Fitzsimon N;Fallon U;O'Mahony D;Loftus BG;Bury G;Murphy AW;Kelleher CC; ; (2007) 'Mothers' dietary patterns during pregnancy and risk of asthma symptoms in children at 3 years'. Irish Medical Journal, 100 (8) [Details]
(2007) 'The risk factor profile of grandparents'
Kelleher CC;Fallon UB;Fitzsimon N;Bimpeh Y;Murphy G;Bury G;Murphy AW; ; (2007) 'The risk factor profile of grandparents'. Irish Medical Journal, 100 (8) [Details]
(2007) 'Secular trends in cardiovascular risk factors: an age-period cohort analysis of 698,954 health examinations in 181,350 Austrian men and women'
Ulmer H;Kelleher CC;Fitz-Simon N;Diem G;Concin H; (2007) 'Secular trends in cardiovascular risk factors: an age-period cohort analysis of 698,954 health examinations in 181,350 Austrian men and women'. Internal medicine journal, 261 (6) [DOI] [Details]
(2006) 'The Americanisation of migrants: evidence for the contribution of ethnicity, social deprivation, lifestyle and life-course processes to the mid-20th century Coronary Heart Disease epidemic in the US'
Kelleher CC;Lynch JW;Daly L;Harper S;Fitz-Simon N;Bimpeh Y;Daly E;Ulmer H; (2006) 'The Americanisation of migrants: evidence for the contribution of ethnicity, social deprivation, lifestyle and life-course processes to the mid-20th century Coronary Heart Disease epidemic in the US'. Social Science & Medicine, 63 (2) [DOI] [Details]
(2005) 'A review of studies of adherence with antihypertensive drugs using prescription databases'
Fitz-Simon N;Bennett K;Feely J; (2005) 'A review of studies of adherence with antihypertensive drugs using prescription databases'. Therapeutics And Clinical Risk Management, 1 (2) [DOI] [Details]
(2004) 'A single-centre assessment of long-term quality-of-life status after sibling allogeneic stem cell transplantation for chronic myeloid leukaemia in first chronic phase'
Hayden PJ;Keogh F;Ni Conghaile M;Carroll M;Crowley M;Fitzsimon N;Gardiner N;Vandenberghe E;O'Riordan J;McCann SR; (2004) 'A single-centre assessment of long-term quality-of-life status after sibling allogeneic stem cell transplantation for chronic myeloid leukaemia in first chronic phase'. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 34 (6) [DOI] [Details]
(2003) 'Prognostic importance of survivin in breast cancer'
Kennedy SM;O'Driscoll L;Purcell R;Fitz-Simons N;McDermott EW;Hill AD;O'Higgins NJ;Parkinson M;Linehan R;Clynes M; (2003) 'Prognostic importance of survivin in breast cancer'. British Journal Of Cancer, 88 (7) [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2016) Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Annual Conference
Battersby, C; Mandalia, S; Fitz-Simon, N; Costeloe, K; Modi, N. (2016) A prospective population study of the incidence of severe necrotising enterocolitis in England Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Annual Conference Liverpool, , 26-APR-16 - 28-APR-16 [DOI] [Details]
(2014) Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Annual Conference
Battersby, C; Santhakumaran, S; Fitz-Simon, N; Modi, N. (2014) Enteral feed exposures in preterm infants born less than 32 weeks in England Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Annual Conference Birmingham, , 08-APR-16 - 10-APR-16 [Details]
(2011) 23rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE)
Fletcher, T; Fitz-Simon, N; Genser, B; Bartell, S; Shin, H-M; Vieira, V; Armstrong, B. (2011) DRINKING WATER CONTAMINATED WITH PERFLUORINATED CHEMICALS – THE USE OF MODELLED AND MEASURED SERUM CONCENTRATIONS IN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL ANALYSES 23rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) Barcelona, , 13-SEP-11 - 16-SEP-11 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 23rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE)
Fitz-Simon, N; Fletcher, T; Armstrong, B. (2011) THE USE OF INSTRUMENTAL VARIABLES TO REDUCE CONFOUNDING AND REVERSE-CAUSATION BIAS IN A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY FOR PFOA IN RELATION TO CHOLESTEROL 23rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) Barcelona, , 13-SEP-11 - 16-SEP-11 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 23rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE)
Fletcher, T; Armstrong, B; Fitz-Simon, N; Leonardi, G; Gallo, V; Lopez-Espinoza, M-J; Mondal D. (2011) CROSS SECTIONAL AND LONGITUDINAL ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN PFOS AND PFOA IN THE MID OHIO VALLEY AND CLINICAL MARKERS OF DISEASE 23rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) Barcelona, , 13-SEP-11 - 16-SEP-11 [DOI] [Details]
(2010) Winter Scientific Meeting of the Faculty of Public Health Medicineof the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Fitz-Simon, N; Lewis, SJ; Davey Smith, G; Zuccolo, L; Sayal, K; Draper, E; Fraser, R; Barrow, M; Alati, R; Ring, S; Nutt, D; Heron, J; Gray, R. (2010) Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and children’s cognitive development: Mendelian randomisation study using the ADH1B genotype Winter Scientific Meeting of the Faculty of Public Health Medicineof the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Dublin, , 08-DEC-10 - 08-DEC-10 [DOI] [Details]
(2008) XXIVth International Biometric Society
Fitz-Simon, N; Walsh, C. (2008) Adjusting for unmeasured covariates – A Bayesian Approach XXIVth International Biometric Society Dublin, , 13-JUL-08 - 18-JUL-08 [Details]
(2006) Society for Social Medicine 50th Annual Scientific Meeting
Fitz-Simon N, Fallon U, O’Mahony D, Bury G, Kelleher C, Murphy AW for the Lifeways Steering Group. (2006) Predictors of asthma in children in Ireland: a multivariate analysis of deprivation and social support Society for Social Medicine 50th Annual Scientific Meeting Leeds, , 13-SEP-06 - 15-SEP-06 , pp.A12-A12 [Details]
(2005) The Society for Social Medicine 49th Annual Scientific Meeting
Fitz-Simon N, Shiely F, Corradino D, Friel S, Kelleher C. (2005) Predictors of poor mental health at area level in Ireland: a multilevel analysis of deprivation and social capital indicators The Society for Social Medicine 49th Annual Scientific Meeting Glasgow, , 14-SEP-05 - 16-SEP-05 , pp.A5-A5 [Details]
(2004) 20th International Conference on Pharmocoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management
Fitz-Simon, N; Bennett, K; Feely, J. (2004) A multilevel model for statin discontinuation and switching using a large prescribing database . In: Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 13 eds. 20th International Conference on Pharmocoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management Bordeaux, , 22-AUG-04 - 25-AUG-04 , pp.S101-S101 [Details]
(2003) Proceedings of the British Pharmacological Society Clinical Pharmacology Section
Fitz-Simon, N; Bennett, K; Feely, J. (2003) A model for the probability of discontinuation of antihypertensive therapy Proceedings of the British Pharmacological Society Clinical Pharmacology Section London, , 16-DEC-03 - 18-DEC-03 , pp.682-683 [DOI] [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2015) National Neonatal Audit Programme 2015 report on 2014 data.
Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health, National Neonatal Audit Project Board (2015) National Neonatal Audit Programme 2015 report on 2014 data. Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health, London. [Details]
(2014) Annual Report National Neonatal Audit Programme 2013.
S Oddie, S Morris, D Gray, N Fitz-Simon on behalf of NNAP Project Board. (2014) Annual Report National Neonatal Audit Programme 2013. Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health, London. [Details]
(2013) Annual Report 2012 National Neonatal Audit Programme.
M Watkinson, K Davis, G Oleka, D Gray, N Fitz-Simon on behalf of NNAP Project Board. (2013) Annual Report 2012 National Neonatal Audit Programme. Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London. [Details]
(2007) Insight 07: Health and social services in Ireland – a survey of consumer satisfaction.
Health Service Executive (2007) Insight 07: Health and social services in Ireland – a survey of consumer satisfaction. HSE, Dublin. [Details]
(2006) Physical activity, health and quality of life among people with disabilities: an analysis of SLAN data.
Hannon, F; Fitz-Simon, N; Kelleher, C. (2006) Physical activity, health and quality of life among people with disabilities: an analysis of SLAN data. National Disability Authority, Dublin. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2019) Royal Statistical Society 2019 Annual Conference,
Fitz-Simon N; Rodriguez A. (2019) Interpreting estimates of mediated effects from studies with attrition: an example from a study of maternal depression and child neurodevelopment. [Oral Presentation], Royal Statistical Society 2019 Annual Conference, Belfast , 02-SEP-19 - 05-SEP-19. [Details]
(2019) European Causal Inference Meeting,
Fitz-Simon N; Rodriguez A. (2019) Mediation analysis of maternal depression and child neurodevelopment. [Poster Presentation], European Causal Inference Meeting, Bremen , 27-MAR-19 - 29-MAR-19. [Details]
(2019) Conference on Applied Statistics in Ireland,
Fitz-Simon, N; Rodriguez, A. (2019) Mediation analysis of maternal depression and child neurodevelopment. [Oral Presentation], Conference on Applied Statistics in Ireland, Dundak , 15-MAY-19 - 17-MAY-19. [Details]
(2010) National Neonatal Audit Programme and Neonatal Data Analysis Unit Collaborators’ Meeting,
Fitz-Simon, N. (2010) Case mix adjustment – what is it, is it useful for the National Neonatal Audit Programme?. [Invited Oral Presentation], National Neonatal Audit Programme and Neonatal Data Analysis Unit Collaborators’ Meeting, London , 01-MAR-10. [Details]
(2007) Royal College of Physicians Ireland Faculty of Public Health Winter Scientific Meeting,
Fitz-Simon N, O’Mahony D, Boilson A, Craven F, Drummond A, Staines A, Kelleher CC. (2007) Satisfaction with General Practice in Insight 2007, the National Consumer Satisfaction Survey: a Graphical Modelling Approach. [Oral Presentation], Royal College of Physicians Ireland Faculty of Public Health Winter Scientific Meeting, Dublin , 01-DEC-07. [Details]
(2006) Royal College of Physicians Ireland Faculty of Public Health Summer Scientific Meeting, 2006,
Fitz-Simon N, Fallon U, Bury G, Murphy AW, Kelleher C for the Lifeways Steering Group. (2006) Predictors of the level of general practice consultations in Lifeways cohort grandparents: a multivariate analysis of socio-demographic and lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Royal College of Physicians Ireland Faculty of Public Health Summer Scientific Meeting, 2006, Dublin , 01-JUL-06. [Details]
(2006) Nutrition Society Meeting (Irish Section),
Fitz-Simon N, Fallon U, Sweeney MR, O’Mahony D, Bury G, Murphy AW, Kelleher C for the Lifeways Steering Group. (2006) Predictors of asthma in children in Ireland: a multivariate analysis of dietary factors during pregnancy. [Oral Presentation], Nutrition Society Meeting (Irish Section), Cork , 14-JUL-06 - 16-JUL-06. [Details]
(2006) Irish Social Medicine Meeting,
Fitz-Simon N, Hannon F, Corrigan H Kelleher C. (2006) Predictors of physical activity in people with disability or long-term illness in Ireland. [Oral Presentation], Irish Social Medicine Meeting, Co Down , 31-MAR-06 - 02-FEB-06. [Details]
(2005) Royal College of Physicians Ireland Faculty of Public Health Summer Scientific Meeting, 2005,
Fitz-Simon N, Johnson H, Hayes C, Shiely F, Corradino D, Friel S, Kelleher C. (2005) Predictors of poor self-reported health at area level in the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA): a multilevel analysis. [Oral Presentation], Royal College of Physicians Ireland Faculty of Public Health Summer Scientific Meeting, 2005, Dublin , 01-JUL-05. [Details]
(2005) International Society for Bayesian Analysis World Meeting 2008,
Fitz-Simon, N; Walsh C. (2005) Adjusting for unmeasured covariates – an example from patient satisfaction surveys. [Poster Presentation], International Society for Bayesian Analysis World Meeting 2008, Hamilton Island, Australia , 21-JUL-05 - 25-JUL-05. [Details]
(2004) Annual Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics,
Fitz-Simon, N; Bennett, K; Feely, J. (2004) A multilevel discrete-time model for competing risks with application to antihypertensive drug use in Ireland. [Oral Presentation], Annual Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics, Leuven , 15-AUG-04 - 19-AUG-04. [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Higher Education Academy Associate /
Royal Statistical Society Fellow /
Irish Statistical Association Member /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Royal Statistical Society Florence Nightingale Bicentenary Planning Group Committee member representing Medical Section 01-JAN-19 /
Royal Statistical Society Medical Section Secretary 01-OCT-17 /
Imperial College London Postdocs and Fellows Committee Representative for Mathematics Department 01-JAN-16 / 01-DEC-07
National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit Staff Committee Chair 01-JAN-09 / 01-MAR-10

Community Engagement

  Title Type From / To
Research (e.g. Community based research) Introduction to Statistics for Health Research 30-MAY-19 /
Outreach Soapbox Science 29-JUN-19 /