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Maria Vazquez Montes

PhD, MSc, BSc


Senior Statistician

Applying modelling strategies to medical research

As a medical statistician, I focus on prognostic and risk prediction research. In healthcare, improving lives and properly administrating available resources are of maximum importance. Prognostic models and risk prediction tools can help clinicians to identify patients that would benefit most from intensive interventions. Risk prediction models quantify the likelihood of a patient developing a particular disease, for instance, whereas, at diagnosis, prognostic models quantify the likelihood of the patient’s outcomes (e.g. survival rate, disease progression). Many studies focus on these issues but few of them follow a rigorous development and validation methodological process that would allow the models to be used in practice. I disseminate good practice and create examples of well-developed and well-validated models.

Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences (NDPCHS)

At NDPCHS, I validate violence risk assessment tools for use in psychiatry. The Oxford Risk of Recidivism Tool (OxREC) and the Oxford Mental Illness and Violence tool (OxMIV) are examples of web-based calculators resulting from well conducted risk prediction studies. We want to be able to use these tools in populations other than the ones used to develop and validate them. We therefore need to assess their prediction accuracy in more populations. I am also developing a suicide risk assessment tool. There are no good tools in this area because there is no consensus in the mental health community of who the clinical population is, what outcome we should measure, or which factors might predict risk. Both projects are funded by the Wellcome Trust.

 Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM)

 At CSM, I collaborate on the Prognostic Biomarkers in Heart Failure project, funded by the British Heart Foundation. Heart failure is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Patients may have better outcomes if we use prognostic modelling to identify those at particular risk and those for whom particular therapies might be most helpful. We are conducting a series of systematic reviews to identify and describe existing prognostic biomarker models for heart failure. We will determine how well each model was developed and validated, so that we can advise clinicians on which models to use.

 Expertise

I have provided statistical expertise in medical studies in mental health, online learning, ophthalmology, chronic diseases (diabetes, kidney disease, cancer), and hearth failure. I also teach statistics on the Oxford Postgraduate Programme in Evidence-Based Health Care. I first joined CSM in 2013 as an NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Research Fellow. As a member of the CSM prognosis methodological group, I investigated the effect of measurement error on the development and performance of prognostic models.

 Education

Before joining the NDPHC in 2008, I completed a PhD in Statistics at the University of Warwick (UK), an MSc in Statistics at Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas/Universidad de Guanajuato (Mexico), and a BSc in Mathematics at the Universidad de Yucatan (Mexico). I also have a Certificate in Psychology from the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick.

 Awards

March 2017-February 2018: Returning Carers’ Fund grant to support conference attendance and training/professional development

March 2013-February 2016: Candidato a Investigador Nacional awarded by the Mexican National System of Investigators (SNI) Mexico in recognition of research and academic records during 2008-2012

October 2004-September 2008: Joint ALβAN (European) and CONACyT (Mexican) PhD scholarship

Key publications

Recent publications

More publications