Prof Jon Deeks

Prof Jon Deeks

  • Professor of Biostatistics, Joint School Research Lead, University of Birmingham


  • Chartered Statistician, Royal Statistical Society, 2007.
  • PhD in Evidence Synthesis, University of Amsterdam, 2007.
  • Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, 1990.
  • MSc with Distinction in Statistics with Applications in Medicine, University of Southampton, 1989.
  • BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, University of Southampton, 1988.

Current work

Prof Jon Deeks is Professor of Biostatistics and leads the Test Evaluation Research Group. He also holds a position of Joint Research Lead for the School of Health and Population Sciences.

Jon trained as a medical statistician and has followed a career which has given him broad experience across health research through working as a statistical collaborator on a variety of health research projects. His major methodological contributions have been made in the fields of evidence synthesis and test evaluation.

He has published more than 150 research papers and reviews in scientific journals, which include both collaborative health research projects and methodological developments related to the evaluation of health care interventions and medical tests. His work has been funded by grants from the National Institute of Health Research and the Medical Research Council.

Jon leads the Cochrane Collaboration’s test evaluation activities, and is involved in the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme through appointment as Deputy Chair of the Commissioning Board.

He is an enthusiastic teacher of statistics and research methods, and frequently runs workshops, particularly related to test evaluation, at local, national and international events.


Jon Deeks qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Southampton in 1988, where he remained to complete an MSc in Statistics with Applications in Medicine, which was awarded with distinction in 1989.

He first worked as a Lecturer in Medical Statistics at the London Hospital Medical College, during the period in which it was merged with St Bartholomew’s, Queen Mary and Westfield Colleges. As well as supporting medical research projects across the College he developed an interest in Evidence Appraisal and Synthesis. In 1994 he moved to work at the newly formed NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York, where he wrote their first methodological guidance of Methods for Systematic Reviews (CRD Report 4).

In 1995 he joined Professor Doug Altman in Oxford to found the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, where, in addition to collaborating in numerous healthcare evaluation studies, he pursued methodological research in systematic reviews and meta-analysis. He undertook leading statistical roles within the Cochrane Collaboration, including the specification of the RevMan statistical software and the statistical sections of the Collaboration’s Handbook. He was elected to the Steering Group of the Cochrane Collaboration in 2002, and served until 2008. Whilst in Oxford he organised four International Symposia on Methodology for Systematic Reviews, as well as developing and running training programmes in methods of evidence synthesis.

Jon’s current major research activity focuses on the evaluation of medical tests and biomarkers, which he first developed through collaborations whilst in Oxford, and then during a one-year secondment to the Screening and Test Evaluation Program at the University of Sydney during 2003. In 2004 he was awarded an NHS Senior Research Fellowship in Evidence Synthesis which enabled him to focus on methods of meta-analysis for diagnostic test research, including leading the introduction of systematic reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy into the Cochrane Library.

Jon joined the University of Birmingham in 2006 as Professor of Biostatistics, where he has founded a research team in test evaluation supported by grants from NIHR and MRC. In addition he has created a Biostatistics group that coordinates the teaching of medical statistics across the College. In 2008 he was awarded a PhD by the University of Amsterdam based on a thesis of publications related to evidence appraisal and synthesis, and was made a member of the NIHR Senior Researcher Faculty in 2010. He was appointed to the position of Deputy Chair of the NIHR HTA Commissioning Board in 2011.