Show/hide main menu


Prof Wei Gao, PhD M.Med B.Med GCAP

Professor of Statistics and Epidemiology

Phone: 0207 848 5570
Fax: 0207 848 5517
Address: King’s College London
Cicely Saunders Institute
Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation
Bessemer Road
Denmark Hill, SE5 9PJ

Personal weblink:

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8298-3415

ResearcherID: G-8653-2011

  • Routine/Big data-based palliative care and end of life care research
  • Evaluation of Complex Interventions in palliative care and end of life care
  • Applied statistical methodology in palliative and end of life care, with a particular interest in using routine/big data enhancing the design of clinical trials
  • Development and Psychometric Evaluations of Outcome Measures in Palliative Care and End of Life Care

Prof. Gao is a medically trained Statistician and Epidemiologist. She has a broad range of experience in public health and healthcare research, ranging from preventive medicine, clinical/infectious disease epidemiology to palliative and end of life care. 

She is a UK leading researcher in developing evidence base for palliative and end of life care using various routine data, such as the death registration database, the anonymous general practice health records (CPRD), the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS). She has been PI for several major UK programmes in place of death research (Guide_Care). She was the co-Chief investigator for the world’s largest palliative care trial in people with long-term neurological conditions (OPTCARE Neuro).

She is the King’s Clinical Trial Unit accredited senior statistician providing statistical leadership for grant applications, data analysis and trial implementation at the Cicely Saunders Institute.

She is a named investigator on over £20 million live grant. She is expanding her research territories to the application research of modern technologies (e.g. text mining health, geographical information system, artificial intelligence), and methodological interface between routine/big data and clinical trials, as well as to the international context.

She welcomes queries from prospective students pursuing postgraduate training, postdoctoral researchers and potential collaborators.

Key Leadership Roles
  • Research Lead - the CAG Palliative Care at KHP
  • Chair - the Research Quality and Strategy Executive Group at the Cicely Saunders Institute
  • Deputy Lead & Routine Data Stream Lead - Palliative and End of Life Care Theme, CLAHRC/ARC South London
  • Lead - the methodology working group, ASSET programme
  • Member - Research Executive, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care   
  • Member – Executive, the Cicely Saunders Institute
  • Member – MSc Course Committee, the Cicely Saunders Institute
Selected Publications

Henson, LA., Edmonds P., Johnston A., Johnson EH, Ng C., Sklavounos A., Ellis-Smith C, Gao W. A Systematic Review of Population-Based Quality Indicators for End-of-Life Cancer Care. JAMA Oncology (in press)

Peng JK, Higginson IJ, Gao W. Place of death and factors associated with hospital death in patients who have died from liver disease in England: a national population-based study. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Jan;4(1):52-62. doi: 10.1016/S2468-1253(18)30379-0. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Higginson IJ, Reilly CC, Bajwah S, Maddocks M, Costantini M, Gao W; GUIDE_Care project. Which patients with advanced respiratory disease die in hospital? A 14-year population-based study of trends and associated factors. BMC Med. 2017 Feb 1;15(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s12916-016-0776-2.

Gao W, Ho YK, Verne J, Glickman M, Higginson IJ; GUIDE_Care project. Changing patterns in place of cancer death in England: a population-based study. PLoS Med. 2013;10(3):e1001410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001410. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Higginson IJ, Gao W. Opioid prescribing for cancer pain during the last 3 months of life: associated factors and 9-year trends in a nationwide United Kingdom cohort study. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Dec 10;30(35):4373-9. Doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.42.0919. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

  • Research Methods & Statistics in Palliative Care (Core module, Deputy Module Lead), MSc programme in Palliative Care
  • Applying Epidemiology in Palliative Care (Optional module, Module Lead), MSc programme in Palliative Care
  • MSc tutor
Current and former PHD Students
  • Primary/Lead Supervisor

    • Ms Fei Fei
    • Dr Jen-Kuei Peng
    • Dr Lesley Henson
  • Second Supervisor

    • Dr Houshen Li
    • Miss Christina Ramsenthaler
    • Mr Manoharan Andiappan
Selected Grants
  • Evaluation of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of Short-term Integrated Palliative Care Services (SIPC) to OPTimise CARE for people with advanced long term Neurological conditions (OPTCARE Neuro), NIHR - National Institute For Health Research, Gao, W.(Co-CI), Higginson (CI), I., Al-Chalabi, A., Evans, C., Hotopf, M., McCrone, P. et al. £1,334,960.22 1/04/14 → 30/09/17
  • ASSET: heAlth System StrEngThening in SSA. NIHR - National Institute for Health Research. Prince, M., Gao, W., Harding, R., Higginson, I., Poston, L., Shennan, A. et al. £6,997,730.00. 1/06/2017 → 31/03/2021
  • C-POS - Children's Palliative care Outcome Scale. EC - European Commission. Harding, R., Higginson, I., Gao, W.(Lead Statistician). £1,331,866.00. 1/09/2018 → 28/02/2023
  • NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care Funding (CLAHRC), NIHR - National Institute For Health Research, Thornicroft, G., Amiel, S., Drummond, C., Gao, W., Higginson, I., Jamieson-Craig, T. et al. £9,000,000; 1/01/14 → 31/12/18
  • Geographical understanding of variation in place of death: the role of care services and end of life care improvement (GUIDE_Care Service). NIHR - National Institute for Health Research. Gao, W., Higginson, I. £302,878.00. 1/07/2015 → 31/03/2018
Critical Impact
  • Membership of Professional bodies: Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health (Distinction), Royal Statistical Society (RSS), Palliative Care Research Society (PCRS), Higher Education Academy (HEA), the China Association of Preventive Medicine (CAPM)
  • Funding panel: NIHR NETSCC End of Life Care and Add on Studies Board Member (15/16); NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research
  • Editorial board: BMC Palliative Care, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, J Palliative Care & Medicine, Open Epidemiology J
  • Grant Reviewer:  NIHR programme development grant, NIHR-HTA programme grant, NIHR Public Health Research Programme grant, NIHR-SDO programme grant
  • Journal Reviewer: Lancet & Lancet housing journals, PLoS Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, PLoS One, British Journal of Cancer, European Journal of Epidemiology, BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, Journal of Palliative Care and Medicine, The Open Epidemiology Journal, European Journal of Cancer Care, Psychological Assessment
International Links

 International appointments

03/05-present:  Visiting Senior Scientist, Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology

 International conferences

  • Invited speaker, 16th World Congress of European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), Berlin, May 2019
  • Speaker, parallel session, 12th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2017, Singapore, July 2017
  • Keynote Speaker, MS Trust Annual Conference, Windsor, Nov 2016 
Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2021 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454