Show/hide main menu


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

Senior Lecturer in 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

  • Routine data based palliative care and end of life care research
  • Design and Evaluation of Complex Interventions in palliative care and end of life care populations
  • Applied statistical methodology in palliative care and end of life care research
  • Development and Psychometric Evaluations of Outcome Measures in Palliative Care and End of Life Care


Dr Wei Gao (Gao Wei) received her first degree in medicine (MBBS equivalent), a Master of Medicine in Environmental Hygiene from Tongji Medical University, and a PhD in Epidemiology and Health Statistics from Huazhong University of Science & Technology. She has research experience in a wide range of areas including large scale epidemiologic studies, ecological trials, molecular epidemiology, laboratory-based studies, environmental health, and applied statistical epidemiology.
She had postdoctoral research experience with five top Higher Education Institutions across three countries before joining the department in April 2007. She was the only statistician working full time for COMPASS Collaborative – an initiative and collaboration between 11 UK Universities to improve complex interventions in palliative care populations, primarily working on Strand I outcome assessment.
She became a Lecturer in Statistics and Epidemiology in Feb 2012 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer two years later. The workstream she is co-leading with Professor Higginson in developing routine databased palliative care and end of life care research, has led to several successful grant applications.
She is leading the Routine Data Stream of the Palliative and End of Life Care Theme in the CLAHRC South London. She is the co-Chief investigator for a large scale multicentre palliative care intervention for people with long term neurological conditions, and the Principal Investigator or the Lead statistician investigator for several concurrent projects. She is also the Departmental Statistician and the King’s Clinical Trial Unit accredited trial statistician providing for grant applications, data analysis and trial implementation.  
Key Leadership Roles
  • Institute Executive: Research Quality and Strategy Executive Group at Cicely Saunders Institute
  • OptCare Neuro project: co-Chief investigator/trial statistician
  • CLAHRC South London: Routine data stream lead, Palliative and End of Life Care Theme


Selected Publications
Irene IJ, Bausewein C, Reilly CC, Gao W, Gysels M, Dzingina M, McCrone P, Booth S, Jolley CJ, Moxham J. An integrated palliative and respiratory care service for patients with advanced disease and refractory breathlessness: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 29 October 2014(Article in Press DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(14)70226-7


Evans CJ, Ho Y, Daveson BA, Hall S, Higginson IJ, Gao W; GUIDE_Care project. Place and cause of death in centenarians: a population-based observational study in England, 2001 to 2010. PLoS Med. 2014 Jun 3;11(6):e1001653. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001653. eCollection 2014 Jun.


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.


Gao W, Gulliford M, Higginson IJ. Prescription patterns of analgesics in the last 3 months of life: a retrospective analysis of 10202 lung cancer patients. Br J Cancer. 2011 May 24;104(11):1704-10. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.150. Epub 2011 May 3.


Gao W, Bennett MI, Stark D, Murray S, Higginson IJ. Psychological distress in cancer from survivorship to end of life care: prevalence, associated factors and clinical implications. Eur J Cancer. 2010 Jul;46(11):2036-44. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2010.03.033. Epub 2010 May 4.


Donnelly CA, Woodroffe R, Cox DR, Bourne FJ, Cheeseman CL, Clifton-Hadley RS, Gao W, Gettinby G, Gilks P, Jenkins H, Johnston WT, Le Fevre AM, McInerney JP, Morrison WI. Positive and negative effects of widespread badger culling on tuberculosis in cattle. Nature. 2006 Feb 16;439(7078):843-6. Epub 2005 Dec 14.
  • Research Methods & Statistics in Palliative Care (Core module), MSc programme in Palliative Care
  • Applying Epidemiology in Palliative Care (Optional module), MSc programme in Palliative Care
  • MSc tutor
Current PHD Students
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

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

Optimising palliative care for older people in community settings: development and evaluation of a new short term integrated service (phases 1b and 2); NIHR - National Institute For Health Research; Evans, C., Higginson, I., Gao, W.(Lead Statistician), Gomes, B., Hall, S., Morgan, M.; £232,428; 7/11/13 → 6/11/15

Changing patterns of place of cancer deaths in children and young people, 1984-2010 (CHAPLIN); Marie Curie Cancer Care; Gao, W.(PI), Higginson, I.(co-PI), Greenough, A., Peacock, J.; £58,515; 1/07/13 → 31/12/14

C-CHANGE: Delivering high quality and cost-effective palliative care across the range of complexity for those with advanced conditions in the last year of life; NIHR - National Institute For Health Research; Murtagh, F., Turner-Stokes, L., Bausewein, C., Daveson, B., Douiri, A., Evans, C., Gao W (Lead Statistician) et al.;  £1,775,348; 1/06/13 → 31/05/18
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), China Association of Preventive Medicine (CAPM)

Editorial board member: J Palliative Care &  Medicine, Open Epidemiology J,  Chin J Pharmacoepidemiology

Grant Reviewer:  NIHR programme development grant, NIHR-HTA programme grant,NIHR Public Health Research Programme grant, NIHR-SDO programme grant

Journal Reviewer: Lancet, PLoS Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, PLoS One, British Journal of Cancer, Lancet Oncology, Lancet Neurology, Lancet Respiratory Diseases, Lancet Infectious Diseases, European Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Wound Care, BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, Journal of Palliative Care and Medicine, The Open Epidemiology Journal, Journal of Cancer Research & Therapy, African Journal of Microbiology Research, European Journal of Cancer Care, Psychological Assessment
International Links


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

International conferences
EAPC 2014 - Lleida, Spain: Regional Variations in Place of Cancer Death in Children and Young People (CYP)
ASCO Annual Meeting 2013 - Chicago, US: Antibiotic prescribing in primary care for end-of-life cancer patients
EAPC 2013, 13th World Congress - Prague, Czech Republic: Place of death is associated with holiday periods: implications for end of life care
6th Conference of The Union Europe Region, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2012 - London, UK: Place of death in Tuberculosis: an Analysis from Death Registry in England, 2001-2010
Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2019 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454