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Professor Elizabeth Holliday

Professor Elizabeth Holliday
Research Program:
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant

Research Interests

I am interested in almost all areas of biostatistics and epidemiology, and their applications in health and medicine. I particularly enjoy working with large, complex datasets such as longitudinal datasets, large scale genomics data and linked administrative data.

Why did you get into research?

Since childhood, I have had a passion for both mathematics and medicine. When I discovered the field of biostatistics, it was an obvious choice. I love the constant challenge of this job. Researchers have a way of always bringing us new and interesting problems, requiring a combination of logical reasoning and lateral thinking to find optimal solutions.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My core vision is to promote statistical excellence in medical research. When used appropriately, statistical approaches can provide valid answers to important questions. Alternatively, inappropriately used or selectively reported statistics can yield distorted or misleading results. It is rewarding to be part of large, collaborative teams committed to delivering quality answers to important health questions.


Professor Elizabeth Holliday is a Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She has training in mathematics and molecular bioscience (BSc Hons I), biostatistics (MSc) and genetic statistics (PhD).

Professor Holliday has a significant track record spanning genetic statistics and biostatistics. She has attracted $2.5 million in nationally competitive research grants/fellowships and produced over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She has strong expertise in large scale genetic studies of complex traits and has both led and contributed to international genetic studies, resulting in discoveries published in Nature (x3), Nature Genetics (x11) and Science (x1), plus a range of other quality journals. 

Specialised/Technical Skills 

  • Study design
  • Sample size calculations
  • Generalised linear modelling
  • Time-to-event (e.g., survival) analyses
  • Multilevel modelling for longitudinal and correlated data, including experience with cohorts such as the 45 and Up Study and the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health
  • Categorical data analyses
  • Design and analysis of randomized controlled trials
  • General and advanced epidemiology, including causal modelling
  • Genetic statistics/epidemiology
  • Linked administrative data cleaning and analysis, including Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC), Emergency Department Data Collection (EDDC), Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM), Perinatal Data Collections (PDC) and NSW Ambulance data
  • Data simulation


  • University of Newcastle School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Clinical Research Design, IT and Statistical Support (CReDITSS) Unit, HMRI 
  • Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee: Clinical Trial Sub-Committee (Statistical advisor)
  • International Stroke Genetics Consortium (Member, Analysis group Chair: 2012-2014)
  • Australian Stroke Genetics Consortium  (Analyst and Investigator)
  • A range of other International and National Genetics Consortia


Dietary iron during pregnancy: finding the right balance
Project Grant

Dr Alexis Hure, Dr Amina Khambalia, Dr Amanda Patterson, Dr Elizabeth Holliday, Associate Professor Deb Loxton 


Iron deficiency is particularly common in women during pregnancy because of the increased iron needed to grow a healthy baby.