Mona Kanaan
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)



Mona is an Associate Professor in Applied Health Research (Statistics). Mona is also the Programme Leader for the Postgraduate certificate in Health Research and Statistics

Mona has worked on statistical modelling of childhood infectious diseases, analysis of randomised controlled trials in the health and social sciences including cluster randomised trials and stepped wedge trials, and spatial statistics. She has published in health and social sciences and statistical journals. She has been involved in the analysis of datasets from both the UK and internationally (Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and South Africa) with applications ranging from maternity outcomes to MMR vaccines, tobacco control, reablement and criminal justice data. She also serves on the NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research Commissioned Prioritisation Committee, a number of data monitoring committees and has served on an NIHR regional funding committee. She is an associate editor of Ethnicity and Health.

Mona trained initially as a Mathematician at the American University of Beirut supported by a Hariri Foundation Scholarship. She then moved on to study Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge supported by the Karim Rida Said Foundation. Mona then completed her PhD studies in Spatial Statistics at the Open University supported by an Open University studentship and an Overseas Research Studentship Award. This was followed by a post-doctoral post at the Open University working with Prof. Paddy Farrington on parameter estimation for infectious diseases. Mona then took an Assistant Professor in Biostatistics position at the Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut before joining the University of York.  


  • BSc in Mathematics (with distinction), American University of Beirut
  • Postgraduate degree in Mathematical Statistics, University of Cambridge
  • PhD (statistics), The Open University

Departmental roles



Mona's research interests include health statistics in general with particular focus on randomised trials, cluster randomised trials, stepped wedge design, spatial statistics and statistical methods for the analysis of infectious diseases specifically measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Mona’s work includes trials on control of tobacco use, improving communication skills among doctors and awareness of patient safety for doctors in training, empowerment of pregnant women, and breathing techniques for lung cancer patients.

Mona's research expertise is in Applied Health Research Statistics. Specifically, she is interested in the analysis of health and social related statistics. To this effect, she usually leads on the statistical aspects in the design of studies in general. She has expertise in various study design including parallel randomised trials, cluster randomised trials, stepped wedge design, spatial statistics and observational studies.

Mona has recently co-supervised a PhD student who explored the role of social isolation and loneliness in coronary heart disease and stroke participants of the ELSA study. The work of the student attracted national and international coverage. One of the papers that they co-authored also received the best paper of the year from the prestigious Heart journal.


Current projects

Completed projects include:

  • Models of reablement evaluation: a mixed methods evaluation of a complex intervention (The MoRE project)
  • Children learning about second-hand smoke (CLASS II): A pilot cluster randomised controlled trial
  • A randomised trial of high versus low intensity training in breathing techniques for breathlessness in patients with malignant lung disease: early intervention (SOB-II)
  • HOPE - Health of Populations and Ecosystems
  • CLASS (Children Learning About Second-hand Smoke): a cluster RCT. NIHR Public Health Research Programme Grant
  • Citizenship evaluation project’, National Probation Service
  • Effect of doctors' training in interpersonal and communication skills on women's satisfaction at labour and delivery: a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial in Damascus, Wellcome Trust as part of the Changing Childbirth network
  • Mobilizing women to change maternity practices: a cluster randomized controlled trial’, Wellcome Trust as part of the Changing Childbirth network

Research group(s)


Mona has successfully supervised three PhD students to completion and is currently co-supervising six PhD students at various stages in their research programme. Interested PhD students with proposals that have a substantive/advanced quantitative element in a health related setting are welcome to contact Mona.

Mona is interested in quantitative research related to tobacco control research, under-researched and under-represented populations. For those interested in methodological research within health sciences, Mona particularly welcomes proposals related to stepped wedge (cluster randomised) trials and application of spatial statistics to health related fields.

Keywords: Stepped Wedge, Trials, Cluster Randomised, Epidemiology, Surveys, Spatial Statistics, Tobacco Control

Sucessfully completed PhD Supervision

Current PhD Supervisees

Thesis Advisory Panel Membership (TAP)

  • Member of the TAP group for Georgios Nikiliadis (Supervised by Marta Soares and Stephen Palmer)
  • (Completed) Member of the TAP group for Omara Dogar (Supervised by Trevor Shekdon and Kamran Siddiqi)



Module leader for:

Co-module leader for:


Full publications list

External activities


Editorial duties

Invited talks and conferences

  • "An introduction to spectral analysis of spatial point-lattice processes", invited talk presented at the Statistical Computing Section of the Royal Statistical Society


Contact details

Dr Mona Kanaan
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)

Tel: 01904 32(1375)