Jonathan Wakefield


My Professional Background

I did my undergrad in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Nottingham. For a couple of years after my undergrad I was a Research Assistant working on numerical integration software (pre-MCMC!). I then started a PhD, also at the University of Nottingham, advised by Adrian Smith. My PhD was on models and estimation for pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) data. I worked closely with Dr Amy Racine, based in Basel, Switzerland, where I spent two 3 month visits. In 1989, I did a one-year temporary lectureship, before moving to a lecturing position in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College. Until 1996, I was still working on PK/PD modeling and Bayesian computation.

In 1996, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer and then accepted a poition to head the Statistics Group at the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU), based in the Medical School at Imperial College. During the next 3 years I worked on methods and applications in spatial epidemiology. The methods were in the context of modeling cancer incidence data.

In 1999, I moved to the University of Washington to take up a joint position in the Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics. I continued to work on spatial and spatio-temporal models for health data. In 2006-2007 I spent a year in the Genetic Epidemiology group at the International Agency for Research in Cancer in Lyon, France. At this time, and for the next few years, I did some work in genetic epidmiology, including genome-wide association studies. On my return, I was chair of the Department of Statistics from 2009-2011. I was now working on space-time methods in the context of infectious disease data and small-area estimation.

Since around 2013, I've been working on methods for modeling health and demographic outcomes in a low and medium income (LMIC) context. Since 2016, I've been visiting the United Nations (UN) Inter-agency group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) to discuss the methods I've been working on. Since October, 2018, I've been on the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for IGME.

My Personal Background

I lived in a small town called Birstall, 3 miles from Leicester, for my first 18 years. My mum and dad were both born in Leicester, mum's childhood home was 91 Cooper Street and dad's was 49 Westbourne Street, five roads apart in the Belgrave district of Leicester.

Dad was born in September, 1936, and was a draughtsman and worked at Rolls-Royce in Mountsorrel and the Brush in Loughborough. Mum was born in June, 1939, and was a secretary and receptionist who worked at the county analysts laboratory in Wanlip.

My dad died in May, 2005. Dad had a great sense of humour and passed on a love of comedy (particularly Tony Handcock and Laurel and Hardy), and of music. I can still vividly remember him listening to music on a Sunday morning while doing odds jobs around the house. Unfortunately dad also passed on his love of Leicester City, a "gift" that has caused me much pain... until 2016, when the event of probability zero occurred, The Foxes won the English Premier League! Mum also has a great sense of humour, and a lust for travel that I inherited - she's also my favourite cook in the world!

My sister, Samantha, was born in September, 1966, and we got on very well together though we could drive each other crazy. She left school at 17 and worked as an accountant for the local government. Then she joined the navy and met her first husband John Farmery with whom she had two great boys, Matt (born in 1991) and Tom (born in 1993). Sam and John divorced and Sam later married Steve Chard and they lived together in Melton Mowbray, and had a lovely boy Ollie (born in 1998) Sam tragically died in February, 2007. Sam had an amazing lust for life and energy, and crammed a lot into her 40 years.
Dad was an only child and mum has one brother, Clive Dakin, who moved to New Zealand in 1970 and married Sue Milner. Clive passed away in May, 2018. Clive and Sue had four kids: Phil, Mark, Steve and Rebecca.

After leaving Leicester I spent 8 years in Nottingham, as a student and lecturer at Nottingham University. I then moved to London and spent 9 years their, before leaving for Seattle in 1999. Soon after arriving in Seattle I met Zoe Moodie, a prairie girl from Winnipeg. We married on July 25th, 2002 in St. Johns, Newfoundland. My daughter Ellie was born in October 2004, and my son Eric in December 2007. Zoe's mum and dad, Pat and Ric Moodie still live in Winnipeg, as does Pat's mum, Eleanor Andrews. Zoe's sister, Erica, married my best man Dave Stephens (who I've known since my Nottingham days). They married in August, 2006, and now live in Montreal.

Personal Interests

If you have trouble contacting me, you could try:
El Corazon                              Neumos                                 The Showbox

This job, amongst other things allows me to indulge my passion for my favorite record label - the wonderful Flying Nun.