Dr Rute Vieira

Dr Rute Vieira
Dr Rute Vieira

Dr Rute Vieira




Medical Statistics Team, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Polwarth Building (Room 1.028), Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD


I joined the Institute of Applied Health Sciences in May 2018 as a Lecturer in Medical Statistics and, since January 2019, I have a honorary contract with the Information Services Division of Public Health Scotland, in the establishment of the Scottish Congenital Anomaly Register (CARDRISS).

Previously I was based at the Institute of Health and Society (IHS), Newcastle University, and had an honorary contract with Public Health England where I collaborated with the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS). I also worked as a statistical advisor for the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals (NuTH), IHS research groups and Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit.

My primary research interests are related with the development and application of statistical methodologies to evaluate treatment effects in personalised medicine (including N-of-1 studies) and rare diseases. I am also interested in the epidemiology of rare diseases and congenital anomalies in particular.

COVID-19 research

Currently I am leading a project, in collaboration with the NHS Grampian ICU team, using a series of N-of-1 studies aiming to understand the individual clinical trajectory of patients with severe COVID-19 that have been admitted to ICU. This project has been funded by Medical Research Scotland.

I am also a co-investigator on a project focusing on addressing physical activity, loneliness, and help-seeking behaviour on elderly individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is being led by Dr Kathryn Martin and has been funded by Chief Scientist Office (CSO), Scottish Government.


  • BSc (Hons) Biology 
    2001 - Madeira University 
  • MSc Biostatistics 
    2008 - Lisbon University 
  • PhD Statistics 
    2015 - Newcastle University 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • College of Life Science and Medicine (CLSM) Ethics Review Board for post-graduate studies (PGT CERB)
  • IAHS Assessment Panel 
External Memberships
  • Fellow of the Royal Statistics Society (RSS)
  • Member of the RSS Medical Section Committee since 2019

Research Overview

My main research interests are:

  • Statistical methods for observational and experimental studies in personalised medicine (including n-of-1 studies) and rare diseases
  • Epidemiology of rare diseases and congenital anomalies

Current Research

Congenital anomalies and Rare Diseases:

  • Maternal age specific prevalence of gastroschisis in England, Scotland and Wales over 30 years: a register based study
  • Interventions that influence epilepsy in mitochondrial disease
  • Prevalence and survival of children born with congenital anomalies in Scotland

Personalised medicine (N-of-1):

  • The individual clinical course of severe COVID-19: a series of n-of-1 studies.
  • Determinants of adherence with weight loss and weight maintenance in the context of the Diabetes REmission Clinical Trial (DiRECT)

Other (miscellanneous):

  • Understanding Symptom Experiences Fully (USEFULL) study
  • Looking after the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic: a focus on addressing physical activity, loneliness, and help-seeking behaviour
  • I am also a co-investigator in the UKMED88 project (Apr 2019 - Oct 2020): 'Investigating associations of post-graduate examination performance with socio-demographic characteristics, performance at medical school, medical school, SJT and foundation school: a focus on first stage examinations of MRCP, MRCGP and MRCPsych' led by Dr Isobel Cameron.


Current PhD students:

  • Adegoke Alabi (2021 -       , part-time): Do rural-dwellers experience cancer symptoms differently? (co-supervised with Prof Peter Murchie and Dr Julia Allan) - partly funded by Elphinstone Scholarship

  • Tilly Potter (2018 -      ): Modelling individual responses to healthier diets (MI-DIET)  (co-supervised with Prof Baukje de Roos and Dr Frank Thies) - funded by BBSRC-Unilever DTP

  • Claudia Cunningham (2016 -      , part-time): A mixed methods evaluation of the effectiveness of dental school selection in the UK and across Europe (co-supervised with Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink and Prof John Gibson)

Past MSc students:

  • Gloire Mbaka Onya (2019-2020): The burden of Diarrheal Diseases in the Democratic Republic of Congo: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2017
  • Sarah Tait (2018-2019): Changes in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus burden and risk factors in Venezuela between 2000 and 2017: analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
  • Mohammed Yisa (2018-2019): Interventions that influence epilepsy outcomes in mitochondrial disease: a systematic review

Funding and Grants

  • 2021-2025: Impact of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) on pregnancy and postnatal outcomes of babies affected by Down’s syndrome in Scotland (£110,192 - Medical Research Scotland PhD Studentship and Public Health Scotland). (Principal Supervisor) 
  • 2020: Understanding the individual clinical course of severe COVID-19: a series of n-of-1 studies (£11,670 - Medical Research Scotland COVID-19 Research Grant). (PI)
  • 2020: Looking after the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic: a focus on addressing physical activity, loneliness, and help-seeking behaviour (£48,541 - Scottish Government CSO Rapid Research in Covid-19 programme). (Co-I)
  • 2019-2020: The relationship between the UKCAT and overall performance across four UK dental schools - A multi-site study (£5,419 - UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)). (CI)
  • 2019-2020: Does the UKCAT achieve its goal of widening participation to dental education? (£5,419 - UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)). (CI)


  • 2019-2020: Person-centred care: identifying clusters of multimorbidity in hospitalised patients (£9,749 - NHS Grampian Endowment Research Grants). (Co-I)
  • 2010-2014: International PhD scholarship SFRH/BD/70050/2010 (103,000€), co-funded by the Portuguese Government and European Commission
  • 2009-2013: National PhD scholarship SFRH/BD/63881/2009 (57,000€), funded by the Portuguese Government

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Applied Statistics (PU5017) - 1st semester (MSc level) - course coordinator and lecturer (2018-)
  • Applied Statistics (PU5522) - 2nd semester (MSc level) - lecturer (2018-)
  • CPD intermediate statistics course for staff - lecturer (2018-)
  • Statistics course for PhD students - lecturer (2018-)

Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

I am part of the College of Life Science and Medicine (CLSM) Ethics Review Board for post-graduate studies (PGT CERB) since 2018 and the IAHS Assessment Panel since 2019.

I am also a personal tutor for eight undergraduates.


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  • Genetic differentiation of the Cabo Verde archipelago population analysed by STR polymorphisms

    Fernandes, A. T., Velosa, R., Jesus, J., Carracedo, A., Brehm, A.
    Annals of Human Genetics, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 340-347
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Genetic profile of the A├žores Archipelago population using the new PowerPlex┬«16 System Kit

    Velosa, R. G., Fernandes, A. T., Brehm, A.
    Forensic Science International, vol. 129, no. 1, pp. 68-71
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Portuguese influence in Atlantic islands using 5 STRs (CD4, FES/FPS, VWA31/A, TH01 and TPO) and CD4/Alu haplotype

    Velosa, R., Fernandes, A., Spinola, H., Brehm, A.
    European Journal of Human Genetics. pp. 287.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings


Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals