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Dr Cath Mercer
  • Reader in Applied Statistics
  • Infection & Population Health
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Catherine H. Mercer (BSc MSc PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research at University College London. After training in Demography and Social Statistics at the University of Southampton, she joined UCL in 2000 as the statistician for the second National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), Britain’s national probability sample survey on sexual behaviour, from which she has published extensively, and presented nationally and internationally. Dr Mercer is now an applicant on the third Natsal, a £7.3M study funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, for which she leads the statistical team

In addition to leading the analyses of the Natsal studies, in 2005 Dr Mercer was awarded a National Institute for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship, and then in 2008 was Principal Investigator for the MSTIC ('Maximising STI Control') study funded by the UK Medical Research Council, as well as being a co-applicant on two of the other four studies funded by the MRC/DH (Department of Health) Sexual Health and HIV Research Strategy Committee in this call.

Research Summary

Dr Catherine Mercer’s current programme of research builds upon her expertise in the application of statistics and epidemiological methods to answer research questions essential for improving policy and practice. Her research interests encompass a broad range of sexual health issues in line with the World Health Organization’s definition of sexual health, including sexually transmitted infections and HIV, reproductive health and contraception, and sexual function, as well as health services research questions that seek to improve access to care.


She has successfully secured over £13M of competitive-grant funding from a number of sponsors including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the UK Department of Health, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


Teaching Summary

Dr Mercer supervises postgraduate students registered for the award of MSc and MPhil/PhD at University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She lectures for the MSc module on Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL, as well as externally, including for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

Academic Background
2002 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University of Southampton
1997 MSc Master of Science – Social Statistics University of Southampton
1996 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Social Studies University of Southampton
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