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Dr Jan Zirk-Sadowski

Dr Jan Zirk-Sadowski

Research Fellow

 01392 406785

 RILD Building 


University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK


Dr Zirk-Sadowski’s work focuses on observational studies of pharmaceutical treatment in later life. Studies are run in collaboration with Dr Alessandro Ble, Professor William Henley and Professor David Melzer at the Melzer research group (Epidemiology and Public Health). Dr Zirk-Sadowski is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and a life member of Darwin College, University of Cambridge.

Prior to joining the University of Exeter Medical School Dr Zirk-Sadowski was a SSRMC Lecturer in statistics on the interdepartmental Social Sciences Research Methods Programme at the University of Cambridge (2010-2015). He has also held a postdoctoral position in the statistical epidemiology of middle-ear disease at the Eurotitis-2 Study Group/MRC Multicentre Otitis Media Study Group, University of Cambridge, and has worked as a Consultant Statistician for prospective cohort projects of the Criminological Research Unit, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich and the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

His PhD was done at the Centre for Neuroscience in Education (CNE) at the University of Cambridge. One of his methodological interests has been in strengthening inference from observational data with latent factor techniques. His observational and experimental investigations studied human cognitive performance with behavioural, psychophysiological and fMRI approaches in collaboration with the Health Neuroscience Group, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. His PhD research included a large-scale observational and experimental project on human risk-taking and numerical competence designed by Dr Mike Aitken and Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter at BBC Lab UK. Prior to joining the CNE Dr Zirk-Sadowski undertook five years of full-time training in psychology at the Warsaw School of Social Psychology, which is affiliated with the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. Dr Zirk-Sadowski received PhD research support from the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust, the Sidney Perry Foundation, other British grant awarding bodies, and the Jolanta and Leszek Czarnecki Foundation.


  • 2014 PhD Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge.
  • 2009 MSc Psychology (five years of full time training), Warsaw School of Social Psychology


Research interests

  • Research design
  • Methods for strengthening causal inference from observational data
  • Mediation analysis and associated power issues

Current scientific interests are related to proton pump inhibitors and health outcomes in later life.

Broad Research Specialisms

Dr Zirk-Sadowski has joined the Epidemiology and Public Health to study observational associations of proton-pump inhibitors within the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD).

Dr Zirk-Sadowski as a statistical life scientist has specialized in applying multivariate frequentist and Bayesian methods to complex cross-sectional and longitudinal data. His prior scientific work done at Cambridge explored cognition and indicators of human learning numbers in the context of mental health symptomatology. In his collaboration with Dr Mike Aitken and Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Dr Zirk-Sadowski explored a large scale data from over 83,000 people collected by the BBC Lab UK. His statistical consulting for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich and the Institute of Criminology in Cambridge focused on applying latent class multivariate techniques to criminological and mental health data. Dr Zirk-Sadowski's contribution to the epidemiology of middle ear disease at the Eurotitis-2 Study Group at Cambridge has helped built access to structural equation investigations of complex RCT relations embedded within observational data of otitis media symptoms in a large European database.


Supervision / Group

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