Dr Kristian Brock BSc MSc PhD

Dr Kristian Brock

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Principal Biostatistician

Contact details

Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit
Robert Aitken Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Kristian is a principal statistician at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit. He joined in 2014, with a focus on early phase trials in haematology and lung cancer. In 2016 he joined the D3B team at the Institute of Translational Medicine, with an exclusive focus on early phase and translational clinical research.

His overriding research interest is efficient methods for clinical trials with small sample sizes. This entails Bayesian statistical modelling, repeated measures, incorporating predictive information in biomarkers, dose-finding methodology, seamless phase I/II methodology, and methods for rare diseases. He obtained a PhD on efficient methods for clinical trials in 2019. 

He is a co-investigator in clinical trials in lung cancer, leukaemia, Wolfram syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ALS, trauma, dry-eye disease, and burns. He has previously worked on trials in lymphoma, myeloma, and merkel cell carcinoma.


  • PhD, 'Efficient methods for clinical trials with restricted sample size', University of Birmingham, 2019
  • MSc (Distinction) Statistics, University of Sheffield, 2011
  • BSc (1st) Mathematics, University of London, 2001


Prior to becoming a medical researcher, Kristian worked for nine years in finance. He worked in a team that used statistical and machine learning methods to identify factors associated with superior stock market performance to build efficient portfolios for clients.

He retrained as a statistician in 2011, completing an MSc in Statistics at the University of Sheffield and writing an award-winning dissertation on numerical methods for stochastic differential equations. He joined CRCTU in 2014.


Kristian will lead the Early Phase Clinical Trials module in the forthcoming inaugural MSc in Clinical Trials. He is also joint-lead for the Advanced Clinical Trials module in MSc Clinical Oncology.

Postgraduate supervision

Kristian has supervised BMedSci, MSc and MRes dissertations. He is currently supervising a PhD in clinical trial methodology.


His research into efficient clinical trial methodology is driven by the daily challenges that arise designing and implementing early phase trials in a large clinical trials unit like CRCTU. Presently, this entails:

  • incorporating predictive baseline information into phase II trials;
  • dose-finding methodology, particularly scenarios where dose is guided by toxicity and efficacy outcomes;
  • methods for rare diseases;
  • Bayesian and computational methods for early phase clinical trials.

Kristian is a member of the “NIHR Beyond 3+3” working group, seeking to promote a collective move of clinical trial researchers and funders away from the 3+3 dose-finding design and towards statistical, model-based designs like the continual reassessment method.

 Kristian has served as a faculty member at the ECMC’s Junior Investigator Network Group meetings.

Other activities

Kristian sits on the data monitoring committee (DMC) of external trials.

He has been a faculty member of ECMC’s Junior Investigator Network Group since 2017.

Kristian wrote the trialr package implementing Bayesian clinical trial analyses in in Stan and R. He also wrote the clintrials package in Python.