Paul Burton qualified MBChB at the University of Leicester in 1983, taking an intercalated BSc (1st class honours) in Genetics in 1981. As an MRC Training Fellow (1986-1989), he was awarded an MSc in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene (1988). His MD (with distinction) focused on models for patient survival on renal replacement therapy (University of Leicester, 1992). He is a Chartered Statistician (Royal Statistical Society), a member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK), and of the Faculties of Public Health in the UK and Australia.
From 1992-1999 he was Senior Biostatistician and Head of the Division of Biostatistics and Genetic Epidemiology at the Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, Western Australia. He became Chair in Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Leicester in September 1999. In September 2013, he moved to the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol.
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