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Developing novel analytical and computational tools to improve public health

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Modelling Methodology is a partnership between Imperial College, the University of Warwick, and Public Health England (PHE).

Established in 2014, the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Modelling Methodology is led by Professor Neil Ferguson and has a core mission to develop novel analytical and computational tools to improve public health.

Protecting the public’s health from infectious diseases requires timely and reliable evidence with which to make decisions. The NIHR HPRU in Modelling Methodology focuses on the exploitation of new data streams enabled by technological and data revolutions, such as the digital capture and linkage of ever larger volumes of health and social data and the routine genetic sequencing of pathogens.

The HPRU in Modelling Methodology synergistically combines the complementary strengths of the two largest and most diverse teams of infectious disease modellers in the UK.

The partnership brings Public Health England's Colindale and Porton teams together with Imperial College London's Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, across seven research themes, to deliver a step change in research capacity available for health protection modelling.

We have received £4.2million over six years in support of our research programme from the Department of Health, via the NIHR.

Management and governance

The Unit is guided by a management group which consists of the Unit Director, the PHE lead, the HPRU Manager, and theme leads from both Imperial College and Public Health England. This group is in turn advised by an Independent Advisory Board.

The HPRU Manager acts as a pivot between all primary stakeholder organisations and is responsible for both managing contributions to existing activity and the planning of new activity within and between them. This also includes leading on Patient and Public Engagement activities. Patient and Public involvement activities are led by the PPI Officer.