Imperial College London

London universities join national drive to transform health through data science

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The new HDR UK will look to address healthcare issues through use of data science

The new HDR UK will look to address healthcare issues through use of data science

A collaboration between London universities, which includes Imperial, has been chosen as a foundation partner of a new national health institute.

The five universities, comprising Imperial College London, University College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London and The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will form the London site of the newly established Health Data Research UK (HDR UK).

The institute is initially awarding £30 million funding to a total of six sites across the UK, including London, to address challenging healthcare issues through use of data science. From April, all of the UK partners will work together to make improvements in people’s health across the UK by harnessing data science. 

We now generate vast amounts of health data every day. If properly harnessed, this invaluable resource could provide vital information about people’s risk of disease and mortality

– Professor Paul Elliott

Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine

Each site has world-class expertise – a track record in using health data to derive new knowledge, scientific discovery and insight – and works in close partnership with NHS bodies and the public to translate research findings into benefits for patients and populations.

Professor Paul Elliott, Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at Imperial and Associate Director of the London site, said: “We now generate vast amounts of health data every day. If properly harnessed, this invaluable resource could provide vital information about people’s risk of disease and mortality, enabling us to intervene earlier and change the course of disease.”

Professor Elliott added: “This new institute provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring together London’s best universities in data science for health. As part of HDR UK, our new London partnership will bring together partners from universities, industry, and the NHS. Together we will solve more science problems and generate more benefits to patients than we could have done by working separately.”

Professor Andrew Morris, Director of Health Data Research UK, said: “This announcement marks the start of a unique opportunity for scientists, researchers and clinicians to use their collective expertise to transform the health of the population.”

“The six HDR UK sites, comprising 21 universities and research institutes, have tremendous individual strengths and will form a solid foundation for our long-term ambition,” added Professor Morris. “By working together and with NHS and industry partners to the highest ethical standards, our vision is to harness data science on a national scale.

“This will unleash the potential for data and technologies to drive breakthroughs in medical research, improving the way we are able to prevent, detect and diagnose diseases like cancer, heart disease and asthma.” 

Professor Harry Hemingway (UCL) is Director of the London site, with Associate Directors Professor Paul Elliott (Imperial College London), Professor Tim Hubbard (King’s College London), Professor Liam Smeeth (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Professor David van Heel (Queen Mary University of London).

For further details of the new institute, co-ordinated by the Medical Research Council, visit the Health Data Research UK website.

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Image: jivacore / Shutterstock.com

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Ryan O'Hare

Ryan O'Hare
Communications and Public Affairs

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