Imperial College London

Dr Austen El-Osta

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Primary Care Research Manager



+44 (0)20 7594 7604a.el-osta Website




323Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





I am Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) & Primary Care Research Manager at the School of Public Health. I'm also supporting the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training, NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London, West London Research Network (WeLReN), Imperial Research Hub and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) Directorate of Public Health & Primary Care in the same capacity.

My principle aim is to widen access & participation in research and to help accelerate the widespread adoption & diffusion of evidence-based health and wellbeing interventions.

Prior to assuming this role, I was based at Guy’s Hospital where I worked in a similar capacity within the NIHR Clinical Research Network. My earlier career spanned a number of disparate fields including molecular & cell biology, vision research, laser-tissue interaction & medical device engineering.

Self Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU)

SCARU is a tripartite collaboration between Imperial College School of Public Health, the Self-Care Forum & the International Self-Care Foundation where I am also Director & Trustee. SCARU will explore how the application of self-care could result in improved outcomes & lower dependency on NHS resources in the contemporary setting, whilst also identifying key evidence-based recommendations for the consideration of commissioners of health & policy makers. The Unit will act as a hub with the aim of making the absolute case for self care by coordinating a wide portfolio of research activity in the follwing domains:

  • Evidence synthesis to investigate various aspects of self-care & how this links to empowerment, health literacy & resilience in the community
  • Evaluation of self-care interventions, pilots, initiatives & existing services, including audits of local/national importance
  • Collaborative working with industry sponsors & device manufacturers to support technology enabled self-care approaches
  • Supporting the NHS & wider health economy by making the absolute case for self care; by understanding how it can benefit the wider health economy from the perspective of funding of outcomes as opposed to activities
  • Establishing & maintaining a database / repository of evidence on self care
  • Developing & championing a self-care in mental health theme
  • Influencing inter/national policy on self-care for people & patient benefit


A Whistlestop Tour of the NHS

Flattening the Curve with Self-Care

Vocational interests

  • Self-Care communities of pracrtice
  • Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
  • Leveraging Community Assets to tackling Social Isolation & Loneliness
  • Lifestyle modification & behaviour change (easier siad than done!)
  • Use of point of care testing in the primary care & community settings
  • Innovation praxis & change management in the NHS
  • The case for the emergence of the ‘enabling state’ to supplant the existing ‘welfare state’ ethos in the UK
  • Workplace Health Promotion

I hold a Doctorate in Medicine from King’s College London, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the London South Bank University, an MSc in Pathology & Virology from Imperial College London & a BSc in Molecular Biology & Genetics from Queen Mary University of London. I was recently awarded Chartered Manager (C.Mgr) status by the Chartered Management Institute but failed miserably at becoming a certified PRINCE2 practitioner.

I'm otherwise fascinated by bees, honey & apitherapy. Apparently, I continue to be inspired by Bach's reverential French Suites & Partitas, and consider Martha Argerich as the most formidable pianist alive today, with the veritable Andras Schiff in second place...



Pickett K, Taylor-Robinson D, Qualter P, et al., 2021, The Child of the North: Building a fairer future after COVID-19 report.Pickett K., Taylor-Robinson D., et al (2021) The Child of the North: Building a fairer future after COVID-19, the Northern Health Science Alliance and N8 Research Partnership., N8 Research Partnership

Donnat C, Bunbury F, Liu D, et al., 2021, Predicting COVID-19 transmission to inform the management of mass events: a model-based approach, Jmir Public Health and Surveillance, Vol:7, ISSN:2369-2960

Harris M, Kreindler J, Donnat C, et al., 2021, Rapid response to BMJ: Are vaccine passports and covid passes a valid alternative to lockdown?, Bmj: British Medical Journal, Vol:375, ISSN:0959-535X

El-Osta A, Hennessey C, Pilot C, et al., 2021, A digital solution to streamline access to smoking cessation interventions in England; findings from a primary care pilot (STOPNOW study), Public Health in Practice, Vol:2, ISSN:2666-5352

Powell RA, Kendall K, Cislaghi B, et al., 2021, Self-care, social norms and anomie during COVID-19: from contestation of the greater good to building future normative resilience in the UK, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol:75, ISSN:0143-005X, Pages:925-926

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