UKA correspondentThursday 8 February 2018

Six sites receive £30 million for healthcare data science

Health Data Research UK provides funds to work on four themes – with a further £24 million to come

Six research sites across the UK have been given £30 million to support work on using data science in healthcare.

HDR UK logoHealth Data Research UK (HDR UK) – a venture led by the Medical Research Council and supported by a number of public bodies and foundations – has made the money available from April of this year to encourage them to work collaboratively as foundation partners.

It said each one has 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 its research findings into public benefits.

The six sites are:

  • Cambridge - Wellcome Sanger Institute, European Bioinformatics Institute, University of Cambridge.
  • London – University College London, Imperial College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
  • Midlands – University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Oxford - University of Oxford.
  • Scotland – University of Edinburgh, University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews, University of Strathclyde.
  • Wales/Northern Ireland – Swansea University, Queen’s University Belfast.

The scientific focus of the sites will be on four strategic themes: actionable health data analytics, precision medicine, 21st century trial design, and modernising public health.

Tremendous strengths

Professor Andrew Morris, director of Health Data Research UK, commented: "The six HDR UK sites, comprising 22 universities and research institutes, have tremendous individual strengths and will form a solid foundation for our long term ambition.  

“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.”

HDR UK said a further £24 million will be invested in upcoming activities, including a Future Talent Programme and work to address targeted data research challenges through additional partnership sites.