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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

Fellows inaugurated at new Rutherford Academy of Population Genomics and Health Data Science

Queen Mary University of London has appointed four postdoctoral research fellows to its new Rutherford Academy of Population Genomics and Health Data Science, funded by the Medical Research Council and UK Research and Innovation’s Rutherford Fund. One of the fellows include WHRI's Dr Adriano Barbosa.

14 May 2018

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Left to right: Dr Dayem Ullah, Dr Kit Curtius, Dr Gill Harper, Dr Adriano Barbosa

Forty two of these prestigious fellowships were awarded across the UK following a national competition, resulting in four fellowships awarded to Queen Mary out of a total of fourteen awarded to five London universities.

The Rutherford Academy will create an enabling interdisciplinary research environment at Queen Mary for outstanding health data science researchers and deliver a programme of seminars and lectures, as well as training and networking opportunities.

Queen Mary’s new Rutherford Academy will be aligned to its research as a partner of the London substantive site of Health Data Research UK - a major new initiative to transform health through data science. 

Advancing research in cancer, heart disease and population health

The successful Fellows also include Dr Kit Curtius and Dr Dayem Ullah from Barts Cancer Institute and Dr Gill Harper from the Blizard Institute

They will be working on a range of projects looking at the detection of gastrointestinal cancers, the progression of pancreatic cancer, the effect of geography and environment on population health, and the use of health records in monitoring the progression of heart disease.

Professor Claude Chelala from the Rutherford Academy Leadership Team said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious grant securing four Fellowships at Queen Mary. This impressive success is the result of the fantastic partnership we have formed across the university and has attracted exceptionally talented fellows. I have no doubt our fellows will succeed in advancing health data research at Queen Mary and nationally.”

The Rutherford Academy faculty also includes Dr Mike Barnes, Professor Carol Dezateux, Dr Damian Smedley, Professor Panos Deloukas, Professor Norman Fenton, Dr Borbala Mifsud and Professor David van Heel, and involves Queen Mary’s Life Sciences Initiative and the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

Analysis of cardiovascular disease

Dr Adriano Barbosa will develop new tools for the integrated analysis of electronic health records, genetic, genomic and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging using TranSMART - a translational data warehouse platform. These tools will be used to investigate data collected from two major studies.

The first includes Barts Cardiovascular patients recruited with consent for research to the Barts Bioresource. The second is the UK Biobank, a major UK study of population health, including a cardiovascular imaging component led by Professor Steffen Petersen, who will also be mentoring Adriano with Dr Michael Barnes

Dr Barbosa said: “I hope to deliver at the end of my project an integrated platform that will enable scientists and clinicians to query multiple features, such as medical history, genomics and heart imaging data, in order to understand better the progression of cardiac diseases among patients, clustering them into subgroups using machine learning algorithms and provide them with personalised treatments.” 

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