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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Dr Gill Harper


Honorary Post-Doctoral Research Fellow



I am a Research Fellow in Health Data Science at Queen Mary’s Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG), a multi-disciplinary research unit that uses primary care data from electronic health records (EHRs) to conduct research and build in-practice software to improve clinical practice and to fight health inequalities in the socially diverse communities of North East London. 

I use my background in health geography and large-scale administrative data integration to bring granular geography into patient EHRs by linking individuals to their household and local geographic environment as a context for understanding health behaviours and outcomes.

I work on innovative methods related to this. I lead on developing and maintaining a transparent and validated algorithm that assigns Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) to patient addresses and pseudonymising them to create Residential Anonymous Linking Fields (RALFs). The UPRN enables constructing households, geo-locating households, and linking to other data sets at the household level.

I use the UPRN infrastructure to create dynamic whole population household spines containing innovative household characteristic variables such as household composition and over-crowding. This information supports household level health research myself and the Real Child Health team are conducting including insights into the distribution of long-term health conditions and multi-morbidity within and between households of different types, inequalities in the household burden and outcomes of COVID-19, and household perspectives on childhood obesity.

I first joined Queen Mary in 2017 as a UKRI Rutherford Innovation Research Fellow. Prior to that I have worked with local governments and public health teams as well as academic research projects that involved linking and analysing large-scale datasets to create new information and evidence. My PhD from Cass Business School, City University London described a method to count and profile local populations using linked routinely collected data. My Masters is in Geographic Information Science from University College London.

I am interested in the wider determinants of health, particularly the effect of household level geography and environment on health behaviours and outcomes - how where we live and who we live with impacts health and health inequalities



Please click through to see a complete list of Gill's publications


Nicola Firman, Barts and The London Charity, ‘Obesity and health outcomes in an ethnically diverse child population: methodological approaches and insights using linked EHRs and a household perspective’

Marta Wilk, Barts and The London Charity, ‘Household perspectives on the health and educational outcomes of childhood obesity using linked electronic health records’

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