Queen’s University has been given a key role in the development of healthcare through data science with a grant from the national institute for data science in health, Health Data Research UK.
It and Swansea University have been granted part of an initial £54 million investment to act as regional partners to the institute as part of an initiative to work with NHS partners.
The innovative partnership will take advantage of the ground-breaking science that is already happening at both universities and enable the project to make bigger advances in health research partnered in turn with other universities across the UK.
“This vibrant partnership highlights our commitment to harness and implement the promise of data science,” said vice chancellor and president of Queen’s prof Ian Greer.
“Queen’s University has recognised international strengths in health data science, reflected in publications in the highest impact journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine and Lancet Oncology.
“Our Global Research Institute (GRI) in Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is an international leader in the Big Data domain.”
Forging a partnership with Swansea which has world leading expertise in health data science with a specific focus on public health, represents a significant opportunity to play to their strengths in an innovative partnership, he said.
Professor Mark Lawler, chair in Translational Cancer Genomics at Queen’s and associate director at HDR-UK is driving the cancer health data agenda in his role as overall HDR-UK lead for cancer.
“While Northern Ireland and Wales may be small in size, we punch well above our weight in data science research and its application.
“Our work in precision medicine in colorectal cancer is already delivering new insights for this common disease that kills over 16,000 citizens in the UK each year, while our joint HDR-UK Fellowship programme is training the future leaders in health data sciences research.
“This partnership can also make a pivotal contribution to the UK’s ambition to be a global leader in life sciences and underpin national and local economic development.”
Prof Andrew Morris, Director of Health Data Research UK said: “I am delighted that Swansea University and Queen’s University have been chosen as an HDR-UK Substantive Site and are bringing together researchers from different domains in an interdisciplinary partnership to transform the health of the population in Wales, Northern Ireland and beyond.”