Teams and Leadership

Centre Directors

Professor John Ainsworth

John Ainsworth is Professor of Health Informatics, University of Manchester and Director of The Farr Institute in the North of England (HeRC). His research focuses on harnessing computing technology to enhance data science, applying data analytics to improve health services, and applying emerging computing technologies to create novel healthcare interventions.

He is also the director of the Connected Health Cities programme, an initiative to unlock the power of information to transform health and social care services across the North of England. He has a varied background encompassing Physics, Cognitive Science and industrial software engineering. John is involved in numerous research projects, but with a singular focus: to use computing and information technology to improve the health of the population.

Professor Harry Hemingway

Professor Harry Hemingway

Harry Hemingway is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at University College London and Director of the Farr Institute in London.

His research focuses on cardiovascular disease in populations. Broadly, the aim is to generate new research evidence at multiple stages in translational pathways for improving our understanding of why cardiovascular diseases occur, and then progress, in ways which can have an impact on clinical practice, healthcare and public health policy. A key element of his approach is to exploit new opportunities for large scale research arising from linking electronic health records, including research on cardiovascular disease in populations. The ‘world leading potential’ of the UK in research using electronic health records is based on the availability of rich, longitudinal patient records in primary care and hospital data from disease and procedure registries, as well as hospital episode statistics and mortality. Harry’s group was the first to link these four sources together in the CALIBER programme. The group have curated a data portal with metadata to establish replicable cohorts with several million person years of follow-up to address questions that are likely only to be addressed with such record linkages.

Professor Ronan Lyons

Ronan Lyons is Professor of Public Health, Swansea University and Honorary Consultant in Public Health with Public Health Wales.

His research interests lie in the use of informatics to shorten the translation gap between knowledge discovery and widespread adoption of effective interventions to maximise population impact. He is Director of the CIPHER component of the Farr Institute. Ronan’s research interests relate to the application of informatics to study the epidemiological and interventional basis for the control of injuries, improving child health and the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions. He is particularly interested in the evaluation of the impact of non-healthcare interventions on health and wellbeing. He is also Deputy Director of the DECIPHer Public Health Research Centre of Excellence and is an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, Australia. Together with his colleague, David Ford, he created the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank for Wales, which has supported more than 100 research projects and is increasingly being used by the NHS and other bodies for service planning and policy development.

Professor Jill Pell

Jill Pell is the Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow.

She is trained in both general practice and public health. Jill has championed the use of routine data and record linkage as a resource for epidemiology and health services research for more than 20 years. She is a member of: the British Heart Foundation’s Programme Grants Committee; Cancer Research UK’s Epidemiology Expert Review Panel; and the CRUK/Wellcome Trust/BHF Population Health Working Group. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Her study on the impact of smokefree legislation on myocardial infarction, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was voted by the American Heart and Stroke Associations to be the most important research advance of the year. She was awarded the CBE in 2017 for services to public health research.

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