Professor Cathie Sudlow appointed Chief Scientist of Health Data Research UK

Professor Cathie Sudlow, Director of the British Heart Foundation Data Science Centre, has been appointed as the first Chief Scientist of Health Data Research UK (HDR UK).

Professor Sudlow is a neurologist and stroke epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh. She is internationally recognized for her longstanding expertise in leading large scientific health data projects of global significance. She received an OBE for services to medical research in 2020.

Professor Sudlow was appointed to her new role at HDR UK based on her vision of its scientific direction, enabling impactful health data research to improve people’s lives. Some of his responsibilities as Chief Scientist will include overseeing the science that supports HDR UK’s plans to build on its research expertise, working to build public trust and ensuring that HDR UK continues to enable science that is meaningful, ethical and in the public interest.

Professor Sudlow will continue to lead the BHF Data Science Centre, a flagship collaboration between us and HDR UK. The Center was established in 2020 to accelerate research in cardiovascular disease, with Professor Sudlow as founding director.

Extraordinary times for health data science

Professor Sudlow said: “This is an extraordinary time for health data science. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tipping point in demonstrating the value of big data – information from hospital and general medical records, data on ethnicity and vaccine use, for example, have rapidly fueled policies and have transformed our understanding of, and response to, the pandemic. It is imperative to continue this momentum.

“I am delighted to begin this new role of Chief Scientist for HDR UK and continue to build on the successes of the BHF Data Science Centre. Data scientists are at the heart of some of the biggest medical challenges facing the world, but we’re only just beginning to harness the potential of data to transform lives.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, our Medical Director, said: “I am delighted and proud to see Cathie appointed as HDR UK’s first Chief Scientist. I’m sure this new position will complement and enhance the ongoing innovative work of the Data Science Centre. The BHF continues to work closely with HDR UK to harness the enormous potential of large-scale data science on routinely collected health data to improve the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Learn more about the BHF Data Science Center

Sean N. Ayres