Health Data Research UK appoints chief strategy and technology officers

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) has appointed two new leaders to shape its scientific and technology strategies as the institute forges ahead with initiatives aiming to address some of the most pressing health research challenges through cutting-edge data science.


[London, UK] Dr Rhoswyn Walker and Gerry Reilly are joining Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) as Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Technology Officer, respectively.

Dr Walker will shape HDR UK’s scientific roadmap after leading the development of the Medical Research Council’s data science strategy as Head of Informatics Research, which included the establishment of the new institute. 

“HDR UK has a unique opportunity to harness the skills and expertise across the UK needed to unlock insights from our varied and rich data resources.  I look forward to working with HDR UK’s research teams and partners across the UK to deliver high impact research at scale,” Dr Walker said.

Meanwhile, Gerry Reilly will develop the institute’s technology strategy and work with its scientific sites and partners across the UK, including NHS Digital, to underpin the development of the UK’s 'future health research infrastructure’ after holding a range of roles for more than 20 years at IBM. 

Reilly said:

“I am delighted to be joining HDR UK at this exciting time. The creation of Digital Innovation Hubs will be a gigantic step forward for British Life Sciences and I am looking forward to building this platform to enable more world class science.”

‘Setting Britain up as the leader in health data research’

At the recent 2018 UK Biobank Scientific Conference, Professor Andrew Morris, HDR UK Director, said the institute would provide the necessary tools, governance and public engagement to allow the UK to ‘unleash the value, particularly from NHS data, at scale’.

“The key is that not one institution or individual can do this themselves. This requires a scale of partnership and collaboration arguably never seen before,” Professor Morris told the audience.

Commenting on the appointments, the director said the new leaders were ‘perfectly placed’ to drive the delivery of HDR UK's plans and 'form the basis of setting Britain up as the leader in health data research’.

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