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Dr Christina Pagel
Room 306
Clinical Operational Research Unit
4 Taviton Street
  • Reader of Operational Research
  • Clinical Operational Research Unit
  • Dept of Mathematics
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

I have a background in both mathematics and physics, with an undergraduate degree in maths and a PhD in space physics. After three years as a post-doctoral physicist in Boston, I decided to make the transition into operational research applied to health care and joined the UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit (CORU) in late 2005. In 2008, I was promoted to the position of Senior Research Fellow and began leading CORU's work on global health. In October 2015, I was appointed a Reader of Operational Research and in October 2017 I became Director of CORU. I currently spend 1 day a week based as a "researcher in residence" within the critical care units at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

From August 2016 - August 2017, I was a Harkness Fellow in Health Policy, based in Boston, USA. 

Research Summary

My main interest is in using information to help people within the health service make better decisions. Often this will involve mathematical modelling or other operational research techniques, but sometimes it can be just presenting the data in a more intuitive way. I want my work to be relevant to, and used by, those working within the NHS and so I am also very interested in the process of how to get theoretical knowledge into practical application.

I am currently focusing on projects around:

  • mortality and morbidity outcomes following cardiac surgery in children in the UK;
  • understanding the course of a child's stay in paediatric intensive care;
  • evaluation of service delivery within hospitals.

From September 2016 to August 2017, I was a Harkness Fellow in Health Policy awarded by the Commonwealth Fund. I spent that year in the US researching a) the priorities of Republican and Democrat politicians for the goals of national health policy and b) how clinical decision support systems can be better implemented within intensive care settings.

Since 2006, I have worked on a great variety of projects including: 

  • capacity planning within hospitals;
  • building tools to help design new provisions for care for anxiety and depression;
  • risk models for surgical outcomes;
  • modelling to inform decisions on the national immunisation programme;
  • modelling to investigate possible triage policies during times of reduced capacity;
  • clinical trial analysis;
  • modelling to inform decisions about interventions in Asia and Africa to help maternal and child health;
  • data analysis and modelling to understand current provision of skilled birth attendance in Asia;
  • a website tool to distill evidence on health financing for policy makers.

Many of these projects have involved building software tools, mostly within Microsoft Excel, to help people interpret information and results about their service. For more on these tools please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/operational-research/AnalysisTools.

Teaching Summary

I contribute to teaching an MSC module in Operational Research on the MSc in Mathematical Modelling run by the Mathematics Department. I led CORU's contribution to this module from 2007 to 2011.

01-OCT-2017 Director of the UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit Clinical Operational Research Unit UCL, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2016 – 31-JUL-2017 Harkness Fellow in Health Policy and Practice Brigham and Women's Hospital and IHI, Boston, USA The Commonwealth Fund, United States
01-OCT-2015 Reader in Operational Research UCL CORU and Department of Applied Health Research University College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2013 – 30-SEP-2015 Lecturer in Operational Research UCL CORU and UCL Department of Applied Health Research University College London, United Kingdom
01-MAR-2008 – 30-SEP-2013 Senior Research Fellow UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit University College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2005 – 28-FEB-2008 Research Fellow UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit University College London, United Kingdom
15-NOV-2002 – 31-AUG-2005 Research Associate Center for Space Physics Boston University, United States
Academic Background
2014 MSc Master of Science – Applied Statistics Birkbeck College
2014 Prof_Cert Professional Certification – Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Institute of Education
2008 MA Master of Arts – Medieval History Birkbeck College
2002 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Space Physics Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
1999 MA Master of Arts – Classical Civilisation Birkbeck College
1997 MSc Master of Science – Mathematical Physics King's College London
1996 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Mathematics University of Oxford
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