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Dr Rachel Knowles
UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
Tel: 020 7905 2278
  • Clinical Research Fellow
  • ICH Pop, Policy & Practice Prog
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Dr Rachel Knowles qualified in Medicine at Edinburgh University in 1991, undertook vocational training in General Practice and Community Paediatrics in Edinburgh and London in 1998, and completed her specialist training in Public Health Medicine in London in 2004. She obtained a Masters in Medical Anthropology (Brunel University) in 1998 and Masters in Public Health (LSHTM) in 2004. She holds an Honorary Consultant appointment at Great Ormond St Hospital. Her PhD thesis, completed at UCL, modelled survival for a UK-wide cohort of children born with congenital heart defects. Rachel started working at UCL Institute of Child Health in 2001 and was awarded an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Health of the Public (2003-2007). She has a part-time secondment to the Medical Research Council as a Clinical and Population Health Specialist. 

Rachel has been Senior Medical Adviser to the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit since 2003, is a current member of the Health Research Authority (HRA) Confidentiality Advisory Group and a former member of London Bloomsbury Research Ethics Committee. Rachel currently sits on the Advisory Group the NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening programme and the Pulse Oximetry Pilot Board (NHS Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programme, Public Health England). She is an Associate Section Editor of the international journal 'Longitudinal and Life Course Studies'. She was a member of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Antenatal Care in 2006-2008 and contributed to the Evidence Update in 2013.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Rachel's research is concerned with the epidemiology of rare disease and congenital conditions with a focus on the childhood outcomes of disorders which have their origins in early life. Her interests include population surveillance for paediatric rare disorders, newborn screening for congenital anomalies, and the impact on children's survival and quality of life of living with chronic conditions such as congenital heart defects, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and primary congenital hypothyroidism.

Rachel has been involved in cross-disciplinary collaborations with paediatric clinical specialists, health economists and statisticians. Her work involves applying a range of epidemiological and qualitative methodologies, including analysis of linked routine data, to explore the role of preventive screening and clinical management in achieving health gain for children and their families. 

Rachel leads the UK Collaborative Study of Congenital Hypothyroidism and is a Co-Investigator for the Infant Hearts Study (NIHR HS&DR 10/2002/29).

Teaching Summary

Rachel contributes to modules within the MSc in Paediatrics and Child Health at the UCL Institute of Child Health and is a supervisor for PhD and Masters students.

  Honorary Consultant   Great Ormond St Hospital NHS Trust, United Kingdom
  Senior Medical Adviser   British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU), United Kingdom
01-FEB-2016 – 31-JUL-2017 Clinical and Population Health Specialist   Medical Research Council, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2010 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Epidemiology University College London
2004 FEL Fellowship – Public Health  
2000 MSc Master of Science – Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
1998 MSc Master of Science – Medical Anthropology Brunel University
1995 MRCGP Member of the Royal College of General Practioners – General Practice Royal College of General Practioners
1994 DCH Diploma of Child Health – Child Health University of Edinburgh
1991 MB.ChB Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine University of Edinburgh
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