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Dr Ruth Blackburn
222 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DA
Appointment
  • UKRI Innovation Fellowship
  • Institute of Health Informatics
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Biography

My work uses electronic health records and administrative data for public health research and evaluation. I am enthusiastic about applying innovative methods to harness the potential of health and administrative data for evidence synthesis through both observational study designs and randomised controlled trials.

Research Summary

I currently hold a post-doctoral UKRI Innovation Fellowship at the Institute of Health Informatics.  My fellowship focuses on using data science to examine adolescent health behaviours in schools, particularly those relating to self-harm, violence, and drug or alcohol-use.


My recent work has focused on measuring and addressing physical and mental health inequalities, particularly for vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups such as homeless people and women with substance misuse. I work with several teams, including the Administrative Data Research Centre for England (ADRC-E), Public Health England and UCL Infectious Disease Informatics, on a range projects relating to infectious disease control. These include integrating viral genomic data and hospital electronic health records to identify in-hospital transmission of influenza, and evaluating the role of bacterial and viral respiratory pathogens as triggers for acute vascular events.


I have a PhD in epidemiology, which formed part of the PRIMROSE program of work to predict and manage cardiovascular risk in people with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. My PhD research used UK primary care data from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) to investigate inequalities in statin prescribing and provides the first estimates of the effectiveness of statins for reducing first myocardial infarction and stroke in people with severe mental illness.

Teaching Summary

I have been involved in the following teaching and educational activities:
  • Organising and promoting events for early career researchers
  • PhD and MSc student supervision
  • Teaching Data Science, Statistics and Epidemiology to undergraduate medical students and post-graduates
  • Developing course materials and lecturing on short courses on Primary Care Data, Electronic Health Records and Missing Data
  • Curating exhibitions with UCL’s Public Engagement team

Academic Background
2016 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Epidemiology University College London
2011 MSc Master of Science – Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
2007 BSc Bachelor of Science – Molecular Biology and Biochemistry University of Durham
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