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Dr Michelle Heys
UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for child health
Dr Michelle Heys profile picture
  • Clinical Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant
  • Population, Policy & Practice Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Michelle Heys is an Associate Professor of Global Child Health and a Community Paediatrican looking after children and young people with cerebral palsy and learning disabilities in Newham, East London.

Michelle researches into how health systems can improve outcomes for children and young people in low resource settings (UK, Nepal, India, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Australia). Her work focuses on priority populations: sick and small newborns; those with a diagnosis of complex neurodisability and/or with neurodiversity, those living in temporary accommodation and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people.

Michelle studied Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nottingham, also undertaking and intercalated Bachelors degree of Medical Sciences (behavioural sciences). She graduated with distinctions in Paediatrics and in Sugery and the John Moore prize for overall best clinical performance. She then went on to train in paediatrics in the UK and Australia. She worked less than full time from 2004 until 2020 combining clinical and academic training with caring for her three children.

She is fully trained in General Paediatrics and also part trained in Public Health in the UK and Hong Kong (where she was based from 2004-2010). She undertook her Masters in Public Health at the University of Hong Kong, graduating wtih distinctions in taught modules and dissertation receiving the Anthony Hedley prize for overall best performance. She completed her higher research degree (MD) at the University of Hong Kong on life course epidmiology. On returing to the UK she took up an NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship based at UCL Institute for Global Health (2010-2016). 

During the last year of myClinical Lectureship, I also worked as a research consultant as Head of Evaluation for the Children and YoungPeople’s Partnership, Kings College London asone of 3 co-lead authors of a successful ~£6.5 million pound grant to implementand evaluated large scale health systems change for children and young peoplein South London.

In 2017 she took up a substantive Senior Clinical lecturer at the Institute of Child Health, UCL and an honorary consultantpaediatrican post in Community and Population Child Health, Newham, East LondonNHS Foundation Trust.

Michelle holds 3 national UK roles to communicate and influence research strategy: member of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment committee for Community and Social care, Chair of the senior research group of the British Association of Community Child Health and academic convenor for the British Association of Child and Adolescent Public Health. Through these roles she influences local, regional and national agenda setting for research in community child health and health systems.

Research Summary

Michelle leads a sustained programme of global child health systems research within which she have competed successfully and obtained 36 grants, 18 as a PI. Her total grant income is £15,712,160 (~£4 million of which as PI, 80% of my PI grants are Wellcome trust or NIHR funded). 

The delivery of open-source solutions and code is central to her work, for example in 2021 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust enrichment award (Open Data) to accelerate the use of data collected via a treatment support and data capture app, Neotree.

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