UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


The HOPE Study Team

Who is running the HOPE Study?

The HOPE study is led by University College London in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of Exeter.

HOPE Study Collaborating Institutions

HOPE Study team members

Professor Ruth Gilbert
Professor Ruth Gilbert

Ruth is a professor of clinical epidemiology, who trained in paediatrics. Ruth is the Co-Director of the NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit, Theme Lead for Public Health within Health Data Research London, and contributes to the Rare Diseases theme of the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre.  Ruth is the Principal Investigator for the HOPE study. 

Read more about Ruth Gilbert here:  HOPE Principal Investigator.

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Professor Katie Harron

Kaite is a Professor of Statistics and Health Data Science at the UCL Institute of Child Health, a member of Council for the Royal Statistical Society, an associate editor for the Journal of the RSS, Series A and a member of the Confidentiality Advisory Group committee a national regulatory body responsible for overseeing access to identifiable data for research.  Katie is leading the HOPE Study's Work Package 1 (Health indicators of need for SEND and outcomes).  Katie’s methodological research focuses on the development of statistical methods for data linkage.  Katie's applied research focuses on exploiting existing data sources to improve services for mothers and families. 

Read more about Katie here:  HOPE Co-Investigator.

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Dr Ania Zylbersztejn

Ania is a senior researcher on HOPE Study Work Package 1.  Ania's research interests include international comparisons child health, epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus, and health of children with learning disabilities and complex health needs. She holds a PhD in epidemiology from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research.  

Read more about Ania here: HOPE Researcher.

A Cant
Ayana Cant

Ayana is a Research Assistant on the HOPE study Work Package 1, investigating the educational attainment outcomes of children who have been identified to have neurodisability phenotypes indicative of requiring special educational needs provision.   Ayana's research interests are in Psychology and child mental health research, with previous work with longitudinal cohort studies to investigate genetic influences on symptom trajectories of neurodevelopmental disorders using latent growth curve models and polygenic scores. Ayana holds an MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from UCL Institute of Child Health.


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Prof Lorraine Dearden

Lorraine is a professor of Economics and Social Statistics at the UCL Institute of Education Social Research Institute.  Lorrain is leading the HOPE study's Work Package 3 (Impact of SEND provision on health outcomes).   Lorraine’s research has involved the use of data and advanced quantitative techniques to understand, evaluate and inform public policy.

Read more about Lorraine here:  HOPE Co-Investigator.

lucy karwatowska
Lucy Karwatowska

Lucy is a researcher on HOPE Study Work Package 3. Lucy is responsible for quantitative data analysis using biostatistical and econometric causal methods to evaluate the impact of the timing and duration of SEND provision.  Lucy's research interests include triangulation of evidence using different methods and large population samples to strengthen causal inference.

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Dr Kate Lewis

Kate is a researcher on HOPE Study Work Package 3. Kate is also responsible for quantitative data analysis using biostatistical and econometric causal methods to evaluate the impact of the timing and duration of SEND provision.  Kate's research interests include social inequity in health, administrative data and in applying causal analysis to epidemiological research.

Read more about Kate here:  HOPE Researcher.

bianca de stavola
Prof Bianca De Stavola

Bianca is a professor of medical statistics.  Bianca is leading the HOPE Study's Work Package 4 (Impact of the timing and duration of SEND provision on health outcomes).  Bianca main research activities involve the understanding, development and implementation of statistical methods for long-term longitudinal studies, with specific applications to life-course epidemiology.  As these often involve causal enquiries, in particular related to understanding pathways towards disease development, mediation analysis is her main interest.  

Read more about Bianca here:  HOPE Co-Investigator.

Vincent Nguyen
Dr Vincent Nguyen

Vincent is a researcher on HOPE Study Work Package 4.  Vincent is investigating the use of trial emulation and dynamic panel modelling to inform public policies to improve the health of children who are in need of SEND provisions.  Vincent's research interest is using appropriate methods on large datasets to provide data-driven policies to governmental bodies to enact changes that improve population health. 

Read more about Vincent here:  HOPE Researcher.

Tony Stone
Dr Antony Stone

Tony is a Data Scientist on the HOPE study working to evaluate the quality of the record linkage within the ECHILD data resource. This work is to understand and quantify linkage error and potential bias will inform HOPE and other analyses making use of the ECHILD resource  Tony's research focus is on data linkage methods and their applications to inform clinical and policy decision making.


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Prof Jugnoo Rahi

Jugnoo is a professor of ophthalmic epidemiology and leads the Vision and Eyes Group based at GOS ICH, a unique multi-disciplinary population health sciences research group.  Jugnoo is applying her clinical experience as Consultant Ophthalmologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and her epidemiological and qualitative research expertise in relation to children’s health and education trajectories in vision to sensorineural impairment more broadly, particularly to Work Packages 1 and 2. 

Read more about Jugnoo here:  HOPE Co-Investigator.

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Prof Tamsin Ford

Tamsin is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. Tamsin is leading the HOPE Study's Work Package 2 (Understanding SEND provision).  Tamsin is an internationally renowned Child Psychiatric Epidemiologist who researches the organisation, delivery, and effectiveness of services and interventions for children and young people’s mental health. 

Read more about Tamsin here: HOPE Co-Investigator.

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Prof Kristine Black-Hawkins

Kristine is Professor of Inclusive Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Kristine is supporting Work Package 2. She is internationally recognised for her research on working with teachers to develop inclusive pedagogical approaches that support the achievements of all learners, including those most vulnerable to educational marginalisation. She began her career teaching in schools and working for local government in the area of special educational needs. 

Read more about Kristine here: HOPE Co-Investigator.

Jacob Matthews
Dr Jacob Matthews

Jacob is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, with research interests in the development of resilience in young people, in a particular in working qualitatively with young people under the age of 16.  Jacob is a researcher on HOPE Study Work Package 2. 

Read more about Jacob here:  HOPE Research Fellow.

Jenny Saxton
Dr Jennifer Saxon

Jenny is a Senior Research Associate in children's mental health at the University of Cambridge, focused on early intervention, child development, and programme evaluation.  Jenny is supporting Work Package 2 including coordination of HOPE's stakeholder groups.

Read more about Jenny here: HOPE Research Support.

isaac winterburn
Isaac Winterburn

Issac is a Research Assistant at the University of Cambridge, with research interests in mental health issues in children and young people, particularly anxiety, and mixed-methods studies acquiring students’ views on their psychological wellbeing. 

Read more about Isaac here: HOPE Research Assistant.

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Sarah Barnes

Sarah is a 3rd-year psychology student currently working towards an undergraduate degree at Loughborough University. As part of this, she is completing a placement with the University of Cambridge in the department of Child and Adolescent Resilience and Mental health and contributing to Work Package 2 of the HOPE study. Her interests include clinical and developmental psychology as she is aiming to pursue a carer in either research or therapy. 

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Johnny Downs

Johnny is a NIHR Clinician Scientist at the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, KCL. He leads the development of linked data for child and adolescent mental health research at the NIHR South London and the Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre. He has pioneered linkage of mental health data to education, social care, routine hospital administrative data (HES) and remote monitoring apps. 

Read more about Jonny here: HOPE Co-Investigator.

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Professor Stuart Logan

Stuart is a Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology and Director of the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC) and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Foundation Trust.  Stuart's research seeks to understand and address needs and concerns from the perspectives of parents and children affected by disability. Stuart is contributing to all work packages, particularly workpackage 1 and 2.

Read more about Stuart here: HOPE Co-Investigator.

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Kate Boddy

Kate is a research Fellow for the Patient and Public Involvement Team within PenCLAHRC.  Kate's work is focused on involving people in research so that the people who are meant to benefit from research have a say in shaping it. Kate has a particular interest in teaching evidence based medicine skills to non-clinical audiences, methods of engaging service users in research prioritisation and involving the public in systematic reviews. Kate is contributing to all work packages, particularly work package 2. 

Read more about Kate here: HOPE PPIE researcher.

Matthew Lilliman
Matthew Lilliman

Matthew is the Data Resource Manager at the UCL GOS Institute of Health Informatics Child Health Informatic Group.  He is UCL's Programme Manager for the HOPE Programme.