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Clinical Operational Research Unit

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The Team

Christina Pagel
Christina Pagel
CORU's Director
Professor of Operational Research

Christina has a background in maths and physics. From being a post-doctoral physicist, she made the leap into mathematics applied to health care in 2005 and is now Director of CORU and Professor of Operational Research. Her recent work has focused paediatric intensive care and outcomes after children’s heart surgery. She was a 2016-17 Harkness fellow in Health Policy and Practice, based between Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, US where she worked on understanding politicians’ priorities for US health policy and on implementation of I.T. systems. She is passionate about using information to help people improve delivery of healthcare.

Sonya Crowe
Sonya Crowe
CORU's Deputy Director
Associate Professor of Operational Research

Sonya has a PhD in physics and worked in the Government OR Services before joining CORU in 2009 from the Department of Health. She has worked on a wide range of projects relating to service delivery and innovation in health and social care, health protection policy and global health. In 2013 she was awarded a Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellowship. Her current interests include: combining quantitative and qualitative OR methods to improve services that span multiple sectors; linking national datasets to support quality improvement in services for congenital heart disease; and enhancing the effectiveness of OR in contributing to improvement.

Martin Utley
Martin Utley
Professor of Operational Research

Former Director of the unit (2007-2017), Martin joined CORU in 1996 having gained a PhD in high-energy physics. Martin has experience of working on a wide variety of problems in health and health care, spanning many clinical areas. Actively involved in many aspects of CORU's current research, he is committed to assisting those planning, delivering or evaluating health services by developing, adapting and applying operational research techniques.

Alejandro Diaz
Alejandro Diaz
Lecturer

Alex is an applied mathematician working on uncertainty quantification, Bayesian inference and model calibration. He is an EPSRC Fellow leading DATA-CENTRIC: Developing AccounTAble Computational Engineering Through Robust InferenCe. In this research, he is developing Bayesian methods for numerical methods that quantify uncertainty due to computation. His continuous involvement with industrial partners has led to several projects with engineering companies, government bodies and SMEs. He has organised four study groups to strengthen the relationship between academia and industry. Alex joined CORU in September 2019, where he is developing statistical and computational methods to analyse large data sets and thus support clinical decision making.

 

Marco Javarone
Marco Javarone
Lecturer

Before joining UCL (2019), Marco was Senior Lecturer in Statistical Physics (Coventry University), Research Associate (University of Kent) and Senior Research Fellow (University of Hertfordshire). He visited many laboratories, e.g. ITMO University (St Petersburg), University of Ghent, and CNRS in Paris. He has a PhD in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Computer Engineering. His research interests are in the area of complex systems (e.g. evolutionary games, socio-economic systems and theoretical biology) and in the physics of information. He wrote a book “Statistical Physics and Computational Methods for Evolutionary Game Theory" (Springer 2018), and he has been nominated distinguished referee by EPL (Europhysics Letters). Marco has also industry experience in areas related to his academic research.

      Luca Grieco
      Luca Grieco
      Senior Research Associate

      Luca has a background in Industrial Engineering and Operational Research techniques gained during his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Sapienza University of Rome. In 2008 he moved to France where he earned his PhD in Genomics and Bioinformatics dealing with machine learning and dynamical modelling approaches to identify targets for cancer therapy. In 2014 he was appointed as Research Associate at CORU where he applies quantitative methods to support health protection policy and to improve performance of healthcare systems.

          Enoch Kung
          Enoch Kung
          Research Associate

          Enoch graduated from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with degrees in mathematics and electronic engineering, with his PhD thesis on cyber-physical system security. He joined CORU in 2017 as a research associate and is working on the development of mathematical models in the prediction of patient flow and resource demand.

          Ferran Espuny Pujol
          Ferran Espuny Pujol
          Research Fellow

          Ferran has a PhD in Mathematics and a MSc in Statistics and Operational Research. He did part of his research on Geometry and Statistics applied to Computer Vision. Since May 2013, he has been interested in methodological and applied research related to health and social care. He is very enthusiastic about having joined CORU in February 2019, where he is currently doing research on Linking audit and national datasets in congenital heart services for quality improvement.

          Elena Hadjicosta
          Elena Hadjicosta
          Research Fellow

          Elena has a background in Mathematics and Statistics. She has a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics and a PhD in Statistics. Her doctoral research training focused on the problem of goodness-of-fit testing for random positive definite matrix data.  She joined CORU in July 2019 as a Research Fellow, where she is currently doing research on exploring the impact of several risk factors on the long-term survival outcome for children born with complex congenital heart defects. This work is funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and led by Dr Kate Brown at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

            Julie Taylor
            Julie Taylor
            Research Assistant

            Following a degree in Zoology at University of Wales-Bangor, Julie completed her training to become a HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist in histology.  Whilst working in biomedical science, Julie completed her MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine before taking a Research Assistant post at the Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, UCL in 2014. From January 2017 she worked on the British Women’s Heart and Health Study at the Institute of Health Informatics, and joined CORU in March 2018 as the study coordinator for Linking audit and national datasets in congenital heart services for quality improvement (LAUNCHES).

              Ruksana Begum
              Ruksana Begum
              Senior Finance Administrator

              Ruksana has a background in Education Finance. She graduated from City University in 2001 after gaining a honours degree in Management and Systems. She joined an accountancy firm BDO before embarking on a career at a Further Education (FE) College within their Core Finance dept. Ruksana has since held a variety of financial management roles within different FE institutions, joining CORU in 2017. She has a passion for working in the public sector and education finance services.

                Charlotte Ayton-George
                Charlotte Ayton-George
                Senior Finance Administrator

                Charlotte first began working in Education Administration as part of the Registry Team in a large Further Education (FE) college, in a part-time role whilst studying. Since then, she worked as a Departmental Administrator for an Adult Education Centre in Central London for several years, before moving in to financial administration within Higher Education, where she has been working for the past 6 years, at various University of London member institutions. Charlotte joined CORU in March 2019 as maternity cover for the current Senior Finance Administrator.

                  Thomas Monks
                  Thomas Monks
                  Honorary Senior Research Fellow

                  Thomas is a Principal Research Fellow in Operational Research and Data Science at the University of Southampton. He is also Director of Data Science for the NIHR Collaboration in Leadership and Applied Health Research (CLAHRC) Wessex. Thomas is a methodologist with expertise is in applying computer simulation methods, mathematical modelling and machine learning in health service delivery. In particular, his research has used modelling and analysis to help the NHS improve stroke thrombolysis services.