UCL Institute of Health Informatics


IHI & HDR UK Black Internship Programme 2021 – Meet the Interns!

14 May 2021

UCL Institute of Health Informatics (IHI) and Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) are pleased to introduce you to our three new interns, Joel Aderemi, Abbi G-Medhin and Maya Ogonah!

HDR HDRUK Green and Blue Background with map location

Black people are heavily underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the UK. Through our participation in the #10000BlackInterns initiative – helping to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom – we are continuing to tackle this sector inequality.

Our three talented interns impressed the panel of Dr Serina Hayes, Prof Ami Banerjee and Dr Vaclav Papez, securing their places to join our world-class researchers and scientists for a summer-long programme.

Between June 28th and August 6th, they will be involved in conducting research and analyses using health data, developing approaches to influence how healthcare is provided, collaborating with healthcare systems and industry, improving communication and team-working skills, and building and succeeding in their future STEM careers.

Joel Aderemi

Joel Aderemi - Black Internship Programme 2021 UCL HDR UK Institute of Health Informatics
Joel obtained his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Sheffield Hallam University in 2020. He is also a STEM Ambassador and is invited to deliver talks and demonstrate practical experiments to younger students, which encourages them to pursue STEM careers. 

In his free time, he enjoys playing football and supporting Arsenal.

“I hope the internship serves as an eye-opener and a stepping stone for me to achieve my career aspirations. I am particularly excited to work in this Institute because I hope to complete a doctorate degree in applied artificial intelligence.”

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Abbi G-Medhin

Abbi G-Medhin - Black Internship Programme 2021 UCL HDR UK Institute of Health Informatics
Abbi is currently in her final year of Biomedical Science at the University of Warwick. As Co-Chair of the university's Black Student Sub-Committee, she organised a well-received event giving insight and platform to Black scientists’ research and career journeys; the event featured Ronny Odegbami, Associate Director Scientific, AstraZeneca.

Abbi enjoys extreme sports such as paragliding and skydiving!

“Learning about the most recent advances in biomedical research during my degree has really fuelled my passion for research and its translational clinical impact. Through this programme, I hope to acquire the skills and knowledge needed for medical research and becoming a doctor.”

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Maya Ogonah

Maya Ogonah - Black Internship Programme 2021 UCL HDR UK Institute of Health Informatics
Maya has recently been accepted to study for her DPhil in Psychiatry at Oxford. She is involved in activism for criminal justice reform, particularly relating to the justice system’s interactions with, and biases against, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour. 

In her spare time, she is a self-described adrenaline junkie, with experience in scuba diving, white-water rafting and skydiving!

“I recently published and presented an academic poster in the BMJ Journals, promoting inclusion and better health science through increased diversity. I am looking forward to further developing my research interests through this programme."

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Prof Harry Hemingway, Director of IHI and HDR UK London:

“We’re all delighted to be welcoming three talented interns to our research team this year. They impressed hugely in the application and interview stage, and I have no doubt that they will immerse themselves fully in the upcoming research opportunities. I am excited to see them grow as budding academics, making real and tangible improvements to what goes on here at IHI. I know you will all join me in welcoming Maya, Abbi and Joel properly very soon."

Dr Serina Hayes, HDR UK Programme Director:

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting our three interns at their interviews - the competition was very tough but they truly excelled! The knowledge, experience and skills exchange of this programme will be of huge mutual benefit and assist IHI and HDR UK in implementing changes to pursue our equality, diversity and inclusivity pledges."


Congratulations once again to the three interns for securing this exciting opportunity. We look forward to working closely with you soon!

Izzie Harvey

E: i.harvey@ucl.ac.uk            

Communications Lead       

Institute of Health Informatics, UCL

About Institute of Health Informatics, UCL

At the UCL Institute of Health Informatics, we work to develop and evaluate data collecting systems and utilise the data produced. Central to our work are electronic health records (EHR), which offer unique opportunities for the advancement of medical research, quality of care, and outcomes.

We have created an EHR-based research platform and unique set of resources, including data linked to disease registries covering 10 million people, e-infrastructure consisting of state-of-the-art data safe havens, high-performance computing facilities, and a central, online repository with 600 disease and risk factor phenotyping algorithms, tools and metadata. We seek to implement the widespread use of EHRs for international research and clinical practice, changing the lives of people all over the world.

Our interdisciplinary, highly-skilled staff bridge multiple fields, including data science, bioinformatics, epidemiology, psychology, computer science and information governance, carrying out world-class research and providing students with the tools they need to carry out research in today’s rapidly evolving field of health informatics.

About Health Data Research UK

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) is the national institute for health data science. HDR UK's mission is to unite the UK's health data to enable discoveries that improve people's lives. HDR UK is funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care in England and equivalents in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and leading medical research charities.

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W: www.hdruk.ac.uk