UCL Institute of Health Informatics


PHDS Membership


Dr Rob Aldridge
Rob Aldridge (Group Lead) is a Professor of Public Health Data Science and Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow at the Institute of Health Informatics. He qualified in medicine from University College London in 2007, gained an MSc in Epidemiology at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2010 and completed his PhD at University College London in 2015. Rob uses data and digital technologies to investigate and improve the health of the public. In 2019 Rob lead research group’s development of a new MSc module in Public Health Data Science. 

Dr Ruth Blackburn
Ruth Blackburn (Deputy Lead) is a post-doctoral UKRI Innovation Fellow, working with the Public Health Data Science and Child Health Informatics Groups. Her fellowship examines individual and school factors that influence the onset and long-term outcomes of adolescent behaviours relating to self-harm, violence, and drug or alcohol-use using linked health and education data. Her recent research has focused on measuring and addressing long-term physical and mental health inequalities, particularly for vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups such as homeless people, people with severe mental illness and women with substance misuse. Ruth has a PhD in Epidemiology (UCL Division of Psychiatry), MSc in Public Health (LSHTM) and BSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (Durham University) and previously worked as an epidemiologist at Public Health England. 

Group members

Alexei Yavlinsky
Alexei Yavlinsky works as a research fellow in Infectious Disease Informatics at the Institute of Health Informatics, University College London. He obtained his PhD in Computing from Imperial College London and subsequently obtained an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Prior to joining IHI, he worked for a number of London-based companies as a software engineer and data scientist. At IHI, Alexei's research is focused on building effective tools and modelling techniques for managing infectious disease outbreaks.

Dr Dan Lewer
Dan Lewer is a public health registrar and an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at the Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health. His research focuses on how the NHS can provide better care for physical health problems in people who use heroin and crack cocaine. He uses ‘real world data’ (such as electronic health records of hospitals and GPs) to show how health services can be improved.

Dee Menezes
Dee Menezes is a Data Scientist at the Institute of Health Informatics, University College London. After finishing her Masters in Public Health in 2011, she has since gone on to work in national Government policy development, homeless health service provision and for the past few years, in research. Dee’s recent work has largely been about using data to investigate and generate evidence about health inequalities, specifically: homeless health, migrant health, infectious diseases and sexual health.

Greg Hugenholtz portrait

Greg Hugenholtz is an academic research fellow at the UCL Centre for Public Health Data Science where he is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


Nads Elsay
Nadia Elsay is a Project Administrator at The Institute of Health Informatics, University College London. Nadia Joined UCL in 2017, as a project administrator supporting the PASS (Preserving antibiotics through safe stewardship) research project. Nadia now works supporting Professor Rob Aldridge and the wider PHDS team, specifically assisting with the development of the Health on the Move App study. Prior to joining IHI, Nadia supported individuals and teams at a high level, mainly in the private sector working at KPMG and within wealth management and investment banking.

Dr Neha Pathak
Neha Pathak is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow at the Institute of Health Informatics and a Specialty Registrar in Community Sexual and Reproductive Health. She graduated in pre-clinical medicine and neuroscience from the University of Cambridge in 2009 and qualified in Medicine from University College London in 2012. Her research and clinical work is focused on improving sexual and reproductive healthcare access amongst vulnerable women and other underserved groups. She is currently completing a PhD using large scale primary care electronic health record data to describe the sexual and reproductive health and rights of international migrants to the UK.

Rachel Burns
Rachel Burns is a Research Associate at the Institute of Health Informatics. She gained a BA in Anthropology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases in 2017. 

Dr Serena Luchenski
Serena Luchenski is an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow/Consultant in Public Health. Serena studied biology at the University of Victoria and then epidemiology at McGill University, Canada. She moved to London in 2008 and worked as an epidemiologist prior to joining the North London public health training scheme in 2011. She was awarded a 1-year CMO-funded Academic Public Health Fellowship to develop her interests in Inclusion Health in the UK.  She worked at UCL and led a review of ‘what works’ for Inclusion Health populations, published in the Lancet. In 2017 Serena began an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship to work to prevent health problems and early mortality among people experiencing homelessness.  She simultaneously completed her public health training and became an Honorary Public Health Consultant working with the Pathway Charity and Inclusion Health services at UCLH.

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