UCL News


Spotlight on... Lola Solebo

28 October 2021

This week we meet Lola Solebo, Clinical Academic at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and Chair of the GOS ICH Race Equity Group. Here, Lola chats to us about her research and shares her TEDxLSTM talk with us – as well as her favourite movie to watch with family.

Lola Solebo

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m a Clinical Academic at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health’s Population, Policy and Practice department (and a consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at GOSH). My team’s research looks at how we can best use different types of data to capture health and disease states and outcomes, and the determinants of those outcomes – who is at risk of what and why, and how to change this for the better. I also Chair the GOS ICH Race Equity Group – here’s a recording of our recent Black History Month event.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I’ve been in my current post since 2019, but my relationship with UCL goes back to an iBSc in Neuroscience here in 1999. I did my PhD here at ICH – and stayed because of all the amazing cross-disciplinary population health science that goes on here.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

The best thing about my work is watching our findings translate into health policy and clinical practice, and the positive impact that follows. That’s particularly true for our IoLunder2 study, which looked at the determinants of outcome for childhood cataract (the most important cause of avoidable childhood blindness globally).

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

We are currently analysing early findings from our UNICORN study – an internationally unique inception cohort study which is interrogating routinely collected clinical data and novel imaging and patient reported data on children diagnosed with a chronic complex eye disorder called uveitis. The first year of recruitment started March 2020, so we also gathered data on the health service experiences of these families whose children were diagnosed during the pandemic.

What is your favourite album, film or novel?

Nina Simone’s Pastel Blues album, which ends with her phenomenal arrangement of Sinnerman. Spirited Away is our favourite family watch. Favourite novel is Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness.

What is your favourite joke?

My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance.
We’ll see about that.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

I’d just be happy with all my close friends and family being round the table at the same time – it’s so hard to make that happen nowadays.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be less afraid of appearing fallible.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

There is nothing even remotely surprising about me right now. Ask me later when I have the time to be interesting again.

What is your favourite place?

The reading corner in my daughters’ bedroom, with my husband and I putting on voices for bedtime stories (right now it’s Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf).