UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

Prof Patty Kostkova

Prof Patty Kostkova

Professor of Digital Health

Inst for Risk & Disaster Reduction

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2013

Research summary

CeRC piloted a novel model enabling direct technology transfer of a user-driven high impact research through a family of real-world online services for medical professionals including the National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC, www.nric.org.uk), ECDC training resource FEM Wiki (www.femwiki.com) and educational games for children edugames4all (www.edugames4all.org).

Patty’s research successes were recognized by a number of prestigious awards including:

  • BCS (The Chartered Inttitute for IT) and Computing: UK IT Industry Awards 2012 – finalist in Category „IT project demonstrating most effective use of collaborative technology. Project: FEM wiki: a collaborative wiki technology with editorial control November 2012
  • EHI (Ehealth Insider) 2012 Prize – finalist in Category “Best Use of social media in healthcare”. Project: #swineflu: twitter-based early warning and risk communication of the swine flu pandemic in 2009, October 2012
  • Under my supervision, my researcher David Farrell received The Best Student Paper GALA Award. Paper "Computer Games to Teach Hygiene: An Evaluation of the e-Bug Junior Game", VS-Games 2012 conference, October 2012
  • The Best Interdisciplinary Research Project in the 4th Annual City University Research Competition. Project: “Tweet, Post or Blog?", December 2010

In the recent years, she was appointed a consultant at WHO, ECDC and Foundation Merieux. In addition to Patty’s Advisory Board memberships including ECDC Knowledge Management Working Group and the NHS National Knowledge Service TB Pilot project, she established and chaired an interdisciplinary international eHealth conference in 2009-11 and in May 2013 chaired the WWW 2013 Workshop on Public Health in the Digital Age (PHDA 2013).

Regular invited and keynote speaker at prestigious institutions and international conferences, in March 2011, she was invited by BMJ as the “Idea Champion” to present her latest work on the potential of social media for epidemic intelligence receiving a wide media coverage including a BMJ scientific film: Medical Innovations: Twitter Epidemics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JNogEk-pnM)

Patty published almost 100 peer-reviewed papers, a book chapter and edited a number of journals. Her research was extensively covered by international media including the Medi1TV, BBC, AFP, the Vancouver Sun, the Malaysian Insider and others.

Teaching summary


Dr. Patty Kostkova is currently the Principal Research Associate for ehealth at the Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, University College London (UCL) and holds a Research Scientist post at the ISI Foundation in Italy. Patty was also a Special Lecturer at the School or Arts and Social Sciences, City University, London delivering an interdisciplinary module on Social Media for postgraduate social science and informatics students.

My impactful interdisciplinary ehealth research spans across computer science (semantic navigation, medical ontologies, digital libraries, data mining social networks, serious games), information science (online communities for practice, evaluation of impact of digital libraries) solving real-world problems from medical domains such as infection control, public health, disease surveillance and epidemic intelligence. 

Until 2012, she was Reader and the Head of City eHealth Research Centre (CeRC) at City University, London, UK (http://www.city.ac.uk/health/research/research-areas/city-ehealth-research-centre/staff/dr-patty-kostkova). With an MSc and PhD degrees in computer science and an extensive international experience at public health agencies such as WHO and ECDC, Patty built up CeRC into a thriving multidisciplinary research centre collaborating with international partners and funding bodies including ECDC, WHO, HPA, EC and the DH.