Michelle Williams is joining the BHF Data Science Centre, led by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), on a part-time secondment basis to provide strategic leadership in improving the discovery of, access to and use of clinical imaging data in cardiovascular research. Michelle will build partnerships with the data science, imaging and cardiovascular communities, NHS organisations, patients, public and other stakeholders to identify and prioritise the key opportunities for using and linking imaging data with other health data for cardiovascular research. The aim is to improve understanding, monitoring and management of cardiovascular disease, driving benefits for patients and healthcare.

Michelle is a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Consultant Radiologist at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian. Her expertise includes multi-modality imaging of the heart, lungs and blood vessels, with research involving computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of various cardiovascular diseases, in particular coronary artery disease. Her research uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques to discover new information from medical imaging. Michelle holds a British Heart Foundation funded Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship, and she is president elect of the British Society of Cardiovascular Imaging.

Dr Michelle Williams said:

“I am excited to be working with the team at the BHF Data Science Centre to lead this important research theme. There is so much information locked inside medical imaging which could be used to help patients. I am looking forward to helping cardiovascular researchers to use imaging data and other unstructured data in their research, and to link it with other forms of healthcare information. Ultimately, this will help us to find new ways to diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases.”

Prof Cathie Sudlow, Director of the BHF Data Science Centre said:

“The BHF Data Science Centre team is delighted to welcome Michelle to work with us to develop and realise the exciting potential for using and linking cardiovascular imaging data for research. We look forward to being able to make real progress in this thematic area, using unstructured data to continue to improve understanding, treatments and care.”

Accessing and using unstructured health data, including imaging data, at scale for cardiovascular research is one of six key thematic areas at the BHF Data Science Centre. This thematic area will focus on identifying priority research questions and relevant cardiovascular imaging data assets, and address challenges that need to be overcome to enable use of imaging data linked to other types of health data at UK-wide scale. This work will help the centre to achieve its overall vision – to improve the public’s cardiovascular health through the power of large-scale data and analytics across the UK.

Follow the BHF Data Science Centre on Twitter