Peter Diggle







Chris takes over the role from Professor Peter Diggle who will be stepping down to focus on other research activities.

As HDR UK’s Director of Training, Peter led the original development of the PhD programme. Under his leadership, the programme has gone from strength to strength and rapidly become one of the leading health data science doctoral programmes in the UK. This year it attracted 160 applications from across the world.

Andrew Morris, Director, Health Data Research UK:

“Peter has done a phenomenal job in building a PhD programme that is providing exceptional training and education for tomorrow’s leaders in health data science. I would like to thank him for his leadership in this area, which is not just a strategic priority for Health Data Research UK but is also a crucial component of the UK’s development of skills and talent for the future.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Chris’ ability and expertise in place to take the programme forward.”

Haoting Zhang, Health Data Research UK PhD Student:

“I would like to thank Peter for all of the support he has provided us. Starting a PhD during the pandemic is not easy, but Peter has helped us making this process less stressful. I wish him all the best for the future.”

Peter will continue in his role as Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Lancaster University and will maintain close links to HDR UK. Amongst many other activities, he is a Steering Group member of the joint Alan Turing Institute-Royal Statistical Society Joint Biosecurity Centre COVID-19 Taskforce. 

Chris Yau is currently the Programme’s Co-Director, a UKRI Turing AI Fellow and Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Manchester. He has a background in developing artificial intelligence-based methodology for solving biomedical data problems. He will work with our Central Talent and Training Team and our University Partners in the continued development of the PhD programme.



The HDRUK-Turing Wellcome PhD Programme in Health Data Science is a multi-institutional partnership between seven leading UK universities.

Applications to the PhD programme are currently closed for the forthcoming academic year but will re-open for entry 2022/23 in the Autumn 2021. Click here for further information.