Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) has appointed Tim Frayling, Exeter University’s Professor of Human Genetics, as its Chief Talent and Training Officer.

Prof. Frayling will be at the heart of the drive to nurture new talent from every part of the UK and fully realise the capacity of health data science to transform health and care for the better.

He has extensive experience of working with HDR UK to promote education and learning as the head of Exeter University’s HDR UK-funded MSc programme.

Prof. Frayling, and the leads from the five other participating universities, have already trained around 150 early career scientists in health data science.

As an academic he is at the forefront of using large scale data for genetic research into common diseases heading a team of 14 which has a worldwide reputation for its work on conditions such as diabetes.

One of the challenges Tim and the rest of the HDR UK Talent and Training team face is in raising awareness of health data science, what it is and the immensely rewarding and varied career opportunities it offers.

Professor Tim Frayling, Chief Talent and Training Officer:

“I want us to cast the net wide, so everybody who could potentially be a health data scientist is aware of what it means. For example I’d love every STEM graduate to be as familiar with health data science as a career opportunity, as they are with the financial sector.

“I also want to make sure we engage the people who are good at health, but don’t yet know they would also be good with data; that might be anyone from a healthcare professional to a biologist.”

Sarah Cadman, Programme Director for Talent and Training:

“Tim has been a tireless advocate for health data research for many years and has achieved a huge amount – attracting talented people, from many backgrounds, into the field. His commitment to our MSc programme has been outstanding.

“We are very pleased to welcome him to this new role, where his drive and determination will be invaluable as we seek to recruit and train the fresh talent we need in order to realise the potential for health data research to drive improvements in care.”