Professor Andrew Morris has been the inaugural Director of Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) since August 2017, leading its establishment as the national institute for health data science. He is seconded from his role as Professor of Medicine and Vice Principal of Data Science at the University of Edinburgh.

Under Andrew’s leadership, HDR UK works in partnership with the NHS, industry, charities and universities to accelerate trustworthy data use for public benefit. The landmark COALESCE study marked the first research study of the entire UK population, involving secure access to deidentified health data of 67 million people across all four UK nations. 

The Academy of Medical Sciences has announced that Andrew has been elected as the next President. The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent, expert voice of biomedical and health research in the UK. Their mission is to improve the health of people everywhere by creating an open and progressive research sector. 

This prestigious appointment not only reflects Andrew’s outstanding leadership within HDR UK but highlights his significant contributions to the medical science community at large. His visionary leadership will bring valuable insights while he continues to lead HDR UK in it’s mission of accelerating trustworthy data use and improving people’s lives. 

On his appointment, Professor Morris said:

“The Academy of Medical Sciences is the pre-eminent UK authority and a dynamic and influential force in biomedical and health research. It’s a great honour to be taking on the role of President of this influential institution at time of great change and opportunity.  


“We are living through the most rapid technological and scientific revolution in the whole of human history. This fusion of biology with physical sciences, social sciences, and computational sciences requires a re-envisioned approach to biomedical and health research. The Academy Fellowship of outstanding scientists is uniquely positioned to seize the opportunity to lead medical science into the future.


“It is important that the Academy becomes a trusted voice in the ethical and responsible application of artificial intelligence, digital technologies, and interdisciplinary science to address global health challenges with integrity and foresight. We need to continue to support the next generation of world-leading scientists and show how excellence in science can power improved NHS and social care services. Importantly, this work must be underpinned by a new era of inclusivity, where patients and the public work alongside the Fellowship to play an active role in shaping the future of medical science, championing equality, diversity, and inclusion at every turn.”

Welcoming the news, current Academy President, Professor Dame Anne Johnson DBE PMedSci, said: 

 “Andrew knows firsthand the importance of multidisciplinary collaborative science in developing policies that positively impact the health of people everywhere and is well-placed to take forward the mission of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He brings significant knowledge and experience of working at the interface between research and government, particularly through his extensive work for the Scottish government prior to, and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It gives me great pleasure to hand over the Presidency to someone of his calibre and expertise.”

Professor Paul Stewart FMedSci, Acting-President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Chair of the Search Committee which oversaw the election process, said:  

“Professor Morris brings a wealth of experience to the role of President through his impactful work across the UK and internationally, achieved through collaboration with governments, industry, charities, Universities, research institutes and the NHS. His vision for the Academy is ambitious and deeply rooted in our commitment to supporting the next generation of researchers, interdisciplinary team-research and advancing science, all to improve the health of our patients and populations. I offer Professor Morris my warmest congratulations on his new position and very much look forward to supporting him over the forthcoming weeks as he takes office.”