Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) has recently appointed a further key new addition to its senior leadership team:

Jonathan Wood will join HDR UK in March this year as its new Director of Communications. Jonathan joins from the British Ecological Society, where he is Director of Society Programmes, responsible for all communications and engagement.

Jonathan skills and experience lie in science communications. Previously, he was at the world-renowned Francis Crick Institute where he set up the media relations function ahead of the move to its new building in St. Pancras, London; stepping up to Interim Director of Communications, providing leadership of the Crick’s external and internal communications and making its blue-skies research accessible to inspire audiences. Before that, Jonathan held media relations and communications roles at NHS England and Oxford University. He has a physics degree from Cambridge and a PhD in structural biology from the University of Leeds.

Jonathan’s appointment follows the additions to HDR UK’s senior leadership team, made at the end of 2022:

Andrew Morris, Institute Director, commented:

“We are delighted to be welcoming Jonathan to HDR UK. His extensive science communications experience will be a huge asset and his appointment represents the culmination of the re-shaping our senior leadership team. Kicking off 2023, we have an exceptional team in place. Following on from the impact we have delivered in our first five years as the national institute for health data science, I am looking forward to working with them all to deliver on the next stage of achieving our vision to unite the UK’s health data to enable research and innovation that improves people’s lives ”.

HDR UK also welcomes Rob Baxter as Technical Lead for the UKRI Data and Analytics Research Environment programme (DARE UK). Rob joins from EPCC (formerly the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre), the centre for world-class supercomputing and data facilities. As Technical Lead for DARE UK, Rob will be leading the establishment of the technical requirements, use cases and implementation of a novel and sustainable national federated infrastructure for sensitive data research. This will build on the work completed in the first year of the DARE UK programme.

Neil Postlethwaite continues in a new part-time capacity as Technical Director, working in partnership with colleagues across the Institute to support the development of the International Strategy and International partnerships, linking with HDR Global and the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway, as well as the recent partnership with the European Health Data & Evidence Network (EHDEN).

Finally, Gerry Reilly will be retiring from HDR UK at the end of March. Currently, Special Technology Adviser, Gerry joined HDR UK in June 2018 and has been instrumental in the leadership and development of technological programmes in a number roles including Chief Technology Office – the Digital Hub Innovation Programme, the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway and the UKRI Data and Analytics Research Environment programme. Gerry leaves an enormous legacy and everyone at HDR UK wishes him very well in his retirement.