Prestigious award for 'outstanding' primary care researcher

Nottingham 19 May 2009The 'outstanding' work of Julia Hippisley-Cox, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice at the University of Nottingham, has been recognised by the Royal College of General Practitioners. Professor Hippisley-Cox has been awarded the highly prestigious John Fry Silver Medal - an award made each year to a younger member of the College who has promoted the discipline of general practice through research and publishing as a practising General Practitioner (GP).

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Professor Hippisley-Cox stated: "It's a great honour to receive this award and I would like to thank my colleagues, the University of Nottingham, EMIS and the general practices who have contributed data medical research without which much of the research would not have been possible."

Established in 1995, the award commemorates the work of John Fry, one of the founders of epidemiology in general practice and perhaps the most prominent GP of his generation involved in research.

Professor Mike Pringle, Medical Director of Revalidation at the Royal College of General Practitioners and Professor in Primary Care at the University of Nottingham, who presented the award, stated: "Julia Hippisley-Cox's remarkable academic achievements make her a very worthy recipient of the John Fry Award."

There are two defining developments for which Professor Hippisley-Cox is renowned. Having recognised the potential of routine GP electronic clinical records for research, Professor Hippisley-Cox established QResearch - the largest clinical research database in the world in partnership with leading clinical systems provider EMIS. This database is now used by researchers throughout the United Kingdom and, increasingly, in Europe. There have been over 100 research publications using its data so far.

She also established QSurveillance, the largest surveillance system of its kind worldwide - another partnership with EMIS. QSurveillance extracts routine clinical data from general practices so that it can be used to directly improve patient care. The systems looks at over 100 indicators for 23 million people in the United Kingdom every day. Not only is this used for monitoring flu - and it will be invaluable in an epidemic or pandemic - but it was also used in real time to examine the health effects of disasters, such as the Buncefield fire and the Avon floods.

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox is a General Practitioner and a focused and extremely prolific researcher whose innovative methods and academic rigor have been recognised by her peers in the United Kingdom and internationally. Her contribution was decisive in the recent excellent result for the University of Nottingham in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Professor Hippisley-Cox has used QResearch to develop a new model of cardiovascular risk assessment called QRisk. Soon every patient's records will contain an automatically calculated cardiovascular risk score, allowing GPs to identify and target those at greatest risk.

Last year Tony Avery, Professor of Primary Care in the University of Nottingham's Medical School, received the John Fry Award for promoting the discipline of general practice through research and publishing as a practising GP. Professor Avery is considered to be one of the leading patient-safety researchers in the world. He stated: "It is quite clear from my knowledge of Julia's work that she is one of the most outstanding primary care researchers in the world and the impact of her publications is phenomenal."

Qresearch specialises in research and analyses using primary care electronic health data. Qsurveillance is a near real time surveillance scheme which will collect, analyse and report on rates of infectious diseases as well influenza related conditions, flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine uptake. QSurveillance already has the capability of providing timely data in the face of emerging public health problems. It can also respond to chemical incidents, concerns about safety of medication or report in extreme weather conditions - e.g. during a heat wave - to help estimate the scale of the problem and plan a response.

Qrisk can be used to work out your risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years. The QRISK2 algorithm has been developed by doctors and academics working in the United Kingdom National Health Service and is based on routinely collected data from many thousands of GPs across the country who have freely contributed data for medical research. A software development kit is available to build the QRISK2 engine into health care systems.

The University of Nottingham is ranked in the United Kingdom's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings. More than 90 percent of research at the University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 percent of all research defined as "world-leading" or "internationally excellent". Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the United Kingdom by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the United Kingdom Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy), and was named "Entrepreneurial University of the Year" at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.


Source: University of Nottingham

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