Meet the Team

Principal Investigators

Phil Quinlan

University of Nottingham

Dr. Quinlan is the Head of the Digital Research Service at the University of Nottingham and Co-Director of the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

Emily Jefferson

University of Dundee

Professor Jefferson is the Academic Lead and Director of the Health Informatics Centre at the University of Dundee and a Professor in Health Data Science.

Susan Hopkins

Public Health England

Professor Susan Hopkins is the Senior Medical Advisor at Public Health England and the lead for the SIREN study.

Aziz Sheikh

University of Edinburgh

Professor Sheikh is Director of the Usher Institute. He is also Director of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR)

Patient and Public Involvement Leads

Jillian Beggs

PPI - Co-Investigator

Jillian works with the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team to support the research team with PPI input across all work packages.

Antony Chuter

PPI - Co-Investigator

Antony lives in Sussex with his partner and their dogs. He has lived with chronic pain for 30 years and has a number of other health conditions. He enjoys being involved with healthcare research because of the difference it can make.

Antony works with the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team to support the research team with PPI input across all work packages.

Programme Management

Jenny Johnston

University of Dundee

Jenny’s main focus is on Work Package 2 which will determine which data fields need to be captured to answer the key research questions. She is also the main contact for Data Governance queries across the project and supports the Programme Technical Lead.

Gordon Milligan

University of Dundee

Gordon joined HIC to work solely on CO-CONNECT. His focus is on managing the Software Automation and Data Curation aspects of the project.

Andrew Hadfield

University of Nottingham

Andrew’s role within the project is to provide business analysis support, as well as working closely with the software teams to plan, structure and deliver output aligned to the project’s objectives.

Team Leaders

Sam Cox

University of Nottingham

Sam leads the software development team, working on the software automation to aid data curation and build pipelines to integrate partners’ datasets into the HDR gateway.

Scott Horban

University of Dundee

Scott works with the Data Team in order to ensure each dataset is standardised and converted into a common format securely, correctly and consistently so that researchers can interpret it easily and effectively.

Tom Giles

University of Nottingham

Tom leads the infrastructure team facilitating the deployment of the required infrastructure for the project and also works with partners helping them to extract metadata from datasets.

Profile picture of Tracy Jackson, the University of Edinburgh

Tracy Jackson

University of Edinburgh

Tracy coordinates patient and public involvement (PPI) and works with the PPI Leads, patient and public members to make sure they are meaningfully involved throughout the project.

Data and Software Teams

Calum Macdonald

University of Edinburgh

Calum works as a Data Analyst for the CO-CONNECT Project, he is involved in the curation and meta-data cataloguing of datasets to make sure they are available in a meaningful and secure manner for COVID-19 research.

Chris Hall

University of Dundee

Chris Hall is a Data Analyst within HIC Services. He joined the University of Dundee in December of 2006 having previously worked within the NHS. Chris oversees several members of the team working on the CO-CONNECT project.

Esmond Urwin

University of Nottingham

Esmond’s main focus within the project is upon the extraction of metadata from COVID data sets and the subsequent mapping of this metadata to the OMOP healthcare standard. Additionally, he is also contributing to the standardisation of healthcare data.

Erum Masood

University of Dundee

Erum works with different Data Partners, ensuring that the metadata has all the required information. She is also involved in the process of standardising datasets, converting them to OMOP-CDM and standardised vocabularies.

Joseph Best

University of Nottingham

Now on secondment to Health Data Research UK. Joe’s role is to liaise with Data Partners to design the software solution around their environment, then to plan and implement the deployment.

Shahzad Mumtaz

University of Dundee

Shahzad will be looking into the research side of the project regarding data federation and will also be running some exemplar queries to test the system.

Vasiliki Panagi

University of Nottingham

Vasiliki is a software developer working within the software team to develop automating the pipeline connecting datasets from the data partners’ to the HDR UK gateway platform.

Sam Adejumo

University of Nottingham

Sam is a software developer working within the software team to develop the front end of the mapping pipeline web app.

Business Support Team

Jill Hampton

University of Dundee

Jill is part of the Business Support Team in the Health Informatics Centre at the University of Dundee, and provides administrative support to the CO-CONNECT project.

Maria Gascoigne

University of Nottingham

Maria joined the CO-CONNECT Team in 2020 providing administration support.

Communications and Engagement

Gabriella Linning

University of Edinburgh

Gabriella is the project’s Communications and Engagement Officer, after joining CO-CONNECT in May 2022. She is based at the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh.

Public User Group

Alex Sloan

Alex lives in Herfordshire. He is an international project manager, specialising in aerospace and marine engineering. Away from work Alex enjoys adventure travel as diverse as scuba diving in both cold and warm water, and hiking to Everest Base Camp. 

Supporting CO-CONNECT has given Alex insight into positive utilisation of patient data for public benefit. As a clinically extremely vulnerable patient Alex is inspired by the work of CO-CONNECT to support COVID-19 research across the UK.  

Clancy Williams

Clancy is a Drama Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor based in Birmingham. She has worked in health for over 20 years and has a keen interest in bringing her areas of expertise into diverse fields associated with health and well-being.

Her interest in being involved in PPI stems from working with The Expert Patients Programme. Clancy believes being involved with progressive initiatives and treatments enables us all to be part of the solutions.

Karen Mooney

Karen lives in Northern Ireland and holds an interest in health and the arts. Upon early retirement due to ill health, she retrained as a Community Facilitator, delivering health awareness sessions in areas of deprivation. This was followed by lay membership of the RCGPNI’s Patient Group, which she subsequently chaired.

Excited by the potential of the CO-CONNECT project, Karen is inspired by the collaborative approach, which harnesses existing knowledge and expertise to facilitate life-saving opportunities.

Kausar Iqbal

Kausar is based in Leeds and is married with 3 adult children. Previously a nursery officer, she has been a full time carer for her 2 disabled adult brothers for 26 years. She is a “Good Life Leader” for Leeds City Council, has helped develop training for adult social care staff, works with the College of Social Work, has published in Learning Disabilities Practise and contributed to an Ethnicity and Learning Disabilities book.

Kausar and her family have experienced COVID-19 and also lost a close family member to COVID-19. She became involved with CO-CONNECT because she has many questions about COVID-19 and feels research is the best way to get honest and up to date information.

Koula Prevett

Koula lives in Brighton with her husband and mum, and has two grown up children who are at University. She combines working as a gardener with caring for her mum who has Alzheimer’s disease. Seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown impacted her mum’s health made Koula want to help researchers and clinicians learn more about COVID-19.

Being involved with the project has given Koula the chance to see the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in health care research.