The DPHPC is one of Europe’s leading academic departments of population health sciences. It comprises over 400 staff and graduate students, including more than 25 professors, readers, university lecturers, and other senior academic staff. Groups in the Department are underpinned by major programme grants, such as those from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK, the UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the European Union, the US National Institutes of Health, industry, and other sources.
The DPHPC provides internationally-recognised expertise in: genetic epidemiology, biomarkers, cohort studies, quantitative methods, public health, primary care, and behavioural sciences. Major areas of application include common chronic diseases (eg, cardiometabolic diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases), and major behavioural risk factors driving these conditions (eg, consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and adverse diets).
The DPHPC benefits greatly from the expertise arising from its strategic collaborations:
Genome Campus: The Sanger Institute (director: Sir Mike Stratton; head of human genetics: Dr Ines Barroso) and the European Bioinfomatics Institute (director: Dr Rolf Apweiler; associate director: Dr Ewan Birney) constitute Europe’s largest and leading genome campus (~1500 staff). The DPHPC has a strategic relationship with the Genome Campus, which is underpinned by joint appointments, shared research programmes, and joint supervision of trainees.
Quantitative MRC Units: The DPHPC has a long history of close collaboration with the MRC Biostatistics Unit (director: Professor Sylvia Richardson) and the MRC Epidemiology Unit (director: Professor Nick Wareham). In particular, there is a strong methodological programme in statistical genomics and high-dimensional data at the MRC Biostatistics Unit that the post-holder will be able to benefit from.
Genomic medicine: Collaborations around the themes vascular biology, systems biology, and inflammation, notably with investigators at the Department of Haematology (Professor Willem Ouwehand), Divisions of Respiratory and Cardiovascular Medicine (Professors Nick Morrell, Martin Bennett, Ziad Mallatt), and Diabetes Inflammation Laboratory (Professor John Todd).
Education and Training Strategy
The Department takes great pride in its contributions to academic capacity in epidemiology, public health and primary care. The post holder will be expected to share this commitment and to contribute their interests to, and/or co-ordinate specific aspects of the postgraduate academic programme, potentially including the development of the Academic Clinical Fellow programme in public health and primary care. The DPHPC provides excellent training and educational programmes in biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, and primary care, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, including training of Academic Clinical Fellows. Presently, there are about 50 doctoral students and about 35 Masters students. Students in the DPHPC are typically supported by prestigious awards, such as studentships from the MRC (eg, five annual MPhil studentships have been awarded to the Department from autumn 2009), the BHF, Cancer Research UK, the Gates-Cambridge Foundation, NIH-Cambridge Fellowships and GSK. As noted above, the BHF and MRC/GSK have recently provided substantial funding for the training of a new cadre of PhD students in cardiovascular science.
More generally, teaching in the Department comprises:
- Epidemiology and statistics to pre-clinical medical students
- Clinical epidemiology, public health, and primary care to clinical medical students
- Foundation year academic placements
- Master of Philosophy in Public Health (full-time)
- Master of Philosophy in Epidemiology (full-time)
- Academic Clinical Fellowships (25% clinical training time ST1,2,3)