Charles was previously Chief IT Architect and Head of Software engineering at Francis Crick Institute. Prior to this, Charles spent 15 years working in telecoms including building networks in sub-Saharan Africa, India and much of the UK. Charles is in a unique position of having worked on both 5G and Covid-19; and has recently established testing pipelines for COVID-19 for the Francis Crick Institute.

Charles starts on 1 February 2021. He will be responsible for ensuring HDR UK has the technology infrastructure and skills in place to foster technical collaboration across the health data research ecosystem and ensure coordinated progress towards a sustainable infrastructure for health data in the UK.

This work includes leading the ongoing design and development of the UK Health Data Research Innovation Gateway; the UK’s principal platform for accelerating the ethical, secure and transparent use of health datasets and other assets to enable discoveries that improves the lives of the UK’s patients and public.

Current CTO, Gerry Reilly, takes on the new role of “Technologist in Residence”, providing insight and advice on long-term technology trends and advanced computer science; and supporting HDR UK’s international strategy.

Caroline Cake, Chief Executive, HDR UK, commented:

“HDR UK made extraordinary progress in our mission to unite the UK’s health datasets in 2020, especially through our support of the research response to COVID-19. Technology, and in particular the development of Innovation Gateway, is a crucial aspect of our ambitious plans for 2021 and beyond and we are delighted Charles is joining HDR UK to lead these developments.

Gerry Reilly has played an enormous part in advancing the UK’s health data infrastructure through his vision and leadership of the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway. The Technologist in Residence role will help advance the impact of health data research within the UK and internationally.”

Charles Gibbons, HDR UK, commented:

“Developing the technology infrastructure to support health data science is one of the most important and exciting challenges of our time. I’m looking forward to building on what Gerry and the team at HDR UK has already achieved, working with partners across the sector to support researchers and innovators to achieve secure and efficient access to the UK’s incredible wealth of health data.”

For more information, please contact:

Joel Beckman, Head of Communications

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About Health Data Research UK

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) is the national institute for health data science. Our mission is to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives. It is funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care in England and equivalents in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and leading medical research charities.

HDR UK was set up in 2018 to support research on health data at scale to advance our understanding of disease and enable new discoveries that will ultimately improve health and care. We have established national research programmes that use data at scale, and we are building an infrastructure to enable the responsible access and analysis of this data. Our work is structured around three themes:

Uniting health data – which includes the UK Health Data Research Alliance and the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway.

Improving health data – which includes tools, methods, Health Data Research Hubs and the BHF Data Science Centre.

Using health data – which includes research discoveries and skills development across four national priority areas: Understanding the Causes of Disease, Clinical Trials, Public Health and Better Care.

We are delivering this strategy through our inclusive, team-oriented One Institute ethos – bringing together NHS, universities, research institutes and charities – built on our values.