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UK Biobank: opportunities and challenges

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I will give an overview of this population-based, prospective study that includes an unparalleled breadth and depth of data on half a million UK adults, middle aged at the time of their recruitment between 2006 and 2010. I’ll talk briefly about the range of data that have been or are being collected, including questionnaires, physical measures, samples, accelerometry, biomarker assays, genome wide genotyping, imaging and follow-up through data linkage and additional online questionnaires. I’ll then focus on two of the key challenges that I’ve been intimately involved with: how we follow the health and disease of half a million participants; and our approach to managing incidental findings in the imaging study.

Professor Catherine Sudlow is Professor of Neurology and Clinical Epidemiology at University of Edinburgh and has been the Chief Scientist at UK Biobank since 2011. Her role at UK Biobank’s is leading the follow-up programme, including development and implementation of our strategy for linkages to national health datasets, and establishing methods for deriving health related outcomes from complex linked health data for use in research. She also plays a key role in several of UK Biobank’s other programmes of work, including: advising on participant engagement, scientific communications, data quality, researcher access to the resource, and publications policy; liaising with scientists about development and use of the resource; advising on quality assurance and quality control for the imaging sub-study; developing and assessing the procedures for feedback of incidental findings in the imaging sub-study. Prof Sudlow has longstanding interest in the global epidemiology of stroke and have made important contributions to this area. She leads an ongoing programme of work on genetics of stroke and related phenotypes, focusing on large scale collaborative studies and meta-analyses.

This talk will be chaired by Professor Hugh Markus, who is a neurologist with clinical and research interests in stroke, based at the Neurology Unit at the School of Clinical Medicine here in Cambridge.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill Seminars series.

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