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Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh has been appointed to succeed Professor Richard Hobbs CBE as Nuffield Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Head of Department from August 2024.

Profile picture of Prof Sir Aziz Sheikh

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh has been appointed to succeed Professor Richard Hobbs CBE as Nuffield Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Head of Department, NDPCHS. The appointment is effective from 1 August 2024. 

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh is currently Director of the Usher Institute at The University of Edinburgh. He is also Dean of Data for The University of Edinburgh, Director of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied
Research and a Research Director of Health Data Research UK.

leading primary care academic and epidemiologist, Aziz has substantial research interests in asthma, allergy and in leveraging the potential of health information technology and data science to transform the delivery of care and improve population health. Aziz enjoys collaborations with academic colleagues across the globe and works closely with policymakers both in the UK and internationally.
He has, together with colleagues, held research grants of more than £100m and publishes regularly in the world's foremost journals.  

Sir Aziz Sheikh
said: It is an absolute privilege to succeed Professor Richard Hobbs as the Head of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, which is internationally respected for its excellence in primary care research and teaching. At a time when the UK and indeed the world are crying out for effective, sustainable models of primary care led health systems, I greatly look forward to working with the outstanding talent across the department, the Medical Sciences Division and the University of Oxford more generally, together with global partners, to re-imagine health system functioning.  

The scale of the challenge facing health systems demands that the most brilliant scientific minds on the planet come together – as they did during the pandemic – and it is my hope that the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences will play a globally important leadership and convening role in creating health systems that are fit for the 21st Century. 

Professor Richard Hobbs, Head of Department, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, said:I am delighted that we will soon be welcoming Aziz to the department and Oxford. We have over the past decade created one of the world’s leading centres for academic primary care and digital health, made possible through strategic focus and collective effort on high quality and internationally relevant impacts, whether in research, teaching or training. The continued success of the department, and the important societal gains from our work, are secured with Aziz’s appointment and he will help accelerate our global impact.’  

Aziz will initially remain in close collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, working on
the EAVE surveillance platform, which has developed one of the most comprehensive national-scale health data resources in the world. Developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, EAVE brings together linked GP, vaccination, testing, viral sequencing, hospitalisation, prescribing, and mortality data into a near real-time national longitudinal cohort, which covers 99% of the Scottish population. This surveillance platform has allowed the EAVE II team to provide crucial answers to urgent health policy, public health and clinical questions throughout the pandemic.

Professor David Argyle
, Head of the
College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at The University of Edinburgh commented: 'Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh has made an immeasurable contribution to the University of Edinburgh and to people all over the world through his public health research. I am delighted that Aziz will be able to continue his research collaboration with colleagues here and that this work will strengthen our connection with the University of Oxford.

Gavin Screaton
, Head of Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, added: On behalf of the Medical Sciences Division, I am pleased to welcome Aziz to the University and wish him every success in the post. I am delighted that this appointment means we will be collaborating more closely with the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Richard Hobbs for the huge contribution he has made as Head of Department.’ 

Aziz has served as an adviser to
a number of Scottish, UK and international government bodies and to inter-governmental organisations, including the World Bank and World Health Organization.
 He is a Fellow of nine learned societies, including the Academy of Medical Sciences, the American College of Medical Informatics and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  

He is an editorial board member of Health Informatics Journal, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, The Lancet Regional Health Europe, Medical Care and
PLoS Medicine, and is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

Aziz was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for
Services to Medicine and Health Care’ in 2014, and received a knighthood for ‘Services to Covid-19 research and policy in 2022.


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