#349: Prof. Naomi Allen – How the UK Biobank is Powering Chronic Disease Research

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Professor Naomi Allen was appointed Chief Scientist for UK Biobank in 2019, having joined UK Biobank in November 2011 as Senior Epidemiologist. She is Professor of Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, with a keen research interest in cancer epidemiology.

At UK Biobank she is responsible for following-up participants both through linkage with routine health-related datasets, and through web-based questionnaires. She is also involved in developing the scientific strategy for future enhancements for the study.

Her research interest is largely in the role of diet, obesity and circulating biomarkers in cancer development.

In this episode we discuss:

  • UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the UK
  • Data are made available for approved researchers undertaking health research in the public good.
  • What type of data the UK Biobank has been able to collect
  • Data from cancer registries and interesting findings
  • How do cancer rates in UK Biobank compare to cancer rates in the overall population?
  • Influential publications that have emerged from UK Biobank data
  • Genotyping
  • Potential role for machine learning and AI in the future of understanding the data
  • Future research questions to explore

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