Ewen Harrison (OBE, FRSE, FMedSci)

Professor of Surgery and Data Science, Head of Centre for Medical Informatics


Ewen is Professor of Surgery and Data Science at the University of Edinburgh and a Consultant HPB Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. 

His interests focus on data, technology and artifical intelligence, including mobile data collection platforms and "wearables", decision modelling, Bayesian statistics, and trials, particularly low resource settings.

He leads the NIHR Unit on Global Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, a collaboration with the University of Birmingham with partners in seven countries: Benin, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa.

This provides a platform for the GlobalSurg Collaborative (globalsurg.org), which holds the Guinness Record as the world’s largest scientific collaboration, with over 15,000 collaborators across over 1000 hospitals in over 100 countries ). He has supported and trained surgical research teams across Africa and Asia, including Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, and India, recently completing the largest ever international study in cancer surgery (Lancet, January 2021).

In the UK he leads the Centre for Medical Informatics and during the pandemic he headed the analytics for two of the largest COVID-19 cohorts in the world (ISARIC4C and PHOSP-Covid). He advised UK governments including through the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and his work has been widely reported in the media: his 4C Mortality risk prediction score was validated in >22 countries and used by clinical teams internationally, demonstrably optimizing the care that COVID-19 patients receive in hospital.

He has an MSc in Statistics and is an editor on a number of journals. His work is funded by the NIHR, Wellcome Trust, MRC and Academy of Medical Sciences.

He is the Programme Director for the Masters in Surgery (ChM) degree at the University of Edinburgh.

In 2023 he was awarded an OBE for services to the COVID-19 response and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci).


  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB commendation) June 1999, University of Glasgow
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) July 2008. "Pharmacological strategies to reduce ischemi-reperfusion injury in kidney transplantation", University of Edinburgh
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS Gen Surg) June 2011. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
  • Graduate Certificate in Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, June 2012
  • MSc Statistics with Medical Applications, University of Sheffield, November 2015

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Co-Director of Centre for Medical Informatics, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor of Surgery & Data Science, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh
  • Consultant HPB Surgeon, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
  • University of Edinburgh Principal Investigator, NIHR Global Research Unit on Global Surgery
  • Program Director, ChM General Surgery, University of Edinburgh
  • Deputy Senior Responsible Officer, Health and Social Care Data-Driven Innovation Program


  • 2017 – 2019    Honorary Secretary: Royal Society of Medicine Surgery Section
  • 2007 – 2008    President: Association of Surgeons in Training UK
  • 2006 – 2007    Vice-President: Association of Surgeons in Training UK
  • 2006 – 2008    Council: Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • 2007 – 2009    Council: Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • 2006 – 2008    Council: Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland
  • 2006 – 2007    Council: Society of Academic and Research Surgery

View all 192 publications on Research Explorer