Usher Institute

Leadership and Governance

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh OBE leads the Usher Institute.

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh
Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh OBE, Director

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh is Director of the Usher Institute.

Aziz is a primary care academic and epidemiologist with 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. 

He enjoys collaborations with academic colleagues across the globe and works closely with policymakers both in the UK and internationally.  

He has held research grants in excess of $90m, publishes regularly in the world's foremost journals, has over 50,000 citations to his work and is a Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate, 2018).

Currently Aziz holds a number of visiting chairs, namely: University of Birmingham (UK), Queen Mary’s University of London (UK) and Maastricht University (Netherlands).  He was previously Visiting Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

He is an editorial board member of BMC Medicine, Health Informatics Journal, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Medical Care and PLOS Medicine, and is Editor-in-Chief of npj: Primary Care Respiratory Medicine.

Aziz was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Medicine and Health Care by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2014, and received a knighthood in 2022 for services to COVID-19 research and policy.

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh's profile

Professor Jackie Price, Deputy Director

Jackie Price is Professor of Molecular Epidemiology, an honorary consultant in public health medicine, NHS Lothian and Deputy Director of the Usher Institute. She is co-ordinating editor of the Cochrane Vascular Review Group, Edinburgh lead for the UK-based UCLEB Collaboration on applied genomics and Postgraduate Research Director for the Usher Institute. 

Professor Price has long standing experience in many aspects of evidence-based medicine and molecular epidemiology with a particular long term interest in the vascular and non-vascular complications of type 2 diabetes.  She has explored the effect of aspirin on age-related cognitive decline in people with asymptomatic atherosclerosis, in the first major clinical trial of its kind, and has developed population-based studies and biobanks in several human populations, including the Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study with core funding  from MRC. Recent projects have explored circulating, genetic and retinal image-based biomarkers for age-related cognitive decline, renal dysfunction, dementia, liver disease and macrovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes, including their potential use in risk prediction. She is also a member of numerous national and international collaborations, notably on global burden of disease, asymptomatic vascular disease and -omics. 

Professor Jackie Price's profile

Senior Leadership Team

The Usher Institute Director and Deputy Director are supported by the wider Usher Institute Board as the key strategic decision making committee of the Institute and the Usher Institute Executive as the key operational decision making committee of the Institute - responsible collectively for management, policy and procedures of the Institute.

The Usher Institute Board includes the Heads of Centres; Directors of: Research, Knowledge Exchange and Research Impact, Innovation, Education and Postgraduate Research; SRO Data-Driven Innovation Hub; Director of Professional Services, Senior Research Strategy Manager; Communications and Engagement Manager and Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.

Usher Institute Board - committees site

Usher Institute Executive - committees site

Usher Institute People

Committees and groups supporting the Senior Leadership Team

There are various committees and groups which report to the Usher Institute Board. They all purposefully include membership from across the Institute and across career levels and pathways.

The Director of Research is supported by a Research Committee, Director of Education by an Education Committee and Directors of Innovation / Knowledge Exchange and Research Impact are supported by an Impact Committee.

There is an Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee which aims to promote and foster the mainstreaming of equality and diversity issues and awareness within the Institute - stimulating and building good practice in relation to ED&I across the full range of Usher activities. This is in the process of transitioning to a Deanery-wide committee with Usher Institute representation.

There is an Usher Institute Postgraduate Research Group, and student-led Postgraduate Research Society - both of which feed in to both the Usher Board and the College Postgraduate Research Committee.

Postgraduate Teaching Programmes feed in to the Deanery Postgraduate Teaching Steering Group / Teaching Organisation.

An Usher Institute Information Services (IS) Committee work with the College IS team to feed in to IS strategy.

An Usher Institute Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee oversees the implementation and operation of the Usher Institute and University health and safety policies and arrangements.

An Usher Institute Sustainability Group offers a shared opportunity to shape our practice with sustainability in mind and drive forward sustainability initiatives.

Usher Institute Research Committee

Usher Institute Impact Committee (requires login)

Usher Institute Information Services Committee

Usher Institute Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee (requires login)

Sustainability at the Usher Institute (requires login)

If you are unable to find what you are looking for among the information available at the above links, including direct contacts for each of the committees or information on how to get involved, please let us know by contacting usher.communications@ed.ac.uk

External Advisory Board

Our External Advisory Board is chaired by Professor John Ioannidis (C F Rehnborg Chair Disease Prevention. Stanford), with members Dr David Blumenthal (President of the Commonwealth Fund), Professor Martin McKee (Professor of European Public Health LSTM), Professor Debbie Lawlor (Professor of Epidemiology, University of Bristol) and Professor Lawrence Gostin (Professor of Global Health Law, Georgetown).