Usher Institute

News 2021

A selection of news from the Usher Institute in 2021.

Covid-19 vaccine protection wanes after three months, study suggests

The protection offered by the Oxford-Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine declines after three months of receiving two doses, a study says.

Annual Recognition Awards

Usher Institute new logo 2019 with orange line beneath
The Usher Institute is delighted to recognise the contribution of staff and students in our Annual Recognition Awards.

New study shows risk of heart inflammation following COVID-19 infection and vaccination

Infographic summarising key findings: more myocarditis events from COVID infection than vaccination
Research published in Nature Medicine looks at the possible link between different heart conditions and COVID-19 infection or vaccination.

Principal's Medals for Professor Linda Bauld and the TestEd team

Photo of Professor Linda Bauld by Lawrence Winram.
Professor Linda Bauld and the TestEd team have been awarded Principal's Medals at a winter Graduation Ceremony.

Chancellor's Award for Professor Aziz Sheikh

Professor Aziz Sheikh at lecturn at Chancellors Awards Gala Dinner 2021
Usher Institute Director recognised for COVID-19 research endeavours.

‘Surgery selfies’ could spot infections early

Smartphone pictures of post-surgical wounds taken by patients and then assessed by clinicians can help with the early identification of infections, a study has found.

Vaccines protect against death from COVID-19 though some clinical characteristics can increase vulnerability

Findings from a Scottish study, published in the Lancet Medical Journal, show that people who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are far better protected against death from the virus than those who are unvaccinated, however, there are certain characteristics which can make people more vulnerable.

Major NHS digital transformation programme ‘a success’

Evaluation project publish report highlighting success of flagship NHS effort to support hospitals to digitally transform - 29 September 2021

New Director of Knowledge Exchange and Research Impact

Dr Thanasis Tsanas becomes the Director of Knowledge Exchange and Research Impact at the Usher Institute

QCovid risk assessment tool now factors in vaccination status

Summary graphic showing low number of deaths in vaccinated adults in England
Latest QResearch study describes groups who remain at greatest risk from severe COVID-19 among vaccinated adults.

Social context is key to Covid testing success

Clearer understanding is needed of the social factors that influence participation rates in Covid-19 testing programmes, research suggests.

Artificial Intelligence and Multimorbidity - new NIHR Research Collaboration

NIHR awards £12 million to artificial intelligence research to help understand multiple long-term conditions. Professor Bruce Guthrie will lead one of three new Research Collaborations.

COVID-19, not vaccination, presents biggest blood clot risks

Infographic summarising the findings that greatest risk of clots is from virus, not vaccines
Professor Aziz Sheikh co-authors paper showing largest risk of clotting events comes from COVID-19 itself, not from vaccinations.

Covid-19 study scoops scientific world record

A study led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Birmingham has been awarded the Guinness World Record title for the world’s largest scientific collaboration, involving over 140,000 patients in 116 countries.

Professor Linda Bauld appointed Interim Chief Social Policy Adviser

Linda Bauld, Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health
Congratulations to Professor Linda Bauld, who has been appointed to the role of Interim Chief Social Policy Adviser within the Scottish Government.

Half of Covid hospital cases suffer complication

One in two people hospitalised with Covid-19 developed at least one complication, research shows.

Professor John Ioannidis recognised with honorary degree

A diverse array of influential figures have been honoured by the University for their innovation, success and leadership.

Smoke-free cars can cut child tobacco risk by a third

Banning in-car smoking when children are present can reduce their exposure to tobacco smoke by more than 30 per cent, research shows.

COVID-19 vaccine uptake in pregnant women

To date, no serious pregnancy-related adverse events have been reported following vaccination.

Potential new medical treatment for problematic menstrual bleeding

DexFEM study provides the first evidence of therapeutic benefit of dexamethasone in heavy menstrual bleeding.

Gender Sensitive ODA Research: Tips and Tools

At the end of May genderED, the University’s interdisciplinary hub for the study of gender and sexualities, ran an online information session ‘Gender Sensitive ODA Research: Tips and Tools’ for researchers at the Usher Institute.

Delta variant impact on hospitalisation revealed

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is associated with approximately double the risk of hospitalisation compared with the Alpha variant, according to a new nationwide study.

COVID vaccine linked to low platelet count, EAVE II study suggests

A condition that affects the blood, known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), may be associated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in rare cases, research suggests.

Professor Linda Bauld awarded OBE

Linda Bauld, Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health
Professor Linda Bauld is awarded an OBE for services to guiding the public health response to, and public understanding of, COVID-19.

Covid-19 vaccine study for pregnant women launches

The first Covid-19 vaccine study for women who are pregnant has been launched across the UK – with Edinburgh playing a key role in the research.

First dose vaccine effectiveness update: full study now available from The Lancet

Patient and nurse wearing face masks attaching plaster to upper arm
A milestone study, which points to the success of first dose mass vaccination in reducing COVID-19 hospitalisations across Scotland, is now available from The Lancet.

Professor Nick Mills elected to Academy of Medical Sciences

Professor Nick Mills recognised for contributions to medical research, benefiting patients and wider society.

Three Minute Thesis final 2021

The University’s 3 Minute Thesis competition final took place on 24 June 2021.

Professors Devi Sridhar and Jim Wilson - Fellows of Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professors Devi Sridhar and Jim Wilson
Professors Devi Sridhar and Jim Wilson become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

New Deputy Director, Professor Jackie Price

Professors Jackie Price and Harish Nair
Professor Jackie Price becomes the new Deputy Director of the Usher Institute, and Harish Nair takes on co-Head of the Centre for Global Health.

New masters' programmes launched

In March 2021, two new online masters degrees were launched, with support and funding from the DDI programme.

Scottish vaccine roll-out working, data suggests

Patient and nurse wearing face masks attaching plaster to upper arm
Vaccination has been linked to a substantial reduction in the risk of Covid-19 admissions to Scotland’s hospitals, landmark research suggests.

Linking electronic health records for research on a nationwide cohort

Animation of a cell that is red and grey -  © MediaProduction via Getty Images
New linked health data resource covering over 54 million people in England - over 96% of the English population

Master of Public Health programme - APHEA accredited

Dr Ruth McQuillan, Dr Rose Geddes and Dr Neneh Rowa-Dewar in graduation gowns
Major global achievement for our online Master of Public Health

QCovid algorithm to help identify those at high risk from COVID-19

More people in England at high risk from COVID-19 will get priority access to vaccines thanks to new technology that can identify those who may be most vulnerable to the virus.

Martyn Pickersgill - Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences

Professor Martyn Pickersgill welcomed in to the Academy of Social Sciences.

Data-Driven Entrepreneurship

Opportunities for staff, students and industry partners

People with asthma in deprived areas of Wales have worse outcomes and increased risk of death

Welsh flag
Asthma patients living in the most deprived areas of Wales are more likely to suffer from increased asthma attacks, be admitted to hospital and are at a higher risk of death.

Marie Curie Parliamentary Briefing

By 2040 over 40% of people in Scotland will be dying with at least two conditions associated with palliative care needs
Research led by Anne Finucane and Emeritus Professor Scott Murray features in Marie Curie briefing for the Scottish Parliament.

Professor Amanda Amos OBE Retires

Amanda Amos
After 35 years with The University of Edinburgh, Professor Amanda Amos OBE, retires.

Better post-surgery care would improve cancer survival

Patients’ chances of survival after cancer surgery is strongly linked with the standard of post-operation hospital care, a major international study suggests.

New free online course: Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) in Primary Care Settings

Online Course: Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) in Primary Care Settings
A new interactive online course developed by RESPIRE and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group shares the skills and insights to treat respiratory disease in low- and middle-income countries

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Respiratory Health Report: Improving Asthma Outcomes In The UK

APPG Report title - Improving Asthma Outcomes in the UK
BREATHE and Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research members contribute key evidence for APPG report on asthma in the UK