Usher Institute


Overview of core research areas within the Usher Institute.

Our research builds on the outstanding heritage of public health, general practice, epidemiology and statistical research at the University of Edinburgh. We are forging new connections between social science, informatics and data science to advance understanding of disease and improve health and care for patients and populations.

The Usher Institute has an ethos of collaborative and interdisciplinary research. Many individuals contribute to multiple areas of research, and indeed individual projects and programmes of work often contribute to the knowledge base in multiple research areas and Centres. The below table gives an indication of the core research areas and leading professors in each area or group, from across all Centres within the Institute.

You can find out more about any researchers within the Usher Institute on Edinburgh Research Explorer.


Key people    Related websites and social media
Addiction medicine

Professor Roy Robertson

Allergy and respiratory

Professor Aziz Sheikh

Professor Hilary Pinnock

Professor Harry Campbell

Professor Harish Nair

Allergy and Respiratory Research Group (lead: Aziz Sheikh)


Respiratory Viral Epidemiology Group (leads: Harish Nair, Harry Campbell)

Respiratory Viral Epidemiology Group website

Twitter: @RespViralEpi

Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (Director: Aziz Sheikh)

Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research website


RESPIRE (Directors: Aziz Sheikh, Harry Campbell)

NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE) website


RESCEU Programme (lead: Harish Nair)

RESCEU website


Scottish Allergy and Respiratory Academy (Director: Aziz Sheikh)

SARA website


Professor David Weller

Chronic disease epidemiology

Professor Sarah Wild

Diabetes Risk Calculator

Diabetes Risk Calculator website

Clinical trials and statistical methodology

Professor John Norrie

Professor Steff Lewis

Professor Chris Weir

Professor Paul McKeigue

Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit (Director: John Norrie)

ECTU website


Paul McKeigue's Research Group

Paul McKeigue's research group website


Professor Brian McKinstry

Professor Aziz Sheikh

eHealth Research Group (lead: Brian McKinstry)


Telescot Programme (lead: Brian McKinstry)

Telescot Research Programme website

ePrescribing Programme

ePrescribing Research Programme website

Ethnicity and health

Professor Raj Bhopal

Professor Aziz Sheikh

Edinburgh Migration and Ethnicity Health Research Group (lead: Laurence Gruer)


Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study (lead: Raj Bhopal)

Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study website

Global health

Professor Igor Rudan

Professor Harry Campbell

Professor Devi Sridhar

Professor Mark Woolhouse

Professor Harish Nair

TIBA (Director: Mark Woolhouse)

NIHR Global Health Research Unit Tackling Infections To Benefit Africa (TIBA) website


Global Health Governance Programme (lead: Devi Sridhar)

Global Health Governance Programme website


Medical informatics

Professor Cathie Sudlow 

Professor Aziz Sheikh

Professor Andrew Morris

Health Data Research UK Scotland (Director: Cathie Sudlow)

HDR UK Scotland site, on HDR UK website

ROADMAP (University of Edinburgh lead: Cathie Sudlow)

ROADMAP (Real World Outcomes Across The AD Spectrum For Better Care: Multi-Modal Data Access Platform) project website

UK Biobank (Chief Scientist: Cathie Sudlow)

UK Biobank website

Global Digital Exemplar Programme Evaluation Project (leads: Aziz Sheikh, Kathrin Cresswell)

Global Digital Exemplar Programme Evaluation website

NHS Digital Academy (Director: Aziz Sheikh)

NHS Digital Academy launch news on Usher Institute website


Molecular epidemiology

Professor Jackie Price

Professor Paul McKeigue

Professor Harry Campbell

Professor Igor Rudan

Professor Sarah Wild

Professor Jim Wilson

Molecular Epidemiology Research Group

Molecular Epidemiology Research Group website

Lothain Bowel Symptoms Study (lead: Evi Theodoratou)

The Lothian Bowel Symptoms Study (LABSS) website

Viking Genes study (lead: Jim Wilson)

Viking Genes study website

Palliative care

Professor Scott Murray

Primary Palliative Care Research Group  (lead: Scott Murray)

Primary Palliative Care Research Group website


Social studies of health and medicine

Professor Amanda Amos

Professor Julia Lawton

Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley

Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society (Head: Sarah Cunningham-Burley)

Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society website


Group for Research on Inequalities and Tobacco (lead: Amanda Amos)

Group for Research on  Inequalities and Tobacco website

Cancer and Society in the 21st Century Project (lead: Sarah Cunningham-Burley)

 Cancer and Society in the 21st Century website

Public health research and policy

Professor John Frank