Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Becca Wilson

MRC Innovation Fellow



I am a data scientist and science communicator working across health data science and social science on projects related to the access, sharing and use of health data.  I currently hold a UKRI Innovation Fellow with HDRUK focused on the integration of DataSHIELD with two increasingly important areas of health data use: 1) information from medical text 2) visual display of data particularly in augmented and virtual realities.  

My further research interests include:

  • ECOUTER (technical lead): a new D2K methodology for stakeholder engagement
  • PUMA (project founder, Co-PI): using datamining to build academic publications metadatasets related to individual cohort studies within CLOSER. 
  • ALSPAC Seeing is Believing (Project Lead): exploring biomedical data visualisation methods in virtual reality

Additionally, I hold substantial experience in science communication and public engagement comprising over ten years’ experience developing and delivering research related outreach activities to engage students and the public in hands-on science, technology, engineering and maths. 


I have an interdisciplinary research background spanning the space and atmospheric sciences, data publishing and health sciences domains as well as work in research-related roles within research commercialisation/innovation, academic business engagement and public engagement. Prior to my fellowship I lead DataSHIELD - managing this open source software project from an operational perspective and contributing centrally to both strategic input and development of the software for the distributed analysis of sensitive health and biomedical datasets. DataSHIELD research interests included the integration of DataSHIELD with existing infrastructures and emerging technologies (e.g. BRISSKit , virtual reality), developing DataSHIELD methodologies and infrastructures for new data types (text, geospatial) and scoping applications of DataSHIELD beyond biomedicine (e.g. digital humanities, academic publishing).