Dr Ruth Keogh announced as UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

Caption: Dr Ruth Keogh Credit: LSHTM

Dr Ruth Keogh from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to develop and evaluate the statistical methods that enable us to study the effects of complex treatments for chronic disease.

The findings of the research programme, which will run initially for four years, will help improve our understanding of how treatments used by people with chronic diseases impact on their health outcomes. 

Funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Future Leaders Fellowship is a scheme developed to support a new generation of rising stars across research and business. UKRI will provide about £900 million in support over six competition rounds over three years, typically awarding around 200 new Fellows each year.

Dr Keogh will place a special focus on investigating treatments used by people with cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease affecting over 10,000 people in the UK alone.

Using data from the UK CF Registry, Dr Keogh aims to answer several important questions about the effectiveness of different treatment combinations, the effects of old treatments in combination with emerging disease-modifying treatments, and the impact of lung transplantation on survival.

It is hoped that the research findings can contribute to alleviating the burden on people with CF, who need to take many treatments daily. This was highlighted as a top research priority by a recent James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.

The work will be carried out in partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and this fellowship will allow Dr Keogh to further collaborate with them to improve outcomes for those living with CF. In the later stages of the research, Dr Keogh hopes to apply the same methods to other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Dr Keogh, Associate Professor in LSHTM’s Department of Medical Statistics, is one of 41 Fellows announced in the first wave of the scheme. Fellows will investigate a diverse range of challenges from the effects of poverty on child development to climate change and next generation mobile networks.  

On being awarded the Fellowship, Dr Keogh said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead an exciting programme of research through a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

“Developing new methodology will enable scientists to make the best use of patient data, and improved information for patients, doctors, and policy-makers about treatment options.”

“A particularly exciting part of the Fellowship will be training a postdoctoral researcher and building collaborations with statisticians, clinicians and patient representatives.”

The Future Leaders Fellowships are open to early career researchers in any field of research and innovation across UKRI’s remit. They can come from anywhere in the world to work at a UK institution or business.

Researchers are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary and business-linked research. To foster the movement of people and ideas between the academic and business sectors and support excellence wherever it arises, the Fellowships encourage applicants who work with, or be based in, businesses.  

Rebecca Cosgriff, Director of Data and Quality Improvement at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is delighted that Dr Keogh has received this prestigious award to continue her important work with the UK CF Registry.

"Ruth has played a vital role in the Trust funded Strategic Research Centre CF-EpiNet, focussed on using data to improve the lives of people with CF, and it is fantastic to have her continued dedication and enthusiasm positively impacting the lives of people affected by this condition.”

COVID-19 Response Fund

There cannot be any complacency as to the need for global action.

With your help, we can plug critical gaps in the understanding of COVID-19. This will support global response efforts and help to save lives around the world.