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LIDA Seminar / 8th June 2017 @ 3:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Big Data application in birth cohorts

Our first speaker is Professor Mark Mon-Williams, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Leeds, who will be giving the talk “Big picture big data: How the combination of routine education and health data can help improve outcomes for children Born in Bradford (and many other cities)”.

Our second speaker is Dr Darren Greenwood, Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics at the University of Leeds, who’s talk is titled “Big data, small babies, and lots of follow-up: a recipe for birth cohorts in Leeds and Bradford”.

Our main speaker is Mr Andy Boyd, Data Linkage and Information Security Manager from Bristol University, who’s talk is titled “Linking cohort studies to medical and environmental records: Examples from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)”.

[Chair: Prof Tim Bishop]

15:15: Registration Clarendon Wing Lecture Theatre

15:30: Prof Mark Mon-Williams – Big picture big data: How the combination of routine education and health data can help improve outcomes for children Born in Bradford (and many other cities)

15:45: Dr Darren Greenwood – Big data, small babies, and lots of follow-up: a recipe for birth cohorts in Leeds and Bradford

16:00: Mr Andy Boyd – Linking cohort studies to medical and environmental records: Examples from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)

17:00: Refreshments and networking

18:00: Close


Speaker Biographies and Abstracts

Mark Mon-Williams

Mark is Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Leeds. He is also Professor of Psychology at the Bradford Institute of Health Research and Professor of Paediatric Vision at The Norwegian Centre for Vision. He is a psychologist and studies the use of visual information and the control of human action. His research explores hand movements (kinematics) in children with and without neurodevelopmental problems. This work has led him to promote the importance of perceptual-motor education within primary schools – the idea that teaching children fundamental perceptual-motor skills will benefit their physical and mental health as well as their ultimate educational outcome.

Mark held post-doctoral fellowships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Reading and Queensland before taking up his first faculty position at the University of St Andrews in 1999. In 2002 he moved to the University of Aberdeen where his laboratories received funding from a large number of bodies including The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Scottish Executive and NIHR.

Mark moved his laboratories in January 2009 to the University of Leeds where he was appointed to Chair and was Head of School from 2011-2014. Mark is part of the perception-action-cognition group at the University of Leeds – a group that explores interactions between ‘higher-order’ cognitive processes (e.g. working memory) and the sensorimotor system. The group use their fundamental scientific contributions to address applied issues within surgery, rehabilitation and childhood development. Mark leads the CLAHRC committee responsible for ‘Identifying and Supporting Children with Difficulties’ and is an integral member of the Born in Bradford project (a longitudinal cohort study following the lifelong development of 13,500 children) and the Leeds Robotic Centre. Mark acknowledges the generosity of the EPSRC, MRC and ESRC in supporting his research endeavours.

ABSTRACT: How can we better help children with neurodevelopmental problems?  Children with autism are often diagnosed late in their primary school years (despite the condition being present since infancy). We hypothesised that linking educational and health data might aid the early diagnosis of these children. Specifically, we predicted that assessments conducted on all children in their first year of schooling (the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile) might identify children at risk of autism and prevent the poor outcomes associated with undiagnosed autism. In order to test our hypothesis, we retrospectively examined the EYSFP scores collected on the 13,500+ children within the Born in Bradford longitudinal birth cohort study. The educational data were linked to routine health data so we could identify children who had a formal diagnosis of autism. The results showed that low EYSFP scores were highly predictive of a child later ending up with a diagnosis of autism. We are now exploring whether a teacher completed questionnaire targeted towards these ‘at risk’ children might allow a sensitive and specific fast-track referral to a CAMHS triage team. Our group have established stakeholder enthusiasm for this approach and we are preparing to trial implementation of such a system.


8th June 2017
3:15 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category: