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Albert Prats Uribe (2018 – 2021) Albert Prats Uribe smiling

Project: Methods for observational risk-benefit studies of medical devices: an analysis of big data and simulation studies.

Supervisors:  Prof. Daniel Prieto Alhambra, Prof. Gary Stephen Collins, Dr.Mohammed Sanni Ali, Dr. Victoria Yuchun Strauss

Lab team 

After completing my Medicine degree, I worked both in the field and in research in Epidemiology and Public Health for 5 years, across a vast range of topics, and completed a specialisation and Master’s in Public Health. These experiences highlighted the importance of methodology and statistics: understanding what questions a certain design can answer and the pros, cons and sources of bias of each statistical technique and design. To further strengthen these methodological skills, I pursued a DPhil with Prof. Prieto-Alhambra.

Studying in Oxford has been a profoundly enriching experience. My DPhil is focused on how to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of procedures and medical devices: I work testing, adapting and developing novel methodologies both with clinical use cases and simulation studies. From this work I have been able to validate new methodologies to mirror clinical trials.

In addition to my methodological research work, I have been part of several collaborative projects on clinical and public health questions. in 2020, I joined an international consortium of researchers to study the epidemiology of COVID-19. Together we led an international community effort (over 330 people from 30 nations) to use standardised data and rigorous methodology to answer questions in consultation with governments, health care agencies, and institutions.

This effort has led to over 10 preprints and publications in scientific journals, including the timely publication of the world’s largest study on hydroxychloroquine safety (~1 million patients in 6 different nations) and an evaluation of risks for antihypertensive users. We produced predictive tools to estimate risk of hospitalisation, ICU and mortality. We also led a characterisation of millions of COVID patients all over the world and made it publicly available, where we can quickly explore important questions such as hospital drug use across different settings and countries.

I have also collaborated with other institutions to produce several research outputs on the natural history of COVID, its social inequities, and other therapeutic interventions.

The DPhil funding provided by the MRC has given me the opportunity to focus on learning and on my research knowing that my training needs would be supported. Thanks to the MRC funding, I’ve been able to access invaluable data for my research, to attend and present my work at several international conferences and to publish several papers in Open Access journals. Furthermore, the activities and courses organised by the MRC DTP have provided me with great opportunities for learning and networking. It has been an enriching experience overall, that has greatly contributed to my skills and career.

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