Cohort Five (2020)

Sarah Abraham

Sarah studied at the University of Birmingham where she completed an undergraduate degree in Medical Science and  achieved a scholarship to study her Masters in Health Economics and Health Policy. Sarah then spent three years working as a research assistant at the Academic Unit of Health Economics at the University of Leeds where she was part of the Test Evaluation Group. Prior to starting the Wellcome programme, Sarah worked as a senior value analyst in consultancy.

In her first year of the Wellcome programme, Sarah has undertaken research attachments focused on smoking and drinking practices as well as diet and nutrition. For her four modules, Sarah studied Key Issues in Global Public Health, Epidemiology, Sociology of Health and Illness and Statistical Data Science in R.

Sarah’s research interests include child outcomes such as health and education, the impact of socioeconomic inequalities on diet and nutrition and policy analysis. These are the topics explored in Sarah’s PhD project.

Esther Chanakira

Esther Chanakira holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Rhodes University and a Master’s in Public Health specializing in Health Economics from the University of Cape Town. During her Master’s program, Esther conducted a noteworthy Health Technology Assessment for the South African Health Technology Assessment body (NEMLC). This assessment played a crucial role in informing standard treatment guidelines for epilepsy within the South African public sector. Her commitment to advancing knowledge is further evident through systematic reviews on economic evaluations and health-related outcomes conducted during her time at both the University of Cape Town and the University of Sheffield.

In the pursuit of her PhD, Esther undertook a comprehensive curriculum, including courses in Medical Statistics, Evidence Synthesis, Further Statistics for Health Economics, Valuing Health Care Benefits, and Sociology of Health and Illness. Complementing her coursework, she engaged in research attachments, contributing to the development of an innovative tool in RShiny to estimate labour market outcomes from changes in EQ-5D. Additionally, she collaborated on a significant project focused on a cost-effectiveness analysis of colorectal cancer screening in low-income countries, specifically looking at Morocco as a case study. This collaboration resulted in a valuable internship at the renowned International Agency for
Research on Cancer.

Esther’s research interests are centred on leveraging economic evaluations to enhance equity in healthcare services, improve resource accessibility, and alleviate the burden of disease. Her current PhD project focuses on addressing and modelling breast cancer inequalities in South Africa.

Anne Cunningham

Anne’s first degree was in Statistics from the University of Aberdeen, before coming to the Computer Science department at Sheffield to take an MSc in Industrial Programming Technology. More recently she has completed part-time Masters degrees in Population Health Evidence and Advanced Computer Science from the University of Manchester.

Most of her work experience has been in local government, firstly as an analyst/programmer, and then moving into the policy research area. After a spell at the Yorkshire & Humber Public Health Observatory (now part of Public Health England), she returned to local government as a Public Health Intelligence Specialist.

In the first year of the programme, Anne is taking modules in Medical Statistics and Evidence Synthesis, Cost Effectiveness Modelling, Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Analysis and Advanced Simulation Methods. Her research attachments cover survival analysis, health valuation, and online interactive tool development, which all adds up to a strong base upon which to develop her PhD proposal.

Shangshang Gu
Shangshang has an undergraduate degree in Traditional Chinese Pharmacy at China Pharmaceutical University and a Masters in Health Economics at the University of York. Prior to joining the Wellcome Trust PhD programme, she was working as a consultant, focusing on health economic modelling and market access strategy development.
Shangshang has taken Key Issues in Global Public Health, Statistical Data Science in R, Sociology of Health and Illness, and Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Analysis as the four modules to further develop her skills in the first year. She also worked on research attachments across the topics of modelling BMI trajectories, assessing the impact of drinking contexts on alcohol intakes and visualising the association between health and labour outcomes.
Shangshang’s research interests include alcohol drinking behaviours, alcohol-related harms and social network analysis. She aims to develop an agent-based model to examine how social network formation processes shape drinking behaviour and alcohol-related harms.
Ellen Mcgrane

Before starting the Wellcome Trust PhD programme, Ellen completed an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Masters in Economics & Health Economics at the University of Sheffield.

Ellen then spent a year in Melbourne, Australia, working as a research assistant at Monash University. The modules Ellen has taken this year span a mixture of public health and HEDM modules. Ellen’s research attachments so far have focussed on smoking, diet and health.

Ellen’s research interests include policy analysis, in particular alcohol policy, and the study of inequalities in health.

Wael Mohammed

Wael holds a BSc in Pharmacy and an MSc in Public and Tropical Health from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Sudan. He also studied a Masters in International Health at the University of Leeds and has recently graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MSc in Health Economics and Decision Modelling.

In the first year of the programme, Wael studied the following modules:

  • Agent-based modelling and multi-agent systems
  • Foundations of Object Oriented Programming
  • Key Issues in Global Public Health
  • Applied Microeconometrics

In three research attachments:

  • Wael compared the EQ-HWB, a new measure of health and well-being, with other measures in different populations, including EQ-5D-3L and EQ-5D-5L.
  • He calibrated the MIMiC-Bowel decision-analytic model, a colorectal cancer screening model, for Morocco.
  • He investigated the changes in the engagement in smoking and drinking by individuals over time in Great Britain.

Wael’s research interests include the attribution and valuation of public health interventions’ effects and the calibration of decision-analytic models. He is also interested in using C++ to program more resource-efficient decision-analytic models in R.

Kelly Needham

Kelly studied for a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics at Queen Mary University of London. During her studies, she worked as an NIHR Research Methods Intern at the University’s Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit. She was then awarded an NIHR scholarship to study MSc Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). For her Master’s dissertation she identified the predictors of cognitive decline in patients attending an NHS memory clinic. After her MSc, she worked for two and a half years as a Research Fellow in Medical Statistics at the Clinical Trials Unit within LSHTM, where she worked as the trial statistician across several large trials involving the use of the antifibrinolytic Tranexamic Acid (TXA) for the treatment or prevention of bleeding. Kelly is currently the Deputy Module Organiser on the Basic Statistics for Clinical Trials module on the Clinical Trials distance learning MSc at LSHTM.

During her first year of the progamme, Kelly is taking modules in Economic Evaluation, Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment, Key Issues in Global Public Health, and Sociology of Health and Illness. Her first year research attachments involve developing a protocol for the economic analysis of a lung cancer screening trial conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, translating a tool used to estimate labour market outcomes from changes in EQ-5D into R and R Shiny, and developing and performing a pilot survey on the behaviour caused by changes to cigarette pack size and price.

Kelly’s research interests are in cancer prevention and treatment, and she intends to make this the topic area of her upcoming PhD.