Ang Davies

Prof, Professor of Clinical Bioinformatics and Healthcare Science Education

Personal profile

Teaching

Healthcare Science Education

Over the last 8 years I have worked nationally with Health Education England (HEE) and the Modernising Scientific Careers healthcare sciences agenda to create the new profession of Clinical Bioinformaticians (~ 150 trainees to date) and develop the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals in genomic medicine, all of whom are now critical to the delivery of NHS England’s Genomic Medicine Service. I have contributed extensively to curriculum design at the request of HEE and have developed and delivered a Master’s programme to educate Clinical Bioinformaticians, involving students and lay representatives as co-creators to develop the curriculum to ensure teaching meets the needs of a rapidly changing clinical genomics landscape. Between 2019-20 I participated in the national apprenticeship trailblazer to develop a clinical scientist apprenticeship standard, now approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education for delivery. Between 2013-2019  I held positions as Programme Director for the MSc Clinical Sciences (Bioinformatics) and the MSc Genomic Medicine, both accredited and funded by HEE.

 

Online Education

I have led fully online education at Manchester since 2016, pioneering and leading the University first Massive Online Open course (MOOC) with FutureLearn: Clinical Bioinformatics: Unlocking Genomics in Healthcare. The course design embraced Laurillard’s conversational framework, and has attracted over 18,000 participants to date. Between 2018-2019, I led the partnership with University of Manchester Worldwide to pioneer and develop a new fully online course in Clinical Bioinformatics, the first such course from our Faculty. Since 2019 I have been Programme Director for the newly created PG Certificate in Clinical Bioinformatics, and to our knowledge the first course of its type in the world. To date attracting 47 international and national students.

In 2020 I co-led the develop of a new Futurelearn MOOC: Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare: Equipping the Workforce for Digital Transformation.

Faculty Teaching Leadership Roles

Since 2014 I have held several leadership positions such as Faculty Lead for Continuing Professional Development, PGT Lead for Genomics, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology. Currently I hold the position of Divisional Teaching Lead in the Division of Informatics, Imagine & Data Sciences and also chair the Faculty’s Manchester Worldwide (online education) user group and am a member of the Faculty’s Postgraduate Teaching Committee.

 

University Teaching Leadership Roles

Currently I represent the Faculty on the Strategic Management Board of Manchester Worldwide.

Research interests

My current research interests include the use of blockchain and smart contracts to permit sharing of genomic data, including the supervision of a PhD student, the development of free and open source software to support genomic variant interpretation https://variantvalidator.org/ and also the development of an App to improve access to genetic counselling for south Asian communities in the UK. I led an industrial research collaboration as principal investigator with UK-based genomic testing company, Molmart, to develop an interface for the interpretation of variants from exome screening data, now being deployed clinically.

I have supervised a 17 MSc projects (outlined below):

Name & Title

Dates

Ben Saunders: Assessment of splice-site predictive tools for use in clinical analysis of potential splice-affecting variants

2015-2016

Rebecca Haines: Variant annotation in targeted next generation sequencing tests; setting the standard

2015-2016

Matt Garner: Barriers to reference genome assembly migration for clinical genetics laboratories

2015-2016

Kirsty Russell: Development of a tool for the management of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Monitoring

2016-2017

Stuart Cannon: Assessing the sensitivity of a diagnostic CNV analysis pipeline for genome sequence data

 

2016-2017

Eileen Gallagher: Analysis of comments within MOOC  discussion boards related to sharing genomic data

2016-2017

Phil Davidson: A Variant Interpretation tool for the Implementation of the ACMG Guidelines for Sequence Variant Classification  

2017-18

Matt Wherlock: Phenotype prioritisation to support a new full exome sequencing service

2017-18

Rosie Coates-Brown: The development of a strategy to reduce the burden of Sanger sequencing confirmation of variants detected by NGS genetic testing services at Manchester Centre for Genetic Medicine

2017-18

Christine Hicks: Delivering routine electronic reporting of genetic results

2018-19

Natasha Pinto: Investigating improvements to the current exome pipeline

2018-19

Stefan Piatek: Development of a truth set for validating CNV callers

2018-19

Jessica Adams: Variant interpretation interface and variant database development

2019-20

Stewart O’Neill: Development of an application to provide an a priori metric for the likelihood of pseudogene contamination and optimisation of alignment to effectively map NGS reads in pseudogene-affected panels

2019-20

Nana Mensah: Development of a pipeline for flagging the reanalysis of variants from exome data

2019-20

Jethro Rainford: Developing bioinformatics methods for automated systematic reanalysis of negative cases in rare disease.

2020-21

Seiko Makino: Development of analysis    pipeline for Nanopore sequencing platform in 16S rRNA microbial analysis

 

2020-21

  

 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

2015-Present: European Society of Human Genetics

2019-present: Associate member Faculty of Clinical Informatics

2010-2014: Member of the British Society of Genetic Medicine Council

2016-2017: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2017: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2017-present: Association of Clinical Genomic Science National Clinical Bioinformatics Network

2019: Associate member of Faculty of Clinical Informatics

Qualifications

2016 – 2017: PG Certificate in Higher Education, The University of Manchester

2016: ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring

Biography

Ang Davies graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Bath, before completing a PhD in Molecular Biology at Warwick University. She then undertook a postdoctoral research fellowship at AstraZeneca and moved to Renovo, a biotech company in Manchester as Principal Scientist working in drug development analytics.

Ang is a Professor of Clinical Bioinformatics and Healthcare Science Education in the School of Health, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester. 

 

Healthcare Science Education

Over the last 8 years I have worked nationally with Health Education England (HEE) and the Modernising Scientific Careers healthcare sciences agenda to create the new profession of Clinical Bioinformaticians (~ 150 trainees to date) and develop the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals in genomic medicine, all of whom are now critical to the delivery of NHS England’s Genomic Medicine Service. I have contributed extensively to curriculum design at the request of HEE and have developed and delivered a Master’s programme to educate Clinical Bioinformaticians, involving students and lay representatives as co-creators to develop the curriculum to ensure teaching meets the needs of a rapidly changing clinical genomics landscape. Between 2019-20 I participated in the national apprenticeship trailblazer to develop a clinical scientist apprenticeship standard, approved in 2020 by the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education for delivery. 

 

Leadership in Digital Transformation

The development of digital technologies to support healthcare professionals and patients is happening at pace. We are rapidly moving from e-prescribing, to mobile health, with a suite of Apps available to help patients to monitor their own health, book appointments and view their GP records. By 2024, all secondary care providers are expected to be fully digitised, implementing electronic health records in plans laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan. This will mean that the utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning methods will be enabled through collection of data through one system. AI can be used to augment clinical decision making and to also predict patient flow and staffing requirements, thereby giving precious time back to healthcare professionals to focus on patient care. Patients will also have much easier access to their own data than in the past, and will be empowered to ask questions regarding it and have opinions and expectations over who should and shouldn’t have access to it. In 2019 I was appointed by the School of Health Sciences as Director of Digital Transformation in Healthcare Education, in this role I am working with colleagues at HEE and Manchester to ensure that current and future healthcare professionals are equipped to deal with digital transformation in their workplaces.

 

 

Social responsibility

Details of effective engagement with the community in the presentation and explanation of scholarly activity

 

  • 2019: Delivery of talk to local U3A group to ~35 members, “Delivering the Genomic Revolution in Health”
  • 2018: Delivery of talk to local SciBar, science delivered in a pub (~60 members of the public), “Delivering the Genomic Revolution in Health”.
  • 2014: I have delivered a 2-week long science festival in Bollington, Cheshire focused on 50 years of biomedical discoveries. The festival incorporated a Fablab, a pop-up laboratory, which I led for 4 days including 3 different biomedical zones attracting over 800 members of the public during its installation; a trail of 20 biomedical scarecrows which I developed the themes for to explore with accompanying podcasts to explain the science behind them. I engaged with local schools and community groups to develop the scarecrows and record the podcasts. This work was commended by the University’s Making a Difference Award 2015 and by Wellcome Trust following their visit to the festival.

 

Representation of the University within the local, regional or national community.

 

  • Judge for international European Society of Human Genetics  DNA day essay competition (I judged 10 essay questions around genomics , biobanks and electronic health records, written by 17-18 year olds from across the world).

 

     2010-Present: STEM Ambassador:

  • I have delivered hands-on science on the topic of “cracking the code” to my children’s primary school  and Cheadle Primary School STEM club, involving making DNA from sweets and DNA bracelets, I also ran activities based around DNA at the Pop up lab that I led and trained other members of the public to help run this event. I have also worked on the Institute of Physic’s Lab in a Lorry, delivering hands-on science to primary school children, delivered careers talks at Wilmslow High School for A-level students and delivered hands-on science on chemistry at primary schools with Dr Lorelly Wilson, of Chemistry with Cabbage.

 

Other promotion of medicine and or health science within the local, regional or national community

 

  • 2014-2019: I have led workshops on the Clinical Bioinformatics programme at The Manchester Academy for HealthCare Sciences Open Day on an annual basis. 
  • 2018: I delivered a presentation on “Careers in Clinical Science” at the Royal Society of Biology “Careers in Bioscience” event at Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • 2018-present: I have delivered several presentations at the Faculty Public Contributors induction events entitled “Public & Patient Involvement in Teaching”. Detailing my experience of working with members of the public to co-develop postgraduate education in the area of Clinical Bioinformatics & Genomics.
  • 2009-2014: I led and chaired a SciBar, held in a pub in Bollington on a monthly basis, regularly attracting ~100 members of the public to listen to discussion focused on medical or health related topics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Molecular Analysis of a Bacterial Chitinolytic Community in an Upland Pasture, The University of Warwick

Award Date: 17 Jul 2003

Bachelor of Biomedical science, University of Bath

Award Date: 16 Jul 1998

External positions

Deputy Editor , BMJ Health and Care Informatics

Jul 2019 → …

External Examiner, University of Cambridge

Oct 2017 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute

Keywords

  • Digital transformation
  • clinical bioinformatics
  • genomics
  • healthcare education
  • online education

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