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Congratulations to the 2012-13 MPH Prize Winners

The winners of the 2012-13 MPH Student Prizes were Monica Koo (Best Student Prize) and Caitlin Collins (Best Dissertation Prize).Congratulations to both Monica and Caitlin for their excellent performances.

As part of her MPH thesis this summer, Monica Koo looked at the association between access to primary care and emergency admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) across GP practices in England. Extended opening hours was used as a novel measure of access, alongside components of the GP Patient survey. Under the supervision of Chris Millett, Susan Hodgson and Tom Cowling, she found that practices with more positive patient perceptions and experiences of access had fewer emergency ACSC admissions. In comparison, the number or type of extended opening hours (early morning, evening or weekend) was shown to have no significant association with the rate of emergency admissions at practice level. The study indicated the potential of the GP Patient Survey as a measure to target emergency admissions that have been widely described as “unnecessary” or “avoidable”.

The primary focus of Caitlin Collins in her dissertation was to improve upon established methods for the analysis of large genetic datasets, such that we are better able to use this information to improve our understanding of pathogens and our ability to respond to infectious disease. A new multivariate approach to genome-wide analysis was developed in R, and its ability to identify key features in pathogen genomes was demonstrated using both simulated and empirical datasets. Caitlin was supervised by Dr Thibaut Jombart.

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