Population Dynamics in Women's Health

Women’s Health is an area of critical importance for the World Health Organisation. We know that changes in environment, however small, can have a dramatic effect on maternal and child health. How can we better understand the inter-relation between environment and maternal and child health? 


Experts at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Computational Biology (CCB) and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) are working together to use large datasets to improve the outcome for patients across the world. 

Despite looking at large, diverse cohorts of people, the team are looking at how they can use information to get the right treatment to individual patients based on what the environmental, clinical and genetic data tells us. 

As the field shifts towards more ambitious projects that handle even more vast amounts of data, supporting by machine learning and artificial intelligence, the team will continue to work to ensure that the models provide useful information for clinicians. 

BRIDGE Research Fellow: Dr Justina Žurauskienė

Dr Justina Žurauskienė is a BRIDGE Fellow at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and currently is based at the Centre for Computational Biology. She has expertise and research interest in mathematical modelling, statistical machine learning and method development with applications focusing on genomic data and women’s health. 

Working alongside UIUC, a key project is looking at disparities in maternal healthcare provision – starting by looking at the data collected in the Champaign-Urban Public Health District.  

Dr Žurauskienė’s role will be to identify the best methods for integrating the large, complex datasets and to develop models that can provide the most useful information for treating patients. 

The long-term aim is to develop a methodology that is transferrable to other similar projects across the globe.

  • At the University of Birmingham, the BRIDGE Fellow will be closely associated with the Centre for Computational Biology (CCB) which combines many of the field’s components, from both the development and applications sides. With chairs of Bioinformatics, Clinical Bioinformatics and Environmental Bioinformatics, the CCB aims to promote excellence in Computational Biology, Ecosystems Biology, and Bioinformatics across the range of fundamental and applied sciences, in both the University and allied Health Care arenas. 

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is a leading institution in computational and engineering approaches to medicine, with researchers well-versed with methods that compare exposomes (e.g. exercise, nutrition, cognitive tasks) that may serve to mediate babies’ response to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Computational resources at UIUC include the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCS), the National Petascale Computing Facility, and HPCBio; a center for High Performance Biological Computing.