GHGA Lecture Series: Becca Wilson (virtual)

Doctor Becca Wilson from the Population Health Sciences Institute at the University of Newcastle presented "DataSHIELD: Secure Data Science Collaboration" at the GHGA lecture series ("Advances in Data-Driven Biomedicine") on July 18, 2022.

Watch this lecture here.


DataSHIELD ( is a mature data access-analysis platform that enables the privacy-preserving analysis of sensitive data from one or federated over multiple locations. Originally developed for consented epidemiological research, it comprises a secure computing infrastructure, open-source software (with analytics built in R) and a suite of methodologies for real-time disclosure checking during analysis and on outputs. Under DataSHIELD, data are not physically shared with users, and remain with (and under control of) the data custodian, while users can securely conduct remote analyses in real time but cannot view or copy the data.

In recent years DataSHIELD has transitioned from a University research project to a growing open-source community. This talk will cover the latest advancements in DataSHIELD that have led to integration with Bioconductor for the analysis of high-volume genomics data, demonstrated federated machine learning and the utilisation of data science libraries outside R. DataSHIELD usecases will also be presented, demonstrating its deployment in a number of international research consortia ( including within a German network of 10 University Hospitals (MIRACUM, that now serves as a model for a pilot deployment within the UK’s NHS.


Becca Wilson is an interdisciplinary researcher with a career spanning the space, atmospheric and health sciences. As a PI of DataSHIELD and an Innovation Fellow at the University of Liverpool her research focuses on the development of open-source software for the sharing, access and visualisation of sensitive health data. 

Becca is an advocate for open research through her fellowship of the UK Software Sustainability Institute and membership of the R Forwards Task Force in the R Software Foundation. She holds a strong commitment to diversifying the public perception of scientists to smash science stereotypes and normalise disability. In 2020, Becca was named on the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List as one of the 100 most influential disabled people in Britain.