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Professor Gareth Williams

Professor of Pharmaceutical Materials Science
Pharmaceutics UCL School of Pharmacy

Title: Challenges in Data Collection and the Importance of Engagement with Statisticians



Data collection, research, and the training of colleagues to perform these tasks are difficult endeavors under the best of circumstances. Although some data collection can be performed remotely, in many cases there is no alternative collecting data on location. Natural disasters, terrorism, interference by hostile actors, and war/political instability (which is often the precursor to war) create dramatic needs for rapidly collected accurate data and often necessitate collecting data on location, but these conditions also generally create almost insurmountable impediments to rapid on location collection of accurate data. In this talk, we review several field cases in which we have attempted to collect data in regions suffering from natural disasters, terrorism, interference by hostile actors, and war/political instability.We discuss the unique and common impediments we faced and how we attempted (sometimes successfully, and sometimes not successfully) to overcome these impediments, and we make the case for engaging with statisticians not from the cradle to the grave of a research project, but rather from conception to the afterlife of a research project.


Gareth received a MChem (Hons) degree from the University of Oxford in 2002. He remained in Oxford for a DPhil (PhD), which was completed in 2005. He then worked as a post-doctoral researcher and in science program management. In September 2010 he joined London Metropolitan University as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science, and in November 2012 was appointed to the UCL School of Pharmacy as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016 and to full Professor in 2020, when he also became Head of Pharmaceutics. Gareth leads a group of around 20 researchers applying inorganic and polymer-based nanomaterials to overcome drug delivery challenges.