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Kate Lyle

Kate is a Senior Research Fellow in the CELS-Oxford research group at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics.

Kate is a sociologist with research interests in exploring the relations between people, innovations, and the socio-technical networks in which they exist, and how this knowledge can be applied to improve outcomes and experiences. Kate’s work draws largely on theories and perspectives within the field Science and Technology Studies, and she is particularly interested in applying this perspective to improve experiences of healthcare delivery for both patients and healthcare professionals. 

As part of the CELS team, Kate is exploring the ethical implications of genomic medicine, at a time when genetic testing is becoming an integral part of healthcare. Her research focuses on exploring the social and ethical challenges that genomic medicine will bring to practice for the range of healthcare professionals, patients, and relatives involved. She is also interested in exploring the social challenges that arise from the move towards working with large volumes of personal data. Kate convened a symposium to explore how these challenges manifest across different sectors and disciplines, a visual summary of which can be found here. Kate has focussed in particular on the challenges of utilising rountinely collected hospital for health improve, and an animation the team developed to communicate the issues to public audiences can be accessed here. 

Kate’s previous research has included exploring the implementation of a patient administered checklist to improve patient experience (Health Foundation Innovating for Improvement), facilitating public engagement with social media data analytics (RAEng), and understanding how employee driven innovation within in the healthcare sector (ESRC). 

Kate completed her PhD at the University of Southampton in 2012. Her thesis explored the possibilities of using sociological research to prospectively assess the potential use of a developing technology in order to inform the design of a device that is appropriate to the needs of specific settings. Kate’s research was situated within a interdisciplinary project utilising nanotechnology, biology, chemistry, medicine, and sociology to develop a point of care test for use in healthcare delivery. Her work focused on exploring the potential use of the developing device within several healthcare settings to explore if and how the device might come into use, and the implications of this for the continued development of the technology. Drawing on theories from the field of Science and Technology Studies, Kate developed a theoretical framework to enable prospective research, and applied it using a qualitative methodology.


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