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PILAR provides a place for international collaboration and skill exchange for like-minded scholars from the UK, Philippines, and Indonesia who share the same goal: to reduce the burden of chronic disease and improve the delivery of healthcare through research and education.




Every year
0 million
die from chronic disease
Among these almost
1 %
Occur in low- and middle-income countries*
We believe that change is a matter of urgency.
And we believe that working together is the only way to achieve that.

*In 2012.

PILAR Research Network


We are a growing collaborative research network primarily comprising higher-education students and early-career academics based in the UK, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Our contributors are scholars with expertise ranging from clinical medicine to computational biology, and have experienced working in well- to poorly-resourced settings.

Our aims are twofold

  1. To advance health by conducting research into all aspects of chronic disease and healthcare delivery, and to disseminate the useful results of such research in peer-reviewed publications, at scientific meetings, and other relevant media.
  2. To advance education – in the fields of natural science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine – for the benefit of early-stage academic researchers, clinicians and students in the Philippines and Indonesia through the provision of advice, research resources, and workshops.

Why we're different

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    Capacity building

    We invite contributors to take up a role best suited to their skills while providing the opportunity to acquire new ones.

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    Early exposure

    We encourage junior scholars to collaborate and network as early as possible.

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    Local and global knowledge

    Our studies benefit from our combined experience working in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.

Our Research Tracks

At present, we host the following three research tracks, each of which address a different dimension of chronic disease and healthcare delivery. Studies conducted within each track are overseen by a Track Leader.


Epidemiology

The clinical and environmental epidemiology (EPID) track seeks to investigate determinants of chronic disease occurrence and outcome, particularly lifestyle-related factors, to gain further insight into disease aetiology and progression. Research within this track includes population-based studies and systematic reviews of observational and clinical studies, and combines clinical epidemiology with recent analytical approaches such as methods applied in genetic epidemiology.


Systems Biology & Biomedical Informatics

The systems biology and biomedical informatics (SBBS) track seeks to elucidate complex biological systems at the levels of organisation that make up an organism (primarily, human), with a special focus on the aetiology, processes, and consequences of chronic and age-related disease. The methods used will include, inter alia, data integration of high-throughput, multiple-modality data; machine learning; and computational modelling of physiology and molecular biology at the level of the genome through to the phenome.


Health Systems & Services



The health systems and services (HSSR) track seeks to study the effectiveness or efficiency of a particular service or system in managing outcomes of interest – whether they be disease, equity (access or quality), or financial outcomes – in the context of limited resources (economics) or other constraints on the ability to act (policy and ethics). The purpose of such studies will be to inform decisions regarding the feasibility and utility of implementing, executing, and operating particular services or systems.

Our Thematic Translational Research and Development (THREAD) programmes

Our THREAD programmes will have the following objectives:
(i) act to inform and shape policy by deriving and advising pragmatic solutions – from the operational to strategic level – that are realistic, effective, and achieve long-lasting results; and
(ii) assist with and undertake the transition from research to development and implementation of biological and medical interventions.

THREAD-1
Identifying challenges and opportunities for integrating health and social care policy in a country making the transition to universal healthcare

THREAD-2
Characterising and capitalising on the interplay between biological ageing and cancer

THREAD-3
Discovering biomarkers for existing affordable drugs

SELECTED PROJECTS


Smoking

We are looking into the effects that certain smoking-related habits, including cessation and secondhand smoking, may have on physiological function, and ageing more generally.

Cancer Genomics

We are looking to survey the different mechanisms by which telomere lengths are maintained in cancer by integrating different types of -omics data.

Health Policy

We are interested in understanding the impact of certain health policies on different types of health outcome in a variety of sociopolitical, geographical and economic settings.

Obesity and Nutrition

To better understand the obesity pandemic, we are using nutrition surveys and data on various metabolic factors to characterise patterns of adiposity as well as the factors governing changes in adiposity.

Cancer Treatment

Through our membership of the Cochrane Collaboration's Colorectal Cancer Group, we are seeking to compare the efficacy and safety of methods used to diagnose or to treat colorectal tumours.


For more detailed descriptions of available projects, please get in touch with us.

Contact us

HOW IT WORKS


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    CONTACT

    Get in touch with us! Let us know your research interests, skills and experience, and whether there is any specific role you would like to assume.

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    PROPOSE or PICK A PROJECT

    Tell us your own project ideas and how we could help, or choose one of our available projects that fits your interests.

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    PLAN

    Our Track Leaders with help you find other contributors and devise project plans. This ‘blueprint’ needs to be approved before any work related to the project starts.

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    COLLABORATE

    Start collaborating! Each contributor in a group should undertake their assigned parts of the project. A Research Co-ordinator will be responsible for leading the project. If you are a beginner, make them aware of your training or supervision needs.

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    REPORT

    Summarise your study and results, in the form of a scientific report or conference presentation. Our internal review will decide whether any additional work is necessary prior to making the results public.

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    DISSEMINATE

    Tell the world about your findings through publication in peer-reviewed journals, international conferences, and other media.

CONTACT

Get in touch with us! Let us know your research interests, skills and experience, and whether there is any specific role you would like to assume.

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PROPOSE A PROJECT

Tell us your own project ideas and how we could help.

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PICK A PROJECT

Choose one of our available projects that fits your interests.

PLAN

Our Track Leaders with help you find other contributors and devise project plans. This ‘blueprint’ needs to be approved before any work related to the project starts.

PlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholder

COLLABORATE

Start collaborating! Each contributor in a group should undertake their assigned parts of the project. A Research Co-ordinator will be responsible for leading the project. If you are a beginner, make them aware of your training or supervision needs.

REPORT

Summarise your study and results, in the form of a scientific report or conference presentation. Our internal review will decide whether any additional work is necessary prior to making the results public.

DISSEMINATE

Tell the world about your findings through publication in peer-reviewed journals, international conferences, and other media.

With online research resources becoming increasingly accessible, there are increasingly more opportunities available to do research. However, we know that starting a project is not easy, especially if you are new to research. That is why collaboration is important, and we are here to work with you.

WHY JOIN US


IMPACT

We focus our research on chronic disease and healthcare delivery. Your contribution may help identify potential targets for intervention.

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EXPOSURE

You will have the chance to have your work published in peer-reviewed journals and present your findings at scientific meetings. Having your work published in journals, especially those with high impact factors, could help accelerate your career progression.

DEVELOPMENT

Conducting research will enable you to develop a host of transferable skills, including investigational, writing, and organisational skills, which will be useful for various career tracks. Moreover, it will demonstrate initiative, a quality that many employers seek.

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NETWORK

Collaborate across different levels of expertise and disciplines. Keen, less experienced individuals will have the opportunity to learn from more experienced researchers. Experienced researchers will have the chance to explore opportunities for collaboration and outreach.

  • Connector.Connector.

    IMPACT

    We focus our research on chronic disease and healthcare delivery. Your contribution may help identify potential targets for intervention.

  • Connector.Connector.

    EXPOSURE

    You will have the chance to have your work published in peer-reviewed journals and present your findings at scientific meetings.

  • Connector.Connector.

    DEVELOPMENT

    Conducting research will enable you to develop a host of transferable skills, which will be useful for various career tracks.

  • Connector.Connector.

    NETWORK

    There will be opportunities to internationally collaborate across different levels of expertise and disciplines.

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ABOUT US


PILAR was co-founded by two UK-based scholars with shared research interests in chronic disease. From their experience, they came to realise the limited research opportunities and resources in the Philippines and Indonesia, especially for less experienced scholars. That realisation prompted the creation of PILAR, short for Philippine and Indonesian Scholars. The idea behind PILAR's Research Network is simple: to provide a place for like-minded scholars to network, collaborate, and maximise their research experience and contribute to the advancement of global health and science.

As an organisation with contributors in two countries with developing economies, we also seek to help build the research capabilities of the respective countries through the provision of research and educational resources and opportunities as well as leveraging the relevant output of our research to advocate improvements in scientific research, education, and healthcare systems.

Disclaimer
Any views or statements expressed in PILAR output to which any of us have contributed, belong to PILAR Research and Education, and are not those of our employers.

Our team


Johnathan Watkins is a co-founder and Track Leader for the SBBS and HSSR tracks. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and King's College London, and is currently a management consultant at one of the top three consulting firms. He has patents for predicting therapeutic response in cancer patients pending and has conducted research in areas ranging from cancer genomics and bioinformatics to health economics and policy with publications in the highest impact journals such as The Lancet, Nature Medicine, and Cancer Discovery.
List of publications


Wahyu Wulaningsih is a co-founder and Track Leader for the EPID track. She qualified in medicine in Indonesia before pursuing an MRes and PhD in Cancer Studies at King's College London in the UK, where she helped found the King's Cancer Studies Student Committee. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing at University College London.
List of publications


Katrina M. Florcruz is the Communications Manager for the Philippines. She qualified as a medical doctor from the University of Santo Tomas. She has developed editorial and scientific content for several media companies, and was previously an editor for MIMS Doctors for the Philippines to which she currently contributes. She is also a content editor for MedAcademy.ph, and is a segment host for UNTV Channel 37’s Doctors on TV.
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Lintang Cahyaningsih is the Communications Manager for Indonesia. She is an undergraduate student in Communication Studies at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia and the Editor-in-Chief of the university newspaper. She was recently awarded a summer school scholarship from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
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Naomi Yoshuantari is one of PILAR's first contributors and assists with web development. She graduated as a medical doctor and is currently a trainee clinical pathologist at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia, with experience working in hospital-based cancer registries and a specific interest in colorectal cancer that has led to PILAR's first publication, a systematic review on colorectal cancer treatment.
List of publications



Ariel Kenneth Ampol is PILAR's IT Expert. He graduated from the University of the Philippines Manila with a degree in Computer Science, specialising in Statistical Computing. He is also currently an Application Management Specialist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Occasionally, he teaches a course in ITIL/ITSM offered by HPE in several universities.
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Our advisors

Professor Tim O'Brien is Professor of Mathematics & Statistics at Loyola University Chicago, and a former Senior Science Advisor and Jefferson Science Fellow at USAID. He has led a number of statistical methods workshops in South East Asia and has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications to his name, with a particular research interest in optimal design of experiments.

Professor Ton Coolen is the Head of the Institute for Mathematical & Molecular Biomedicine at King's College London (KCL). He specialises in the development of advanced mathematical methods, with a strong focus on their application to medicine. His research has always had a strongly multidisciplinary flavour, with more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and two books (with a third book in press) to his name.


Dr. Mieke van Hemelrijck is a Senior Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology in the Division of Cancer Studies at KCL and Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Group.  She leads a programme at King's Health Partners that brings together researchers and clinicians involved in prostate cancer research. She also has an interest in metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers and pan-cancer risk factors. 

Be a contributor and start making a difference

Interested in working with us? Take a look at more information below if you are a prospective contributor and would like to know more about us.

CONTACT US

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