University pays permanent tribute to inspirational late Leeds professor

Big impact: Professor Viv Jones, wife of Prof Rick Jones, inaugurates the Rick Jones Education Room, watched by Prof Paul Stewart. Picture by Tony Glossop.

Big impact: Professor Viv Jones, wife of Prof Rick Jones, inaugurates the Rick Jones Education Room, watched by Prof Paul Stewart. Picture by Tony Glossop.

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A Leeds university professor, who died in 2014 following a long illness, has been posthumously honoured for his huge impact on health research.

Professor Rick Jones has had a room named in his honour in the Leeds Institute of Data Analytics, which is based in the school of medicine at the University of Leeds.

Prof Jones, who passed away at the age of 61, is credited with helping to modernise pathology in the NHS through his enthusiasm for the science of computer information systems within health care.

Colleagues have gathered to inaugurate a room in his honour, which his wife Prof Viv Jones unveiled.

The Rick Jones Education Room will serve as a permanent reminder of his work.

Prof Paul Stewart, who is dean of the faculty of medicine and health, also attended the ceremony. He said: “The recent success of the university in the development of data analytics in the health domain, including the establishment of the Medical Research Council Centre in Medical Bioinformatics in the school of medicine, was due in large part to Rick’s vision and unswerving commitment.

“It is a privilege to inaugurate this room in the presence of more than fifty of Prof Jones’s close colleagues from the University, the NHS and members of his family to mark this special occasion.”

He described Prof Jones as “an excellent and enthusiastic teacher with a strong belief in research-led education”.

Prof Stewart added: “Rick was tireless in his pursuit of academic excellence and innovation, setting – and invariably achieving – exactingly high standards in every project that he undertook.”

Prof Jones and his family came to Leeds in 1983, after beginning his career at the Radcliffe Infirmary and John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He was a student at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford.

In Leeds he was a professor of chemical pathology and health informatics and was involved in establishing the Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics in 2001, which aims to bring together academic interests, industry and the NHS.

He became a national expert on informatics in medicine and helped to improve data standardisation within NHS systems, which should lead to the improvement of patient care in the United Kingdom.