COVID-19 Pandemic – Lessons Learned
The George Griffin Lecture
Professor Sir Peter Horby
Director, Pandemic Sciences Centre
Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health
University of Oxford
Peter trained in medicine at University College London and went on to specialise in emerging and epidemic prone infectious diseases. Over the last 20 years he has led research on a wide range of emerging and epidemic infections, including SARS, avian influenza, Ebola, Lassa fever, plague and COVID-19.
He lived and worked in Southeast Asia for 11 years, working initially for the World Health Organisation in Vietnam before establishing a research centre at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi in 2006. The research centre is still flourishing and in 2016 he was awarded the People’s Health Medal by the Government of Vietnam.
Peter returned to the United Kingdom in 2014 to set up an epidemic disease research group at the University of Oxford and is Director of the recently established Pandemic Sciences Centre. He is also Executive Director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC), a consortium of 53 international, national and local research networks whose research activities span 134 countries worldwide, and is also the coordinator of the African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT), a sub-Saharan Africa consortium on clinical research for epidemic-prone infections, with 21 partner institutions and representation across 25 sub-Saharan Africa countries. He is a member of the UK Government Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and chairs the New and Emergency Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.
Peter co-leads the RECOVERY trial of treatments for COVID-19, which has randomised over 42,000 participants and evaluated 13 drugs.
He was knighted for Services to Medical Research in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Ageing & Neurodegeneration
The Osler Lecture
Professor Sarah Tabrizi
Director of the University College London (UCL) Huntington’s Disease (HD) Centre, Joint Head of Department Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Principal Investigator at the UK Dementia Research Institute, and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
Sarah Tabrizi is Director of the UCL Huntington’s Disease (HD) Centre, Joint Head of Department Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, a Principal Investigator at the UK Dementia Research Institute, and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. She graduated in Biochemistry, then studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh where she was awarded the 1992 Leslie Gold Medal for the most distinguished medical graduate. Sarah undertook her PhD and trained as an independent scientist at UCL, establishing a large basic bench science and translational research team focussed on finding disease modifying therapies for HD. She was PI on the first successful phase 1/2b trial of an antisense oligonucleotide (NEJM 2019) and currently serves on several SABs advising industry on the development of potential gene targeting and nucleic acid therapies for HD. Sarah has published over 300 peer-reviewed research papers. In 2014 she was elected as a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2017 she received the seventh Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science awarded by the Hereditary Disease Foundation. In 2018 she received the Cotzias Award from the Spanish Society of Neurology, and in 2019 the Yahr Award at the World Congress for Neurology and the Alexander Morison Medal from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
COVID-19 Pandemic – Lessons Learned
Dr Kenneth Baillie
Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Anaesthesia & Critical Care,
Deanery of Clinical Sciences Centre for Inflammation Research, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
Kenneth Baillie graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc(Hons) in Physiology in 1999 and MBChB in 2002. He completed basic training in medicine in Glasgow, and in anesthesia in Edinburgh. During this time he led a series of high altitude research projects in Bolivia, and founded a high-altitude research charity, Apex. He was appointed as a clinical lecturer on the ECAT (Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track) at the University of Edinburgh in 2008, and completed a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD in statistical genetics in 2012. He was awarded a Wellcome-Beit Prize Intermediate Clinical Fellowship in 2013. He led a global consensus on harmonisation of research studies in outbreaks for the International Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Consortium (ISARIC), and worked with WHO on H1N1 influenza, MERS, and Ebola. After completing clinical training in 2014 he worked as a visiting scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, before returning to the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh to establish a research program in translational applications of genomics in critical care medicine. He works as a consultant in the intensive care unit at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. During the Covid outbreak in 2020-21, he led the UK-wide GenOMICC and ISARIC4C studies, and contributed to the design and delivery of the RECOVERY trial. He discovered new biological mechanisms underlying critical illness in Covid, and contributed to the discovery of effective drug treatments to reduce mortality.
Professor Eran Elinav
Principal Investigator, Weizmann Institute of Science
Prof. Eran Elinav, M.D., Ph.D. is a professor at the Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, and since 2019 the director of the cancer-microbiome division, at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany. His labs at the Weizmann Institute and DKFZ focus on deciphering the molecular basis of host-microbiome interactions and their effects on health and disease, with a goal of personalizing medicine and nutrition. Dr. Elinav completed his medical doctor’s (MD) degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Hadassah Medical Center summa cum laude, followed by a clinical internship, residency in internal medicine, and a physician-scientist position at the Tel Aviv Medical Center Gastroenterology institute. He received a PhD in immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Elinav has published more than 150 publications in leading peer-reviewed journals, including major recent discoveries related to the effects of host genetics, innate immune function and environmental factors, such as dietary composition and timing, on the intestinal microbiome and its propensity to drive multi-factorial disease. His honors include multiple awards for academic excellence including the Claire and Emmanuel G. Rosenblatt award from the American Physicians for Medicine (2011), the Alon Foundation award (2012), the Rappaport prize for biomedical research (2015) the Levinson award for basic science research (2016), and the Landau prize (2018). Since 2016 he is a senior fellow at the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR), since 2017 he is an elected member, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and an international scholar at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Immunometabolism & Translational Immunology
Professor Professor Muzlifah Haniffa
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, Lister Institute Prize Fellow, Professor of Dermatology and Immunology, Newcastle University
Muzlifah Haniffa is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Lister Institute Research Fellow and Consultant Dermatologist based in Newcastle University. She graduated from medical school in Cardiff, trained as a junior doctor in Cambridge and received her dermatology specialist training in Newcastle.
Muzlifah is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2020) and the recipient of the Academy of Medical Sciences Foulkes Foundation Medal (2019) and the European Federation of Immunological Societies ACTERIA Prize in Immunology and Allergology (2018). She is a leading member of the Human Cell Atlas initiative and pioneered the application of single cell genomics to decode the developing human immune system, and the human skin in health and disease.
Ageing & Neurodegeneration
Professor Rose Anne Kenny
Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin, Director of the Falls and Blackout Unit at St. James’s Hospital Dublin and Director of the new Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing
Professor Rose Anne Kenny holds the Chair of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and is the Founder and Principal Investigator of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Ireland’s flagship research project in ageing. Professor Kenny’s research focuses on the causes and consequences of neurocardiovascular ageing. In 2016, she launched a new 120 bedded clinical research institute on the site of Ireland’s largest teaching hospital (St. James’s Hospital), where she is Director of a state of the art dedicated falls and syncope facility – the largest such clinical model in Europe and an exemplar for the newly proposed Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) at St James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin. Prior to her present appointments, she held the Chair of Cardiovascular Research at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, where she was Head of the Academic Department of Medical Gerontology for 12 years. Professor Kenny has held a number of senior positions including, Chair of the American Geriatric Society: Falls Prevention Guidelines (2001 & 2011), Chair of the European Cardiac Society/ European Heart Rhythm Association Guidelines for Syncope units (2015), Member of the European Cardiac Society (ECS) Syncope Guidelines Taskforce 2018, Board Member of the EU H2020 Advisory Group for Societal Challenge and Co-Chair of the working group “Transforming the Future of Ageing” lead by the Scientific Advisory Policy by European Academies (SAPEA). She is also Advisor to the Irish Government for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Irish Citizens’ Assembly on Ageing. She has received a number of international awards and has published widely, authoring over 600 publications to date. In 2014, she was the first female physician to be elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, London and Ireland (FRCPEdin, FRCP & FRCPI), a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (FTCD) and newly appointed Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FFPHMI (Hon)).
Immunometabolism & Translational Immunology
Professor Luke O’Neill
Professor (Chair of Biochemistry), Trinity College Dublin
Luke O’Neill is Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is a world expert on innate immunity and inflammation. His main research interests include Toll-like receptors, Inflammasomes and Immunometabolism. He is listed by Thompson Reuters/ Clarivates in the top 1% of immunologists in the world, based on citations per paper. Professor O’Neill is co-founder of Sitryx, which aims to develop new medicines for inflammatory diseases. Another company he co-founded, Inflazome was recently acquired by Roche.
He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society / Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences, The Society for Leukocyte Biology (SLB) Dolph O. Adams award, the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal and in 2018 the Milstein Award of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Professor Fergus Shanahan
Professor emeritus of Medicine at University College Cork, Ireland
Fergus Shanahan, MD, DSc, MRIA is Professor emeritus of Medicine at University College Cork, Ireland. He is a clinician, a teacher, a researcher, an entrepreneur, and an author. He graduated from University College Dublin, trained in immunology at McMaster University, Canada and in gastroenterology at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He founded one of the world’s first microbiome research centres (APC Microbiome Ireland) and is co-founder of three successful start-up companies. He is a former president of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology. He was recently listed in the top 1% of highly cited scientists by Clarivate. He has received many awards for contributions to medical science and the medical humanities, including a gold medal from the Royal Irish Academy. He has numerous patents, has published over 580 scientific papers, and has co-written or edited several books, one of which won the BMA book award for gastroenterology. His latest book, The Language of Illness, is published by Liberties Press, Dublin http://www.libertiespress.com/shop/the-language-of-illness.