Infectious Diseases
Research Team
Research, Development and Innovation

Infectious Diseases Research Team

Infectious diseases research is a new team covering Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital, based at Castle Hill.

The team was formed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the vast amount of research our trust has undertaken since the events of January 2020.

It is currently a small but dedicated nursing team, with Research Nurses Gemma Walker and Debra Smith, and Clinical Trials Assistant Donna Norton. Gemma and Debra previously worked on the Infectious Diseases ward at Castle Hill for a number of years, and were part of the team that nursed the very first COVID positive patient in the country.

The team has extensive experience and knowledge in Infectious Diseases, supported by a number of Principal Investigators, including consultants Dr Patrick Lillie, Dr Anda Samson, Dr Nicholas Easom, and Dr Gavin Barlow, and Clinical Scientist Phillipa Burns.

Dr Easom has a background in immunology of hepatitis B and interests in viral hepatitis and infection in under-served populations. He is Principal Investigator for clinical trials in COVID-19 and Long COVID at HUTH and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Hull York Medical School.

Dr Lillie is a research active NHS clinician with an interest in vaccinology, blood stream infections and tuberculosis. He led the successful Oxford-Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial at HUTH, recruiting 5% of trial participants worldwide. At time of writing 700 million doses of the vaccine have been supplied to over 100 countries.

Dr Barlow has recently been successful in a multi-million pound NIHR grant application for a trial into anti-fungal stewardship in patients undergoing treatment for acute leukaemia and the research group will be applying for further funding for internal projects alongside working with other academic partners and commercial studies.

Dr Samson has an interest in Infective Endocarditis, HIV and Viral Hepatitis.

Additionally, the team has welcomed a range of junior researchers from various backgrounds and regularly supervises smaller student projects.

Infectious Diseases includes infections such as HIV, Tuberculosis, Meningitis, Endocarditis, Malaria, Hepatitis B and C, Sepsis and COVID-19.

The research team works alongside the ID ward, Ward 7, Castle Hill Hospital.

Currently, most resources are focused on COVID-19, including a number of commercial and non-commercial vaccine trials and drug trials, however the team is hoping to extend its research portfolio in the near future to include a range of infectious diseases.

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