Associate Professor in Medical Virology/Consultant in Infection
My research work is primarily centred on understanding how to control the spread of hepatitis B virus infection to vulnerable populations. In particular I am interested in the vertical transmission of HBV infection. Triple elimination (HBV, HIV and syphilis) strategies to eliminate mother–infant transmission of these infections have been introduced by the WHO; we are investigating the various challenges to the implementation of this strategy.
More recently, I have been working on occult hepatitis B infection (OBI). Using single cell and other technologies we are working to increase our understanding of the interplay between host genetics, immune responses and HBV virology in those with chronic HBV infection vs OBI. A better understanding of these pathways will provide insights into ways to identify higher risk donors and also potential therapeutic pathways for cure.
Both the prevention of vertical transmission of HBV and the identification of OBI blood donors require better diagnostics. Together with collaborators in the Institute of Bioengineering, University of Oxford, we are developing point-of-care diagnostic platforms and devices to deliver real-time results for use in resource-limited settings to identify those most at risk of transmitting HBV and other sexually transmitted infections.
I am a Consultant in Infection at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, where I lead on Infections in Pregnancy, West Wing (Neuro, Specialist Surgery, Trauma) and Viral Hepatitis Clinic. I am a member of the WHO Global Validation Advisory Committee for the elimination of HBV, HIV and syphilis; I serve on the JCVI influenza sub-committee.