Podcasts - Meet our Consultants

Consultants in Clinical Genetics

Cancer predisposition and evolution by Professor Ian Tomlinson

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Identifying genes that increase the risk of bowel or other cancers allows us to offer preventative measures, such as removing tumours at an early stage. A better understanding of how and why cancers grow also helps develop improved treatments.

Consultants in Diabetes

Diabetes and Genomics by Professor Mark McCarthy

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Diabetes is a major challenge for global healthcare, with social, health and economic costs projected to exceed trillions of dollars over the next 50 years. Professor Mark McCarthy leads a multidisciplinary research team focusing on translating genetic information into advances in the functional understanding, and clinical management, of these diseases.

Consultants in Gastroenterology

Crohn's disease by Professor Alison Simmons

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Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel condition caused by the immune system’s inability to recognise its own intestinal bacteria. Professor Alison Simmons is a gastroenterologist researching innate immunity. Having recently defined the functions of NOD2, a key immune sensor, Alison’s work could lead to the development of better immunotherapies for Crohn’s Disease.

Stem cells and cancer by Professor Simon Leedham

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The gastrointestinal tract is lined with a single sheet of epithelium that is replaced every 4-5 days. The base of a flask-shaped structured called the crypt is where the gastrointestinal stem cells are found. These divide to form daughter cells that travel up the crypt to replace these cells. Professor Simon Leedham's current research focuses on the cell-signaling pathways that control intestinal stem cells and the dysregulation of these pathways in cancer.

Clinical Trials in Gastroenterology by Professor Simon Travis

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Before translating basic research into the clinic it is important to first undergo clinical trials in order to identify safe treatments and therapies for disease. Led by Professor Simon Davis, the Gastroenterology Clinical Trials Facility at Oxford University works to translate basic research into clinical trials of novel therapies for gastrointestinal and liver disease.

Immune System in the Gastrointestinal Tract by Professor Holm Uhlig

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The gastrointestinal tract is home to more bacteria than there are cells in our body. In order to stay healthy our immune system must maintain a strong and effective response towards these bacteria. Professor Holm Uhlig studies defects in this immune response, focussing predominately on children with inflammatory bowel disease.

Consultants in Hepatology

Hepatitis C vaccine by Professor Ellie Barnes

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Hepatitis C virus is a global epidemic, affecting 170 million people worldwide. Unlike other vaccines, inducing antibody reactions to Hepatitis C is often ineffective because antibodies only target the outer surface of the virus. To combat this Professor Ellie Barnes is developing a new therapeutic vaccine for this damaging virus.

Consultants in HIV and Genito-Urinary Medicine

How can we live with HIV by Professor Lucy Dorrell

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There are currently around 91,000 people in the UK living with HIV/AIDS. HIV is a challenging target because it can mutate its genetic makeup. The aim of Professor Lucy Dorrell’s research is to develop immunotherapy to reduce dependence on antiretroviral therapy, the current standard treatment for those infected with HIV-1.

Tuberculosis by Professor Helen McShane

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BCG, now over 100 years old, remains the only licensed vaccine against Tuberculosis. It confers good protection against severe disease and meningitis but doesn’t protect against lung disease. MVA85A was the first vaccine of the new generation to enter into efficacy testing. It is currently being tested in The Gambia, Senegal and South Africa.

Consultants in Immunology

Enteric fever by Dr Christiane Dolecek

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Christiane Dolecek's clinical research focuses on tropical diseases, in particular enteric fever and malaria. She has led enteric fever clinical trials in Vietnam and Nepal with the aim to systematically assess the current WHO recommendations as well as new treatment options.

Consultants in Infectious Diseases

Childhood Nutrition & Immunity by Professor Jay Berkley

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Malnutrition is responsible for almost a third of childhood mortality worldwide. A better understanding of the bacteria in a child’s gut will assist researchers in developing better treatment options. Consultant in paediatric infectious diseases, Professor Jay Berkley works in Kilifi, Kenya on the infection and inflammation of the gut to prevent mortality in malnourished children.

Infectious diseases in South East Asia by Professor Nick Day

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Director of the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Bangkok, Thailand, Professor Nick Day is particularly interested in the epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of malaria, melioidosis, leptospirosis, rickettsial infections, Staphylococcus aureus infections, influenza, Dengue and other communicable diseases afflicting rural populations throughout Asia and beyond.

The treatment of severe malaria by Professor Arjen Dondorp

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Current malaria therapies using artesunate aim to kill malaria parasites before they mature. Such medications have high success rates but need to be developed further. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, Professor Arjen Dondorp works on treatments for severe malaria, antimalarial drug resistance, and improvements in intensive care practice within developing countries.

Tropical immunology by Professor Susanna Dunachie

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Melioidosis is a neglected tropical disease, and a major infectious killer in South East Asia. Melioidosis particularly affects people with diabetes. Professor Dunachie studies how the patients' own immune system fight the disease, with the aim of designing a vaccine that could stop people getting sick and dying.

Can we eradicate HIV? by Professor John Frater

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It is increasingly apparent that Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) may not be the long-term solution to the management of HIV infection. Consultant in infectious diseases & general internal medicine, Professor John Frater works on quantification of viral reservoirs, sequence analysis, immunology, as well as fundamental research into new approaches for the eradication of HIV.

Malaria Vaccines by Professor Adrian Hill

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Around half of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. After studying malaria susceptibility in African children for many years, Professor Adrian Hill is now developing a vaccine against malaria by inducing cellular immune responses (T lymphocytes), instead of taking the more common research approach of stimulating antibodies.

Emerging infectious diseases by Professor Peter Horby

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Research on emerging infectious diseases can only be conducted during outbreaks. Although virology has improved, a well calibrated and effective public health response is often lacking. Epidemiological and clinical research as well as mathematical modelling will give us answers during the epidemics and help us provide better diagnostics and better treatments.

Viruses, how to be the perfect host by Professor Paul Klenerman

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Hepatitis C virus infects around 200 million people worldwide. Understanding immune responses to the virus could help to protect or cure people with Hepatitis C. Consultant in infectious diseases and in microbiology, Professor Paul Klenerman studies relationships between viruses and their human hosts, aiming to understand the immune system’s role in determining the outcome of viral infection.

Tropical Medicine in Kenya by Professor Kevin Marsh

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Malaria remains a major world health problem, particularly among children in Africa. Professor Kevin Marsh has a broad research interest in child health in the tropics, with a particular focus on the immune epidemiology of malaria. Consultant in infectious diseases and tropical medicine and based in Kenya, Professor Marsh is working on preventing and curing malaria in Africa.

Between research and humanitarian by Professor François Nosten

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Professor François Nosten's work concentrates on infectious diseases at the Thai-Burma border. The main focus of his research is on malaria, especially malaria in pregnant women and emerging drug resistance of malaria parasites. 

Rickettsial Disease by Professor Daniel Paris

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Professor Daniel Paris co-ordinates rickettsial research in Thailand and Laos. His major interests include the epidemiology, diagnostics, pathophysiology and immune response of rickettsial infections and typhus-like illnesses (Leptospirosis, Typhoid and Dengue) afflicting rural populations throughout Asia and beyond.

Consultants in Infectious Diseases

Poor quality medicines by Professor Paul Newton

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Poor quality medicines are a serious threat to our health. Falsified medicines and substandards medicines are a problem for all countries, but particularly for low and middle income countries where we see, for example, a large epidemic of fake anti-malarial drugs. Globally, better medicine regulatory authorities will help improve the quality of our medicines.

HIV and children in Africa by Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones

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HIV behaves very differently in children: while most adults are able to control the virus after infection, children often struggle to do so, resulting in an extremely high mortality rate. Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones aims to contribute to the design of vaccines and immunotherapies against HIV infection for adults and children.

Tuberculous meningitis by Professor Guy Thwaites

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Professor Guy Thwaites is the Director of Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Vietnam. He is trying to improve outcomes for patients with tuberculous meningitis, the most severe form of tuberculosis. An early diagnostic allows faster clinical intervention; improved treatments also increase chances of survival.

Artemisinin therapy for malaria by Professor Nick White

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Malaria kills more than half a million people every year. Following a number of groundbreaking clinical trials, Professor Nick White and his Thailand team successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of artemisinin drug therapy for malaria in adults, children and infants. He also pioneered artemisinin combination therapy, the first-line treatment for malaria worldwide.

Consultants in Internal Medicine

Malaria in Kenya by Professor Philip Bejon

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Understanding the variation of malaria risk between houses, villages or region, and how malaria is transmitted in and around that variability helps develop better malaria control programmes and use their resources more wisely. Since malaria control tools are becoming less effective with time, progress in vaccine design is essential.

Genetic variation in inflammation and immunity by Professor Julian Knight

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Genetic variation plays an important role in individual susceptibility to common diseases. Professor Julian Knight’s research focuses on how genetic variation between individuals affects the way immune and inflammatory genes are expressed. Improved understanding of genetic susceptibility to common diseases, will lead to more targeted and effective treatments for patients.

Epidemiology and malaria elimination by Professor Richard Maude

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Malaria epidemiology focuses on two main challenges to malaria elimination: antimalarial drug resistance and the movement of people that are spreading the malaria parasite. Travel surveys and cellphone records, combined with population parasite genetics help predict the spread of malaria and of drug resistance. Close coordination with all groups and agencies involved is crucial to malaria surveillance and elimination strategies.

Atherosclerosis & immunity by Professor Chris O'Callaghan

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The accumulation of fat in the arteries, such as cholesterol, can cause a thickening of the artery wall known as atherosclerosis. Consultant in acute general medicine and in nephrology, Professor Chris O'Callaghan is researching the role of the innate immune system in atherosclerosis, to better understand immune responses in vascular disease. This may lead to improved treatments.

Dengue diagnosis and management by Professor Bridget Wills

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The majority of people infected with the dengue virus experience a flu-like febrile illness, but in a small proportion of patients, particularly children, the virus causes the blood vessels to become leaky which can induce shock and lead to death. Improved diagnosis and understanding of the disease process enable better outcomes for patients with severe dengue.

Artemisinin Resistance by Dr Charlie Woodrow

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Artemisinins are very poweful tools in the treatment of malaria, and the emerging loss of their activity has the potential to create a major public health problem. Understanding how this resistance has developed and spread helps better treat patients, treat populations and eliminate malaria, which is the new goal in South East Asia.

Consultants in Medical Microbiology

Malaria and Global Health by Dr Climent Casals-Pascual

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In tropical countries, poor diagnosis of malaria often results in sub-optimal treatments. Dr Climent Casals-Pascual is currently researching the diagnosis and clinical management of severe malaria in tropical populations. The development of new tools to diagnose and manage malaria more effectively will significantly decrease morbidity and mortality in affected areas.

Consultants in Medical Microbiology and Virology

Tracking infections by Professor Derrick Crook

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Understanding how an infection spreads is vitally important for prevention. Whole genome sequencing of microorganisms allows us to construct family trees of infections, from donnor to recipients, and understand how microbes behave in general. Through its genetic code, we can also predict whether a germ is susceptible or resistant to a specific antibiotic, and give patients a more stratified and personalised treatment.

Microbiology in the tropics by Professor Paul Turner

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Infectious diseases are prevalent in Cambodia, a country that is struggling with poor infrastructure. Streptococcus pneumoniae causes the most severe form of pneumonia and is now targeted by the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Professor Paul Turner is studying the effect of this vaccine in field conditions in SE Asia, as well as other direct applications such as the evaluation of a new diagnostic test for Typhoid and interventions to reduce the burden of infections acquired within hospitals.

Consultants in Nephrology

Autoimmunity by Professor Richard Cornall 

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Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system, which is designed to attack pathogens, ends up attacking the body. This can lead to a number of diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Professor Richard Cornall aims to understand the causes of autoimmune disease and how people differ in their inherited susceptibility.

Renal Disease by Professor Chris Pugh

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Oxygen sensing mechanisms were first discovered as a result of studies on the production of the kidney hormone erythropoietin. Professor Chris Pugh is working on the oxygen sensing functions of the body to assist in designing better therapies for disorders that involve oxygenation problems, such as angina and cancer.

Consultants in Paediatrics

Better hospitals for children by Professor Mike English

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Professor Mike English leads the Health Services Unit at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. This unit aims to strengthen equality in access to affordable quality health care in Africa. Studies are based on health systems clustered around five main topics: malaria, service delivery & access, information for decision making, governance and financing.

Tropical neonatology by Dr Claudia Turner

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Whereas children mortality has dramatically decreased over the past 15 years, almost half the remaining mortality still occurs during the first 4 weeks of age. Neonatology, or care of newborns, doesn't need to be difficult or expensive. Low cost intervertions involving communities, such as keeping babies warm, save lives.

Consultants in Palliative Care

Palliative Care by Professor Bee Wee

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Due to advances in medicine prolonging the lives of those with progressive, life limiting diseases, the need for long-term palliative care has increased. Professor Wee is currently researching end of life care for people with incurable diseases, including symptom management and rehabilitation, to improve quality of life for patients.

Consultant Physicians

Genomics and Global Health by Professor Dominic Kwiatkowski

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In western Cambodia some malaria parasites are becoming increasingly resistant to artemisinin – the world’s number-one antimalarial treatment. By sequencing over 1000 parasite samples around the world, Professor Dominic Kwiatkowski has identified genetic information to assist in monitoring the spread of drug resistance, and to fight the global burden of malaria.

Consultants in Public Health

Sharing data to fight malaria by Professor Philippe Guérin

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Over 250 Institutions participate in the effort of sharing data on the efficacy of antimalarial drugs, which involves standardising and re-analysing data. Bringing all this data together creates new evidence that can be translated into policy practice, offering new therapeutic options for particular populations.

Consultants in Respiratory Medicine

A deep breath in by Professor Mona Bafadhel

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Mona Bafadhel studies the pathophysiology of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The two inflammatory phenotypes of COPD are clinically indistinguishable but have different treatment responses. Professor Bafadhel is working on the development of novel therapeutic strategies for COPD, particularly to treat the regular periods of worsened symptoms that patients experience.

Asthma by Professor Ian Pavord

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Ian Pavord is Professor of Respiratory Medicine and has been joint Chief Medical Advisor to Asthma UK since May 2008. He has developed new techniques to get a better idea about airway inflammation and uses this information to investigate the best treatments to prevent asthma attacks.

Respiratory Medicine by Professor Najib Rahman

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The pleura is a thin membrane that covers the surface of the lungs. Professor Najib Rahman specialises in areas of respiratory medicine including pleural disease and sleep ventilation conditions. Professor Rahman leads a team which conducts clinical studies aimed at improving our diagnosis and treatment of a number of respiratory diseases, at the Oxford Respiratory Trials Unit.