The world’s largest randomised clinical trial of potential coronavirus treatments is well underway in the UK as part of the race to find a treatment. A number of promising treatments are being tested and, if the science supports it, will be given to NHS patients as quickly as possible. The trial is being coordinated by NDM's Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health and Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health.
A team of medical researchers and bioethicists at Oxford University has published results today in Science that further our understanding of coronavirus transmission. Professor Christophe Fraser from the Big Data Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, a lead author on the Science paper explains, “We need a mobile contact tracing app to urgently support health services to control coronavirus transmission, target interventions and keep people safe". The project is co-led by Dr David Bonsall, who explains “The mobile app concept we’ve mathematically modelled is simple and doesn’t need to track your location; it uses a low-energy version of Bluetooth to log a memory of all the app users with whom you have come into close proximity over the last few days. If you then become infected, these people are alerted instantly and anonymously, and advised to go home and self-isolate".
A team of medical research and bioethics experts are supporting several European governments to explore the feasibility of a coronavirus mobile app for instant contact tracing. BDI's Professor Christophe Fraser explains, 'The instant mobile app concept is very simple. If you are diagnosed with coronavirus, the people you’ve recently come into contact with will be messaged advising them to isolate. If this mobile app is developed enough people opt-in, we can slow the spread of coronavirus.
Many congratulations to Prof Alison Simmons, who has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. Alison Simmons is a Professor of Gastroenterology in NDM and the MRC Human Immunology Unit, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. The Simmons lab works on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a debilitating condition that affects more than 300,000 people in the UK. In IBD, the protective barrier that separates gut luminal microbes from the mucosal immune system is disrupted, leading to inflammation.
In response the novel coronavirus emergency, the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) has activated its Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) for emerging infections in England and Scotland.
It is with profound sadness that we learnt of the death of our colleague Professor Vincenzo Cerundolo FRS. Professor Cerundolo was Director of the MRC Human Immunology Unit at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine. He had previously been a long time member of NDM. He leaves a loving wife and two children, of whom he was very proud. Enzo was particularly happy to have been able to enjoy seeing his daughter marry in 2019 and for his son to have a successful start to university life. He will be greatly missed.
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