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Prof. Kirsty Le Doare
Professor Le Doare joined the SGUL from Imperial College London in September 2018 as part of the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group. She trained as a clinician-scientist in Paediatric Infectious Diseases in the UK, the Gambia and South Africa. Kirsty holds a Chair in Vaccinology and Immunology and is a Principal Scientist at MRC/UVRI@LSHTM in Uganda where she is developing a maternal vaccine platform and surveillance of pregnancy outcomes in a large urban cohort. She was awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in 2019.
In the UK and in Uganda her main research interests are age-related immune responses to infectious diseases in pregnant women and their babies. She is interested in improving our knowledge of how maternal antibody in blood and breast milk is passed to babies and how this protects them from colonisation and disease and how we might improve this with vaccination. Her group leads several clinical trials of investigative vaccines in Uganda.
Professor Le Doare is jointly appointed to Public Health England as a principal scientist with the Pathogen Immunity Group, Porton Down.
Madeleine is a Programme Manager for Prof. Kirsty Le Doare in the CNPI. Madeleine holds an MSc in Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Madeleine’s research interest is determinants of health and infectious diseases. Her previous experience has provided her with a strong foundation in clinical research, with a focus in project management.
Senior Clinical Study Manager
Natalie is a Senior Clinical Study Manager with a background in HEI/NHS research support. Her position forms part of the Centre for Neonatal and Paediatric Infection (CNPI) Project Management team, who are responsible for the project management, financial planning and reporting activities of Researchers within CNPI. Her role entails supporting and coordinating the delivery of a range of ongoing neonatal and paediatric research activities, primarily entailing clinical and laboratory studies of Group B Streptococcus (GBS), that causes disease and death in infancy, and studies of COVID-19.
Two of the projects which Natalie is currently supporting include Professor Kirsty Le Doare’s EDCTP funded projects ‘PREPARE’ and ‘periCOVID Africa’. PREPARE is a project with six work packages, including cohort studies and two CTIMPS investigating new maternal vaccinations to prevent GBS disease in infants across South Africa and Uganda. periCOVID Africa is an international project with three work packages, including a cohort study, which aims to understand COVID-19 infections in pregnant women and their babies in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and The Gambia.
Clinical Study Manager
Rakan is a Clinical Trial Manager in the Immunology team working on Prof Kirsty Le Doare’s PREPARE project. Rakan holds a MSc in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, and a BSc in Biochemistry from Cardiff University. Before joining the St George’s team, his previous experience in clinical research was commercially based within a CRO, with a focus on RSV vaccines.
Rakan’s research interests are aimed towards global clinical studies surrounding infectious disease.
Immunology Team Administrator
Joseph supports the project management of a range of Prof Le Doare’s studies at the CNPI across both the UK and Uganda. His role involves supporting the delivery of ongoing neonatal and paediatric research by monitoring research activity, working with research practitioners across a large range of sites to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and Good Clinical Practice, and liaising with a range of external partners and international collaborators. He also supports researchers throughout the timeline of clinical research, from the preparation of grant applications to the publication of research outputs.
Alongside his work at SGUL, Joseph is currently pursuing an MSc in Medical Anthropology at UCL. His interests cut across various anthropological aspects of antimicrobial resistance, mental health, and psychobiotics.
Laboratory Research Manager
Tom’s work within the Le Doare lab involves using serological assays (ELISA and multiplex immunoassays) to measure antibody responses to neonatal infectious diseases, such as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and B. pertussis.
Tom’s role is to manage the laboratory to ensure a smooth process from sample reception to antibody testing and result reporting. He also leads on the development of new antibody tests.
Tom’s general interests include the use of serological assays and their application to disease epidemiology and vaccine development. He has previously worked in pneumococcal vaccine trials, malaria epidemiology, and Ebola diagnostics.
Olwenn joined the lab team of Prof Kirsty Le Doare in 2020 as a technician, after completing a Master in Infectiology (Lyon I).
Olwenn’s current work on Group B Streptococcus and Bordetella pertussis involves the development of immunological assays for antibody measurement, the quality control of results, and data analysis.
Clinical Research Fellow
Dr. Hannah Davies
Hannah’s background is in clinical medicine, she specialises in paediatrics with an interest in surveillance of infectious diseases, particularly those that occur in the perinatal period. Hannah’s clinical experience has been divided between the UK and Africa, where she is currently the study coordinator for the ProGreSs study – a large cohort study of mothers and infants based in Kampala, Uganda, that aims to determine the levels of protective antibody against Group B Streptococcus that are passed from mothers to their babies during pregnancy, comparing antibody levels in babies.
Hannah is currently developing a proposal for a higher degree in clinical epidemiology.
Clinical Research Fellow
Dr. Kostas Karampatsas
Kostas is a senior paediatric trainee, working clinically at St George’s Hospital, London. Kostas graduated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2007 and finished his MA in Anthropology of Body and Health at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2010. Currently, Kostas is a Clinical Research Fellow working with the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group in St. George’s University of London on projects around maternal immunisation. He is particularly interested in exploring the potential of maternal immunization as a feasible and accessible strategy to improve global health.
Clinical Research Fellow
Dr. Melissa Chowdhury
Dr. Melissa Chowdhury is a Clinical Research Fellow currently based in Kampala, Uganda. She is helping to coordinate PREPARE:WP4, which is a placebo controlled clinical trial investigating the safety and immunogenicity of Group B streptococcus 6-valent polysaccharide conjugate vaccine in pregnant women with and without HIV infection and their infants. She is an Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine Registrar with an interest in infections in the immunocompromised host. She has experience in working with patients living with HIV both in the UK and overseas, which also includes previous work in India with Médecins sans Frontières.
Academic Clinical Lecturer
Dr. Nuria Sanchez Clemente
Dr Sanchez Clemente is a paediatric registrar and NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in paediatric infection and immunity at St. George’s University, London. Her academic and clinical interests are around congenital infections, neglected tropical diseases, health inequalities and migrant health.
In 2010, as part of an MSc in Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Dr Sanchez Clemente travelled to the Peruvian Andes to undertake the first systematic review on Peruvian Bartonellosis. From 2014-2017, while living in Brazil, she did a PhD on congenital Zika syndrome, studying the perinatal outcomes of a Zika pregnancy cohort in the state of Sao Paulo. Since then, she has continued to work with teams in Brazil as well as the LSHTM and WHO to study the long term consequences for children born with congenital Zika infection and the wider impacts on their families and societies.
Dr Sanchez Clemente’s more recent academic and clinical interests are around migrant health and health inequalities, and she is studying large primary care datasets in order to compare patterns of paediatric primary and secondary healthcare usage between migrants and non-migrants in the UK. As a volunteer with Doctors of the World, Dr Sanchez Clemente has also been analysing maternal and postnatal outcomes of undocumented migrants in the UK. In the last year she has also been working on the ‘Respond’ Refugee Family Project at UCLH, which has involved qualitative research and the design of pathways for newly arrived asylum seeking children and young people to better understand and meet their needs in terms of infectious disease screening, mental health assessments, and safeguarding.
During her ACL, Dr Sanchez Clemente also plans to work with the UKHSA to study current patterns of COVID and primary immunisation uptake in the UK by deprivation index and ethnicity.
Academic Clinical Fellow
Dr. Sarah Sturrock
Dr Sturrock is an Academic Clinical Fellow and paediatric trainee working with Prof Le Doare’s team. Her current projects include the periCOVID study, looking at seroepidemiology, antibody transfer and neonatal outcomes following maternal COVID-19 infection in pregnancy, as well as the NeoMiniGut study of neonatal gut organoids.
Clinical Trials Manager
Dr. Mary Kyohere
A Ugandan trained medical doctor, holding an MSc Global Health from University College London, with over a decade of experience working in, coordinating and managing clinical research studies in communities and health facilities in low resource settings. I have also been involved in public health engagement projects aimed at promoting maternal vaccination among women of child-bearing age and knowledge of COVID-19 spread and prevention among primary school aged children.
Currently managing the iGBS3 study, that seeks to provide evidence that the relationship between an immune marker value (anti-GBS IgG concentration) and the probability of invasive GBS (iGBS) disease in infants less than 90 days of age is sufficiently strong that a vaccine able to induce an immune response will lead to a meaningful decrease in the probability of iGBS disease.
- Makerere University Johns Hopkins University (MUJHU) Care Ltd| MUJHU Research Collaboration
- IMPRINT Network
Cemal Çağıl Kocana
Alex is an undergraduate student currently completing their sandwich year as a lab technician in the CNPI Immunology team.
Alex’s role involves maintenance and calibration of lab equipment, sample reception and processing, and running Luminex assays as part of a research project.
Alex’s undergraduate degree is a BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, and his interests lie primarily in the field of antibodies and immunology.
Justin joined the lab of Prof Le Doare in January 2023 to complete his end-of-studies masters internship and determine the IgA response of a combined pertussis (Tdap) vaccine from breastmilk samples of immunocompetent and immunocompromised mothers enrolled in a randomized clinical trial in Uganda. He is an Erasmus+ Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in Leading International Vaccinology Education (EMJMD LIVE) student at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France and a part-time biology lecturer in Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.
Before moving to Europe in August 2021, Justin gained a BSc in Life Sciences with Minors in Health and Development and Chinese Studies from Ateneo de Manila University, and has extensive experience in leading student-led projects and organizations, such as his former role as President of Ateneo Biological Organization which advocates for biodiversity, bio-education, and animal welfare. He was also the Events Manager of the first-ever international Vaccinext Symposium, a day-long, in-person and online event which was attended by participants coming from different parts of the world in order to gain insights from Early Career Researchers pursuing innovations in vaccinology.
Scientific Communications and Engagement Officer
I support all teams across the CNPI to raise awareness of scientific outputs and current research, share the Centre’s vision, and shape engagement with the public and external collaborators on adult, paediatric, and neonatal research.