University College London is one of the world’s multi-disciplinary universities, operating in a global context and committed to excellence, innovation and the promotion of global understanding in all its activities: research, teaching, learning, entrepreneurship and community engagement. UCL research addresses the great challenges facing the world, bringing benefits in health, culture, policy, business and beyond.
Our distinctive approach to research, education and innovation will further inspire our community of staff, students and partners to transform how the world is understood, how knowledge is created and shared and the way that global problems are solved.
London’s Global University: a diverse intellectual community, engaged with the wider world and committed to changing it for the better; recognised for our radical and critical thinking and its widespread influence; with an outstanding ability to integrate our education, research, innovation and enterprise for the long-term benefit of humanity.
Centre for Clinical Microbiology, Institute for Global Health and Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research represent the UCL’s commitment with Pandora Consortium development. We are involved throughout the project, including Coordination (WP1); Capacity building and training (WP2); Epidemiological, surveillance (WP3); Data collection (WP6) and Engaging policy makers (WP7).
Our approach involves identification and strengthening of suitable existing clinical centres and developing new research networks across all African regions, which will increase synergy among partnerships at national, regional and international levels. Systematic analyses are being performed to indicate relative strengths and weakness with respect to outbreak response preparedness for each member state, and we will deliver a range of target training and capacity development actions, including short-term skills training for front-line staff at the national referral centres, who need to be able to offer diagnostic services and clinical care to known and novel emerging infectious diseases. We will also provide higher-level research skills training for research personnel as well as provide long term career progression opportunities (MSc and PhD) for outstanding candidates with leadership potential from all African partner sites.
The panel of diagnostic tests will be expanded by increasing laboratory diagnostic capability in classical microbiology, serology, pathology and molecular biology methods. Mobile lab units will be strengthened and upgraded and lab personnel will be trained for short response time during outbreaks. During inter-epidemic period we will develop and validate evidence based standardized procedures for diagnosis, clinical management and treatment of patients potentially infected with epidemic/pandemic agents suitable for different levels of health facilities and access to medical services and treatments.
Careful data collection and management is a vital component in this project. Thus, we will develop a common understanding of the need for and existing systems of best practice for data collection, collation, sharing and analysis to inform disease outbreak management. It will be possible to develop harmonized and adaptable databases to allow rapid sharing of high-quality clinical trial data, surveillance and biological samples across sites.
Finally, we are helping countries to implement the International Health Regulations (IHR) through Joint External Evaluations and improved IHR monitoring, strengthening WHO capacity and establishment of Africa CDCs units. Our activities will help to understand and navigate this rapidly evolving policy landscape around Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) control. We will assess and identify actors across the One Health spectrum that are important in driving effective responses to EID outbreaks, which will allow us to define policy options for EID control that are both effective and appropriate for the political and institutional context.
The aim of the Centre for Clinical Microbiology, based at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, is to apply new technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the patients served by its partner hospitals. The CCM has global collaborations and projects, which are anchored in and informed by the experience developed at UCL.
One of the CCM’s research priorities is antimicrobial resistance and it has programmes focused on enhanced detection and management of resistant organisms, particularly in the hospital environment. The work of the CCM has an emphasis on respiratory infection with studies on the microbiome and resistome in patients with chronic lung disease such as COPD. A significant element of the CCMs work is to contribute to all stages of the TB drug development pathway with projects on evaluation of new compounds as well as supporting the laboratory aspects of phase II and III clinical trials. The CCM, in partnership with the TB Alliance acts as a central laboratory for multi-centre clinical trials working towards registration of new treatment regimens for tuberculosis. An underlying theme is the development of biomarkers of treatment outcome, whether transcriptomic analysis of in vitro treatments or the more complex picture of monitoring outcome in patients.
An important element of the work of the CCM is capacity development, we provide training for laboratory scientists both on site and in London participating in several networks designed to enhance skills in microbiology laboratories. A recent collaboration is with colleagues in the Bartlett to develop the Biosafety Design Initiative, which undertakes training and research focused on reducing transmission of infections in the built environment.
The Institute for Global Health’s unique, cross-disciplinary approach is reflected throughout its research and teaching. The institute’s staff and students undertake work and research in the real world, collaborating with communities at all levels, and offering workable solutions for policy makers. The Institute for Global Health implements UCL’s Grand Challenge of Global Health, a cross disciplinary initiative to provide innovative, workable solutions to global health problems. Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to our approach to research, teaching and beyond.
Health data is increasing in size and complexity and the UK has some of the richest health data in the world. The UCL Institute of Health Informatics specialises in utilising this data to develop a better understanding of diseases on a national and international scale. The Institute is home to a unique range of research expertise and outstanding talent resulting in highly impactful research using large scale data and advanced analytics.
UCL Department of Science and
Technology Studies (STS) is a university research and teaching centre for the
integrated study of history of science, philosophy of science, science policy,
and sociology of science.