Prof Judith Breuer, Clinical Professor of Virology at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Consultant Clinical Virologist at GOSH, Head of the UCL Pathogen Genomics Unit (PGU).
Judy is currently CI of the Precision AMR NIHR funded 3.3M grant at UCL involving researchers and clinicians from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Institute of Child Health (ICH), UCL and UCL Hospital (UCLH). The aim of the grant is to accelerate the development of AMR diagnostic, behavioural and interventional tools and their early implementation into clinical practice. She is also CI on the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award “ Why do Norovirus pandemics occur and how can we prevent them”. Data from this award is providing new insights the likely origins of new pandemic variants and how pandemic norovirus variants interact with pre-existing host immunity. Judy also has major funding to work on herpesvirus pathogenesis, in the main cytomegalovirus and varicella zoster virus. She is CI on the national urgent public health study COG-UK Hospital Onset Covid Infection which is examining how genomics can be used for control of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in hospitals.
Judy’s research interests include pathogen genomics, molecular epidemiology, and pathogen genetic determinants of infectious disease. She is an expert in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies applied to pathogen detection and identification of antimicrobial resistance using culture-independent methods.
Judy's work has pioneered the development of rapid methods to detect resistance mutations in hard-to-culture pathogens including viruses. As a practising clinical virologist, she has used nonlinear mixed effects modelling of sequence data from treated viruses to change the management of cytomegalovirus in patients receiving stem cell transplants. In addition Judy has implemented the first UK diagnostic metagenomics services for pathogen detection in cases where an infectious aetiology is suspected but not confirmed by existing tests. Results show an unsuspected pathogen in 30% of cases. In cases of encephalitis, ruling out an infectious cause has enabled aggressive treatment with immunosuppressive agents.