UCL Health of the Public



The 'Coronavirus: The Whole Story' podcast highlights UCL's interdisciplinary expertise on Covid-19 - focusing on its management, mitigation, eventual halt, and preparing for a post-coronavirus world.

This series is produced by UCL Communications and Marketing with support from UCL Health of the Public, the Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement), and UCL Grand Challenges (Office of the Vice-Provost (Research).

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/87CEG57a

Podcast - episode 1

Episode 1: What happens to you in intensive care

This week we’re exploring what happens inside intensive care.

With special guests Professor Hugh Montgomery, Director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance and Mervyn Singer, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine.

Podcasts - episode 2

Episode 2: How can we track the virus?

This week we're discussing social distancing and current efforts to monitor the spread of COVID-19.

With special guests Professor Andrew Hayward, Director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, and Dr Eleni Nastouli, Consultant Clinical Virologist paediatrician. 

Podcast ep 3

Episode 3: What are the exit strategies?

This week we’re discussing how, and when, the lockdown in the UK might end.

With special guests Paul Ormerod, Visiting Professor at the UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty and Professor David Alexander, Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction.

podcast episode 5

Episode 5: How is it affecting our mental health?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and we’re exploring the impact of coronavirus on people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Hear from UCL experts Dr Daisy Fancourt, Dr Jo Billings and Dr Rochelle Burgess.

Episode 6 podcast

Episode 6: What can we learn from the history of pandemics?

This week we're looking into the past, teasing apart the surprising similarities and learnings from previous pandemics.

With special guests Prof Graham Hart (Professor of Sexual Health and HIV Research), Prof Dame Anne Johnson (Professor of Infectious Disease) and Dr John Sabapathy (Senior Lecturer in Medieval History)

Podcast ep 7

Episode 7: How close are we to finding a cure?

In this special edition, made for the Cheltenham Science Festival at home, we’re exploring how we tackle and track the virus.

With special guests Prof Suzanne Farid, (Professor of Bioprocess Systems Engineering), Dr Richard Angell (Principal Research Associate, Translational Research Office), Prof Francois Balloux (Chair in Computational Biology Systems Biology) and Judith Breuer (Professor of Virology).

Podcast episode 9

Episode 9: How has the pandemic highlighted BAME inequalities?

This week we are addressing the recent report on disparities in the risks and outcomes of Covid-19 and discussing other issues of inequality during the pandemic.

With UCL experts, Dr Rob Aldridge, Associate Professor and Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow at the Institute of Health Informatics, Professor Nishi Chaturvedi, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the UCL Institute of Child Health and Dr Delanjathan Devakumar, Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Health at the UCL Institute for Global Health.

podcast ep 10

Episode 10: What does a physically distant COVID world look like?

This week, as lockdown continues to ease, we are talking about how to stay safe (and alert) both at home and out in the world. 

With special guests Prof Nick Tyler (Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering), Dr Gregory Thompson (Strategic Lead for Performance Creative & Applied Humanities) and Prof Mark Miodownik (Director of the Institute of Making).

Podcast ep 11

Episode 11: Proud to Help

How did UCL staff and students support the pandemic at its peak?

Our guests Prof David Lomas (Vice-Provost Health) and Dr Sophie Bracke (Medicine batch 2020) talk about the challenge to respond rapidly, the brilliant teamwork they found in the hospital, and how the experience was both humbling and unforgettable.

Podcast - ep 13

Episode 13: How will our children recover from lockdown?

As the coronavirus pandemic in the UK approaches its sixth month, we’re taking a look at the long-term impact of lockdown and subsequent school closures on our nation’s children and young people.

With special guests Dr Amelia Roberts (Principal Teaching Fellow, UCL Institute of Education), Dr Lee Hudson (Clinical Associate Professor at the GOSH UCL Institute of Child Health) and Shafina Vohra (IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society alumna, psychology teacher and PhD student).

Ep 14 podcast

Episode 14: How has the pandemic changed arts and culture?

As one of the hardest hit sectors of all, this week we're looking at how museums and theatres are re-imagining the arts. 

With special guests Prof Stella Bruzzi (Dean, UCL Arts & Humanities), Catriona Wilson (Head, UCL Petrie Museum) and Anneliese Graham (Programming Director, Sadler's Wells Theatre).

Ep 15

Episode 15: How do we kick-start the economy?

With the possibility of the UK entering the deepest recession in 300 years, we're exploring some of the practical ways we can help the economy bounce back. 

With special guests Prof Wendy Carlin (Professor of Economics) and Dr Celia Caulcott (Vice-Provost Enterprise).

ep 16podcast.png

Episode 16: When will we have a vaccine?

With more than 140 candidate vaccines now tracked by the World Health Organization, we speak to three key UCL researchers to find out what progress has been made.

With special guests Prof Sarah Edwards (Professor of Bioethics, Dept of Science & Technology Studies), Prof Eli Keshavarz Moore (Professor of Bioprocess Science & Enterprise, Dept of Biochemical Engineering) and Dr Sudaxshina Murdan (Reader in Pharmaceutics, UCL School of Pharmacy).

Ep 17 podcast

Episode 17: What's happening to healthcare during the pandemic?

This week we're exploring the impact of the pandemic on non-covid patients. Find out how cancer diagnosis & treatments are being managed & how some neurologists are looking after patients online.

With special guests Dr Amitava Banerjee (Clinical Senior Lecturer Honorary Consultant in Cardiology), Prof Nick Ward (Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurorehabilitation)  and Prof Georgios Lyratzopoulos (Professor of Cancer Epidemiology).

Podcast ep 18

Episode 18: Can AI save us?

Find out how AI is helping us navigate the gradual return to normal life and explore with us how the pandemic has changed how we should use AI in the future.

With special guests Prof Kate Jones (Chair of Ecology & Biodiversity, Division of Biosciences), Dr Michael Veale (Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation, Laws) and Dr Ali Parsa (UCL Alumnus & CEO of Babylon).

Coronavirus: the whole story

Episode 19: Is it time to go back to the office?

As the UK is encouraging more people to go back to the office, we're thinking about what kind of workplace we might be returning to and how to get there safely.

With special guests Dr Lena Ciric (Senior Lecturer at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering), Dr Simon Addyman (Associate Professor in Project Management, The Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment) and Dr Kerstin Sailer (Reader in Social and Spatial Networks, The Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment).

Podcast ep 20

Episode 20: How do we safely return to university life?

As universities re-open for the start of term, we hear from three UCL experts about how we can return safely to university life.

With special guests Professor Geraint Rees (Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences), Professor Norbert Pachler (Pro-Vice-Provost: Digital Education), and Carol Paige (Democracy, Operations and Community Officer, UCL Students’ Union).

Podcast ep 21

Episode 21: How do we cope with isolation?

As the situation evolves rapidly and rules continue to change, we're talking about isolation - coming out of it, and going back into it and how to cope mentally and emotionally. 

With special guests Dr Kevin Fong (Consultant Anaesthetist & Anaesthetic Lead for Major Incident Planning UCLH), Prof Peter Fonagy (Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, Brain Sciences) and Prof Carey Jewitt (Professor of Learning and Technology, IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society).

Ep 22 podcast

Episode 22: Could COVID be the great equaliser?

This week, we’re joined by an anthropologist, an engineer and a political scientist to explore inequality from a global perspective, and to see if we can find some solutions.

With special guests Prof Dame Henrietta Moore (Founder and Director of the Institute of Global Prosperity, The Bartlett), Prof Cathy Holloway (Professor & Academic Director, Global Disability Innovation Hub, Engineering Sciences) and Dr Tom Pegram (Associate Professor in Global Governance, SHS).

Podcast ep 23

Episode 23: What does Europe & the EU mean in a COVID world?

This week’s episode is all about Brexit - what could have been the greatest challenge the UK had faced in several decades if it didn’t have to compete with a global pandemic.

With special guests Prof Uta Staiger (Executive Director of the EI and UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost for Europe), Prof Piet Eeckhout (Dean of Laws and EU expert) and Prof Christina Pagel (Professor of Operational Research, Department of Mathematics).

podcast ep 24

Episode 24: Could COVID-19 save the planet?

This week, we speak to UCL experts from the school of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and The Bartlett, Faculty of the Built Environment, to explore the role COVID-19 has played in the climate crisis. 

With special guests Prof Jacquie McGlade (Professor of Natural Prosperity, Sustainable Development and Knowledge Systems), Prof Chris Rapley (Professor of Climate Science) and Dr Rachel Freeman (Research Fellow in Energy Transitions).

podcast ep 25

Episode 25: Could COVID trump Trump?

With US election night looming, this week’s episode is all about the role that Coronavirus is playing in voter decisions in America.

With special guests Dr Julie Norman (Teaching Fellow in Politics and International Relations, Department of Political Science) and Dr Nick Witham (Associate Professor of United States History, UCL Institute of the Americas).

Podcast ep 26

Episode 26: Will a national lockdown save the Christmas break?

This week, we're back on home soil and attempting to answer the question everyone wants to know the answer to – will a national lockdown save Christmas?

With special guests Prof Dame Anne Johnson (Professor of Infectious Disease), Prof John Tomaney (Professor of Urban and Regional Planning) and Prof James Cheshire (Professor of Geographic Information and Cartography).

Podcast ep 27

Episode 27: How can we all help schools and school children during the pandemic?

In this episode, we explore how the pandemic has affected local schools and communities.

With special guests Prof Louise Archer (Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education), (Dr Elpida Makrygianni, Engineering Education Developer and Coordinator), Tiwa Jayeola (recent graduate of MSc in Civil Geomatic and Environmental Engineering and tutor in UCL's engineering tutoring programmes).


Episode 28: How is the pandemic affecting women?

This week, we explore how loneliness, isolation, domestic abuse, and fertility and family planning issues have affected women during the pandemic.

With special guests Dr Daisy Fancourt (Associate Professor, Institute of Epidemiology & Health) and Dr Tamjid Mujtaba (Principal Research Fellow, UCL Institute of Education).

podcast - ep 29

Episode 29: How is the pandemic affecting pregnancies & new parents?

This week, we speak to three researchers who have spent lockdown investigating how coronavirus has affected fertility, pregnancy and parenting.

With special guests Dr Zeynep Gurtin (Lecturer in Women’s Health at the Institute for Women’s Health), Dr Jenny Hall (Clinical Associate Professor and NIHR Advanced fellow at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health), and Prof Mary Fewtrell (Professor of Paediatric Nutrition at the UCL GOS Institute of Child Health).

ep 30 podcast

Episode 30: What can we learn from Africa's response to the pandemic?

In this week’s episode, we explore why we haven’t seen the levels of infection and deaths expected in Africa and what we can learn from their response to the pandemic. 

With special guests Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu (UCL Pharmaceutical Science) and Professor Ibrahim Abubakar (UCL Global Health).

podcast ep 31

Episode 31: Has justice been served during the pandemic?

In this week’s episode, we explore how the pandemic has impacted the justice system over the last nine months.

With special guests Professor Dame Hazel Genn (Faculty of Laws) and Professor Cheryl Thomas QC (Faculty of Laws).

podcast ep 32

Episode 32: Is the vaccine the beginning of the end?

Last week, after months of clinical trials, the first handful of people became the first in the world to receive a COVID vaccine, marking the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. In this week's episode, we highlight the extraordinary achievement that this represents.

With special guest Professor Martina Micheletti (Professor of Bioprocess Fluid Dynamics).

podcast ep 33

Episode 33: 2020 Wrapped Up

To kick off the new year, we take a look back at 2020 and the lessons we've learned throughout the pandemic. 

This episode features interview exerts from experts from medicine, engineering, psychology, education, political science, sociology and many more.

Ep 34 podcast

Episode 34: How can we make healthcare fairer after COVID-19?

In this week’s episode, we’re embodying the January spirit of new year’s resolutions and looking to the future to see what needs to happen to make our communities safer and fairer.

With special guest Professor Sir Michael Marmot (Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity, and Past President of the World Medical Association.)

Podcast ep 35

Episode 35: New strains and vaccine roll-outs: a shot of hope?

In this episode, we speak to UCL experts from the Department of Primary Care & Population Health and the Faculty of Population Health Sciences to find out more about how the vaccine roll-out works, and whether it will work on the new variant of the virus.

With special guests Professor Martin Marshall, Professor Deenan Pillay and Professor Helen Bedford.

Ep 36 podcast

Episode 36: How can we protect our mental health during the pandemic?

This week, we speak to UCL experts to find out how the pandemic is affecting our mental health, and how we can protect it. 

With special guests Prof Anthony David (Professor of Mental Health Director & Sackler Chair, UCL Institute of Mental Health) and Dr Michael Bloomfield (Principal Research Fellow, Division of Psychiatry Faculty of Brain Sciences).

Podcast ep 37

Episode 37: How can we juggle parenting, home schooling and play?

In this week’s episode, we’re discussing home-schooling & play, home-working, parenting - and how to juggle them all. 

With special guests: Dr Sandra Leaton Gray(Institute of Education), Prof Lorraine Sherr (Faculty of Pop Health Sciences) and Prof John Potter (Institute of Education).

Ep 38 podcast

Episode 38: Is public transport safe?

This week, we find out if it's safe to travel and what we need to know when making longer journeys.

With special guests: Sarah Beale (PhD Researcher, UCL Institute of Health Informatics), Dr Paul McGovern (Honorary Senior Teaching Fellow, UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health) and Dr Richard Peters (Chief Medical Officer, Network Rail).

Episode 40 podcast

Episode 40: Can we have a summer holiday this year?

In this week’s episode, we speak to three UCL experts to learn more about international travel during the pandemic and what we can expect in the future.

With special guests: Prof Andreas Schafer (UCL Energy Institute), Prof Sir Jonathan Montgomerry (Faculty of Laws) and Kirsty Dias-Watson (UCL Alumna & PriestmanGoode Director)

Ep 41 podcast

Episode 41: What can we do to help young people recover from the pandemic?

 An International Women’s Day Special. As children across the UK start heading back to the classroom, we speak to two leading academics to hear about the projects they're involved with to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

With special guests Professor Monica Lakhanpaul (UCL Population Health Science) and Dr Amelia Roberts (IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society).

Ep 42 podcast

Episode 42: Why are some black people hesitant about the vaccine?

In this episode we explore some of the differences in uptake in communities across the UK, with around 70% of Black people reporting that they're unlikely to have the jab.

With special guests from the Royal Free Hospital in London: Mr Leye Ajayi, Dr Lola Emanuel-Kole, Dr Taj Fregene and Chris Brew-Graves.

Ep 43 podcast

Episode 43: One year on - What do we know now?

Almost a year to the day since the UK first went into lock down, we speak to two researchers from the UCL School of Pharmacy and the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences about that year. 

With special guests Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) and Prof Susan Michie (UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences).

Ep 44 podcast

Episode 44: How do we build pandemic resilience?

This week, we speak to two UCL experts to find out what we can do to help mitigate the long-term harms of coronavirus and reduce the risk of future pandemics.

With special guests Professor Sir Richard Blundell (ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy) and Julia Kreienkamp (UCL Global Governance Institute).

Ep 45 podcast

Episode 45: Why should you get tested for COVID-19?

This week, we speak to three UCL experts to find out how testing is helping us address the pandemic, and why it is it still important.

With special guests Becky Whitham (Office of Vice Provost - Health), Sian Minett (UCL Estates), and Prof Irene Petersen (Faculty of Population Health Sciences). 

Ep 46 podcast

Episode 46: What does the future of work look like?

This week, we bring together two UCL experts to talk us through the future of work, and how COVID-19 has the potential to change things for the better.

With special guests Prof Anna Cox (Professor & Vice Dean Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) and Dave Cook (PhD Candidate, UCL Anthropology).

Ep 47 podcast

Ep 47:What’s happening in Westminster?

This week marks one year since we launched our first episode of Coronavirus: The Whole Story. In today’s episode, we speak to three UCL experts to hear about how much has changed in that time, looking specifically at government and the law. 

With special guests Prof Jeff King (Faculty of Laws), Prof Meg Russell (The Constitution Unit) and Dr Melanie Smallman (Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences).

Ep 48 podcast

Episode 48: Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

With the recent news that under-40s are going to be offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, we speak to two UCL experts to explore the risks and benefits of coronavirus vaccines.

With special guests Prof Marie Scully (UCLH) and Prof Bryony Dean Franklin (UCL School of Pharmacy).

Ep. 49 podcast

Episode 49: What's happening in India?

In this week’s episode, we speak to two UCL experts to discuss the current crisis in India, their deadly second wave and what can be done to help.

With special guests Dr Vageesh Jain (UCL Institute for Global Health) and Dr Shikta Das (UCL Cardiovascular Science).

Ep 50 podcast

Episode 50: What is Long COVID?

In our 50th episode, we explore the long-term physical and psychological effects of COVID.

With special guests Dr Michael Zandi  (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) and Dr Alexandra Burton (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health).

Ep 51 podcast

Episode 51: How have our shopping habits changed?

In this week’s episode, we explore how the pandemic has affected our shopping habits, from delivery apps, to online purchasing, to the “death” of the highstreet.

With special guest Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology).

Ep 52 podcast

Episode 52: Are we already experiencing a third wave?

In our penultimate episode, we speak to two UCL experts about the lockdown extension, a potential third wave here in the UK, and its impact on the public.

With special guests Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Division of Biosciences) and Dr Keri Wong (IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society).

Ep 53 podcast

Episode 53: What does the future look like?

Listen to the highlights of our series finale, recorded live on 21 July 2021.

With special guests: Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Health of the Public), Professor Deenan Pillay (Division of Infection & Immunity), Professor Susan Michie (UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences) and Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health).