UCL Division of Infection & Immunity

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Centre for Clinical Microbiology

The Centre for Clinical Microbiology at UCL combines internationally renowned academic, research and clinical expertise in microbiology.

Centre Director: Professor Timothy D McHugh, Graduate Tutor for the Faculty of Medical Science.

The Centre for Clinical Microbiology (CCM) is a constituent research group in the Research Department of Infection within the Division of Infection and Immunity and its UCL staff are located at the Royal Free Campus. 

Members of the Centre are also at UCLH and Royal Free Hospital London NHS Trust Departments of Medical Microbiology and many of our staff hold joint or honorary appointments across the institutions. Through research collaborations and joint appointments, CCM also includes colleagues from Public Health England (PHE) and HSL, a partnership between The Doctors Laboratory, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust that provides pathology services.  We have close ties to the UCL-TB and Microbiology@UCL networks.

The aim of the Centre for Clinical Microbiology is to apply new technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the patients served by our partner hospitals. We have global collaborations and projects, these are anchored in and informed by the experience developed at UCL.

Funding & Collaborations

London is a cosmopolitan city and this provides an exciting environment to study infectious diseases, however, our work in London is placed into a global context by our international collaborations of which our relationships with UTH, Lusaka, Zambia (led by Professor Zumla) and KCMC, Moshi, Tanzania (led by Professor Tim McHugh from the Royal Free) are the longest established. Whilst focussed on delivery of high quality research, relevant to the location, our collaborations have been underpinned by a commitment to capacity development both in people and infrastructure.  

A number of researchers in the Centre are part of UCL's Institute for Global Health and the Institute's Grand Challenges programme; you can find out more about the Institute here.

Research in the Centre reflects the challenges presented by a diagnostic service in central London, thus our main research themes are:

  • Molecular diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Mycology
  • Respiratory infections
  • Evolution of antibiotic resistance
  • Hospital Acquired Infection

Support for our work comes from substantial funding from the EU, EDCTP (read more here), MRC, Wellcome Trust , NIHR and the Gates Foundation amongst others. 


10 Recent Publications

Most publications by staff at the Centre can be found on UCL Discovery: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/

Below is a selection of 10 from March to May 2013

Professor Graham Rook

(1) Rook et al (2013) Microbial "Old Friends", immunoregulation and psychiatric disorders. In "The gut mictobiome and the nervous system, Volume 26 (Heidt et al, eds), Old Herborn University, Herborn 61.
Link: http://www.old-herborn-university.de/literature/book/OHUni_book_26_article_6.pdf

Professor A Zumla: Publications of Research Group

(2) Authors: Al-Hajoj S, Varghese B, Shoukri MM, Al-Omari R, Al-Herbwai M, Alrabiah F, Alrajhi AA, Abuljadayel N, Al-Thawadi S, Zumla A, Zignol M, Raviglione MC, Memish Z.
Title: Epidemiology of antituberculosis drug resistance in saudi arabia: findings of the first national survey.
Journal/Ref: Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 May;57(5):2161-6. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02403-12. Epub 2013 Mar 4.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23459478

(3) Authors: Bates M, Mudenda V, Mwaba P, Zumla A.
Title: Deaths due to respiratory tract infections in Africa: a review of autopsy studies.
Journal/Ref: Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013 May;19(3):229-37. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e32835f4fe4.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23429099

(4) Authors: Al-Tawfiq JA, Zumla A, Memish ZA.
Title: Respiratory tract infections during the annual Hajj: potential risks and mitigation strategies.
Journal/Ref: Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013 May;19(3):192-7. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e32835f1ae8.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23429098

(5) Authors: Reddington K, Tuite N, Barry T, O'Grady J, Zumla A.
Title: Advances in multiparametric molecular diagnostics technologies for respiratory tract infections.
Journal/Ref: Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013 May;19(3):298-304. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e32835f1b32.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23425918

(6) Authors: Rakotosamimanana N, Doherty TM, Andriamihantasoa LH, Richard V, Gicquel B, Soares JL, ZumlaA, Razanamparany VR.
Title: Expression of TNF-Alpha-Dependent Apoptosis-Related Genes in the Peripheral Blood of Malagasy Subjects with Tuberculosis.
Journal/Ref: PLoS One. 2013 Apr 12;8(4):e61154. Print 2013.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23593415

(7)  Authors: Brodin P, Valentini D, Uhlin M, Mattsson J, Zumla A, Maeurer MJ.
Title: Systems level immune response analysis and personalized medicine.
Journal/Ref: Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2013 Apr;9(4):307-17. doi: 10.1586/eci.13.9.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23557267

(8) Authors: Kapata N, Chanda-Kapata P, O'Grady J, Bates M, Mwaba P, Janssen S, Marais B, Cobelens F, Grobusch M, Zumla A.
Title: Trends in childhood tuberculosis in zambia: a situation analysis.
Journal/Ref: J Trop Pediatr. 2013 Apr;59(2):134-9. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fms065. Epub 2012 Dec 12.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23243079

(9) Authors: Wallis RS, Kim P, Cole S, Hanna D, Andrade BB, Maeurer M, Schito M, Zumla A.
Title:Tuberculosis biomarkers discovery: developments, needs, and challenges.
Journal/Ref: Lancet Infect Dis. 2013 Apr;13(4):362-72. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70034-3. Epub 2013 Mar 24.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23531389

(10) Authors: Lawn SD, Mwaba P, Bates M, Piatek A, Alexander H, Marais BJ, Cuevas LE, McHugh TD, Zijenah L, Kapata N, Abubakar I, McNerney R, Hoelscher M, Memish ZA, Migliori GB, Kim P, Maeurer M, Schito M, Zumla A.
Title: Advances in tuberculosis diagnostics: the Xpert MTB/RIF assay and future prospects for a point-of-care test.
Journal/Ref: Lancet Infect Dis. 2013 Apr;13(4):349-61. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70008-2. Epub 2013 Mar 24.
Weblink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23531388

Members of the Centre

(Reviewed: 24 January 2018)

Staff located at the Royal Free campus

Nada Ahmed Laboratory Co-ordinator nada.ahmed@ucl.ac.uk
Seyid Aydin Research Assistant seyidali.aydin.11@ucl.ac.uk
Dr Indran Balakrishnan Honorary Senior Lecturer and Consultant indran.balakrishnan@nhs.net
Dr Anna Bateson Postdoctoral Scientist a.bateson@ucl.ac.uk
Caroline Batt STAND Administrator caroline.batt@ucl.ac.uk
Ria Dayal Research Assistant  r.dayal@ucl.ac.uk
Dr Helen Donoghue Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology Helen's IRIS profile
Dr Virve (Vicky) Enne Senior Research Assistant, RiD-RTI EU Project  Vicky's IRIS profile
Dr Susan Hopkins Honorary Senior Lecturer and Consultant susanhopkins@nhs.net
Robert Hunt Laboratory Co-ordinator Robert's IRIS profile
Dr Damien Mack Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Microbiologist  damien.mack@nhs.net
Professor Tim McHugh Director, CCM; Professor Tim's IRIS profile
Dr Julio Ortiz Canseco Research Associate Julio's IRIS profile
Dewi Owen Research Assistant  dewi.owen.13@ucl.ac.uk
Lavinia Rodney Laboratory Co-ordinator  l.rodney@ucl.ac.uk
Dr Robin Smith Honorary Senior Lecturer and Consultant  robin.smith@royalfree.nhs.uk
Priya Solanki Research Assistant  p.solanki@ucl.ac.uk
Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla Professor and Consultant in Infectious Diseases Ali's IRIS profile

Associated members:

Dr Shanom Ali Postdoctoral Scientist (Environmental Research Group) shanom.ali@uclh.nhs.uk
Dr Catherine Arnold Honorary Senior Lecturer (PHE Colindale) catherine.arnold@phe.org.uk
Dr Joanna Bacon  Honorary Lecturer (PHE Porton Down) Joanna.Bacon@phe.org.uk
Michelle Cairns
Clinical Scientist/ PhD Student (PHE RMN) michelle.cairns@phe.org.uk
Dr Hugh Dyson
 Hon Snr Lect, DSTL
Dr Vanya Gant Consultant microbiologist/ Head Clinical Infection (UCLH) vanya.gant@uclh.nhs.uk
Rebecca Gorton  Clinical Scientist/ PhD Student rebecca.gorton@nhs.net
Dr Jim Huggett Postdoctoral Scientist (Lab for Government Chemist) jim.huggett@lgcgroup.com
Dr Claire Jenkins   Honorary Lecturer (PHE Colindale) claire.jenkins@phe.org.uk
Professor Nigel Klein Professor (ICH)

Nigel's IRIS profile


Dr Bruce McRae Consultant Microbiologist and Clinical Lead (UCLH) bruce.macrae@uclh.nhs.uk
Dr Steve Morris-Jones  Consultant Microbiologist (UCLH)

Steve's IRIS profile

stephen.morris-jones@uclh.nhs.uk; s.morris-jones@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Sara Murthy Clinical Fellow
Professor Graham Rook Professor

Graham's IRIS profile


Dr Rob Shorten  Clinical Scientist Rob.Shorten@nhs.net
Dr Andrew Simpson Hon snr lect (DSTL, Porton Down) AJSIMPSON@mail.dstl.gov.uk
Professor Mark Spigelman
Visiting Fellow
Dr Gemma Vanstone Clinical Scientist Gemma.Vanstone@nhs.net
Professor Peter Wilson Consultant Microbiologist peter.wilson@uclh.nhs.uk

Research Students at the Centre

(Reviewed: 24 January, 2018)

Current Students and their project titles (session 2017/18)

Student Name: Ms Eloise Busby
Title: Metrology and molecular diagnosis of infection
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Dr Jim Huggett (University of Surrey)

Student Name: Ms Sylvia Rofael

Working title: Airway Microbiome in Chronic Lung Disease

Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Dr John Hurst, Professor Dave Spratt, Dr Marc Lipman

Student Name: Ms Mercedes Lucas Mejia
Working title: Mycobacterial Biomarkers
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Dr Marc Lipman, Dr Jim Huggett (University of Surrey)

Student Name: Ms Kerry Roulston
Title: TBA
Supervisors: Dr Susan Hopkins, Professor Tim McHugh

Student Name: Ms Hanouf Niyazi
Title: TBA
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Dr Marc Lipman

Student Name: Dr Conor Tweed
Working title: Toxicity Related to the Treatment of Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Supervisors: Professor Sarah Meredith, Professor Tim McHugh, Dr Marc Lipman

Student Name: Ms Joana Fonseca
Title: Evolution of drug resistance in tuberculosis.
Supervisor: Professor Tim McHugh, Dr Sharon Kendall (RVC), Dr Bambos Charalambous


Student: Dr Sara Murthy
Title: Tuberculosis: measuring outcomes in clinical trials
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Professor Stephen Gillespie (St Andrews)


Student Name: Dr Giovanni Satta
Title: Meeting the challenge of drug resistant tuberculosis
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh and Dr Marc Lipman
PhD Proposal (PDF)

Student Name: Ms Sarah Thurston
Title: Antibiotic resistance in COPD
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Professor Wisia Wedzicha

Recently completed research degrees

Student Name: Mr Kartykayan Moganeradj
Title: IS6110 FAFLP PCR, a tool for genomic mapping enabling investigation of evolutionary relationships of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in resource poor settings – passed with minor corrections 15/2
Supervisors:  Dr Catherine Arnold (UCL & HPA), Professor Ibrahim Abubakar (UCL & HPA), Dr Pam Sonnenberg (UCL) and Professor Tim McHugh


Student Name: Mr Stefan Schwenk

Title: Riboswitch-mediated regulation of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis resuscitation promoting factor, rpfB - passed with minor corrections 23/2


Student Name: Ms Michelle Cairns
Based at Health Protection Agency, Royal London Hospital
Title: Clostridium difficile: phylogenomics and disease severity.
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Professor Brendan Wren and Dr Nandini Shetty 
EmailWren Lab


Student Name: Ms Laura Stoffels
Topic: Microalgae as a novel production platform for antibacterial proteins

View thesis
Supervisors: Dr Saul Purton (ISMB, primary), Dr Bambos Charalambous


Student Name: Ms Rebecca Gorton
Title: Improved diagnosis of invasive fungal infections - passed with minor corrections 20/12
Supervisor: Professor Chris Kibbler, Professor Tim McHugh


Student Name: Ms Alice Marriott
Title: The influence of growth conditions on the susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to antibiotics

View thesis

Supervisor: Dr Joanna Bacon, Professor Tim McHugh

Student Name: Ms Jessica Mears
Title: Evaluation of the Tuberculosis Strain Typing Service in England

View thesis
Supervisors: Professor Ibrahim Abubakar (UCL & HPA), Dr Pam Sonnenberg (UCL) and Professor Tim McHugh (UCL)

Student Name: Mr Henry Taunt
Topic: Synthesis of novel antibacterial proteins in microalgae.
Supervisors: Dr Saul Purton (ISMB, primary), Dr Bambos Charalambous


Student Name: Ms Marie Anne Chattaway (based at Health Protection Agency, Colindale)
Title: A Novel Approach to Pathogen Recognition for Diarrhoeagenic Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli

View thesis
Supervisors: Professor John Wain, Dr Clare Jenkins, Professor Tim McHugh


Student Name: Dr Michael E Murphy
Title: Predicting the outcome of tuberculosis treatment
Supervisor: Professor Stephen H Gillespie (University of St Andrews), dr Marc Lipman (RF NHS)
Project synopsis, publications and presentations

Student Name: Mr Davinder Garcha
Title: Prevalence and Load of Airway Bacteria in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

View thesis

Supervisors: Professor Wisia Wedzicha, Professor Tim McHugh


Student Name: Dr Marcus Leung
Title: Multiple colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae as means of cell-to-cell communication and adaptive microevolution.
Supervisor: Dr Bambos Charalambous
Project synopsis, publications and presentations
Presentation (Jan 2012):Competence stimulatory peptide gene comC as a promising target for differentiating Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae from Streptococcus pneumoniae and other streptococcal species (Download)


Student Name: Dr Ndekya Oriyo
Title: Longitudinal study on carriage, antibiotic resistance and prevalent serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae in a semi-isolated community in North-East Tanzania
Supervisor: Dr Bambos Charalambous
Second Supervisor: Professor Stephen H Gillespie (University of St Andrews)

Student Name: Dr Robert Shorten
Title: The molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in north London.
Supervisor: Professor Tim McHugh

Student Name: Dr Amani M Alnimr
Title: Microbiological assessment of novel anti-tuberculosis compounds
Supervisors: Professor Tim McHugh, Professor Stephen H Gillespie (University of St Andrews)

Professor Tim McHugh's Inaugural Lecture (December 2012)

Title: Drug resistant tuberculosis: fit for the challenge
Delivered: 13 December, 2012

Professor Peter Wilson's Inaugural Lecture (December 2012)

Title: Healthcare-acquired infection: control by innovation.
Delivered on 13 December, 2012.

Page last modified on 14 feb 18 09:46