EGA IfWH Staff have focused their attention to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic
Dr Jenny Hall - Clinical Academic in Public Health Medicine. She is now working at the Coronavirus Response Cell during this COVID-19 epidemic.
Dr John Timms (Dept. Womens Cancer) Alexey Zaikin (IfWH/Maths), Tatiana Nazarenko (IfWH), Harry Whitwell (ICL/ex-IWH) and Oleg Blyuss (Uni of Hertfordshire/hon IfWH member have been working with a team based at the Francis Crick Institute and the Charite University Hospital Berlin to analyse high-throughput mass spectrometry data from serum and plasma collected from COVID-19 patients.
Using this data, they have derived and tested biomarker models for predicting the severity of COVID-19 with high accuracy. Longitudinal data from an independent cohort of patients will be analysed soon, where they hope to validate the models to see if they can predict which patients will progress to more severe disease requiring intensive care. For such predictive tests to be effective, early and rapid testing will be necessary and we will be working with our collaborators to develop rapid assays based on our findings.
Dr Anne Lanceley (Patient Care Research Group, Dept. of Women’s Cancer) has been involved with telephone pre-face-to-face clinic screening calls for new gynae oncology patients attending UCLH. She is also undertaking shifts on the helpline for the Eve Appeal and Target Ovarian Cancer as the demand for their service has greatly increased. She has also become involved in a BGCS linked Covid 19 project with the gynae oncology charities.
Dr Zeynep Gurtin (Dept. Reproductive Health) is the lead researcher on a new research project exploring the impact of clinic closures and the coronavirus pandemic on fertility patients’ lives, relationships and feelings. This was featured in an article in the Guardian on 28/05/2020. To learn more about this project or to take part in the anonymous online questionnaire please see the Study Page: Experiences of Fertility Treatment Delay and Coronavirus
Professor Judith Stephenson (Sexual & Reproductive Health,) along with Dr Jenny Hall, Dr Geraldine Barrett and Professor Anna David are Co-Investigators on The CAP-COVID study. This was designed by doctors and scientists at University College London and University College London Hospital to monitor pregnant women in the UK during the COVID 19 pandemic. The Study is interested in women who are currently pregnant and agree to be followed-up through a series of surveys to document the outcome of their pregnancy.
In collaboration with the NIHR Clinical Research Facility of Southampton and co-applicant Professor Paolo De Coppi and Dr Pascale V Guillot proposed a project to the MRC to understand why some people are more severely affected by COVID-19 than others by studying the impact of age and disease severity on the physiology and function of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs), and to develop a therapeutic product derived from rejuvenated cells to reprogram and counter the inflammatory storm responsible for the complication of COVID-19. If successful, this new intervention could be tested for safety and efficacy in clinical trials and contribute to decrease the COVID-19 mortality rate.
Katie Gallagher (Dept. of Maternal & Fetal Medicine), and colleagues have collated the experiences from neonatal nurses in over 9 different countries, exploring the impact of COVID-19 upon their practice. These stories are being published shortly in the Journal of Neonatal Nursing and are being released in stages on the Neonatal Nurses Association website and Twitter accounts.