About Us: PhD Students

Please see below for more information on our current PhD students.  For more information on their research please see the Research Themes pages. Further information on the training and resources offered through the HPRU GI and NIHR can be found on the Research Capacity Development page. 

Ella started her early career as a Microbiology Society funded summer researcher, where she focused on Salmonella metabolism in venomous snakes. The summer following this, Ella graduated from undergraduate and started a Master of Research where her work focused on the molecular epidemiology and characterization of Salmonella prophages and their importance in driving bacterial epidemics. During her MRes, Ella interned in the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit (GBRU) in Public Health England, researching an invasive form of Salmonella. After graduating from her MRes, Ella held a 6 month bioinformatics position within the GBRU, where she worked on Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli antimicrobial resistance databases and Campylobacter population structure in the UK; this led to Ella starting her PhD in the Autumn of 2020. She has a keen interest in public health, genomic epidemiology and disease surveillance. Her goal is to develop novel diagnostic processes, treatments and control initiatives for infectious diseases. Ella is looking forward to continuing research on gastrointestinal infections and being part of the HPRU cohort who are working together to develop new methods for outbreak detection.



Applied Bioinformatics and Public Health Microbiology (ABPHM) Conference and London Calling, Oxford Nanopore Technologies Conference 2021.

Hannah Trivett



Hannah completed her undergraduate degree specialising in Microbiology at the University of Liverpool. During her studies, Hannah secured the highly competitive Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship to characterise phenotypes of invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella, which sparked her interest in gastroenteric pathogens and epidemiology, leading to Hannah returning to Liverpool to start her PhD in autumn 2020.

The summer between graduating and starting her PhD, Hannah worked as a COVID-19 Laboratory Scientist as part of a 24-hour testing service using RT-PCR antigen detection methods.

Hannah is particularly interested in global health and the ability to use novel detection methods for pathogen detection to improve population health. Hannah is excited to join the HPRU cohort, developing novel methods of gastroenteritis pathogen detection, building on knowledge and skills which she has learnt during her previous studies and in industry.



Increase in extensively drug resistant Shigella sonnei in Europe.



Thoughts and perspectives of metagenome sequencing as a diagnostic tool for infectious disease: An interpretive phenomenological study. UKHSA Conference 2022. 

Iram Zahair



Iram is a first-year PhD student. Her research entails understanding ethnic inequalities in the spread of gastrointestinal infections within the UK. Her background is in the sociology of health and illness and global health. The research she is most interested in spans across medicalisation, health and illness, health inequalities, analysing public policy, qualitative narrative, thematic and discourse analysis and understanding contemporary and emerging socio-political developments. Irams research and interests falls under the  ‘People and Places’ theme.

Ellie completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of York, specialising in ecology and epidemiology. Primarily, she worked on the analysis of large datasets, biological computational problems, and model building. This led to her interest in disease modelling and data analysis. She is interested in medical research, epidemiology and disease surveillance. She’s looking forward to undertaking her PhD developing a model based on a joint analysis of public health data. 



HPRU GI Annual Scientific Conference 2022

Lewis is an NIHR HPRU funded postgraduate researcher, currently involved in the surveillance of epidemiological and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) changes in sexually transmissible enteric infections. Following his undergraduate research project in investigating the structures of AMR plasmids in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Lewis decided to continue with AMR research. His postgraduate-masters research project involved characterising proteobacterial antimicrobial compound efflux (PACE) proteins in Acinetobacter baumannii and other WHO priority pathogens. His long-term career goal is to become a higher education lecturer and research fellow in antimicrobial resistance.


Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2021- ''Genomic epidemiology of the first London outbreak of antimicrobial resistant sexually transmitted shigellosis''. 

Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2022- ''Genomic and population epidemiology of the re-emerging Shigella flexneri 3a serotype in England, United Kingdom''.



''Microbiology Society Annual Conference Online 2021 Most Promising Science Poster Prize” sponsored by The Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Emily is a Research Masters graduate with a Bsc in Genetics from the University of York. She is joining HPRU to investigate genomic points of intervention for risk assessment and risk management of Listeria monocytogenes. A key point of interest for Emily is applying Machine learning methodologies to classify virulence and persistence factors.


Her contribution to various data driven collaborative projects, including plant evolution and phylogenetics; ancient whale genome reconstruction and human clinical trial sample management has created a versatile computational portfolio. More specifically, Emily has had extensive experience in in-silco Microbiology whilst researching the bacterial interactions of human vaginal microbiomes in health and disease. She is excited to apply her skills in public health and help manage infectious disease.



HPRU GI Annual Scientific Conference 2022

Lauren Murrell


Lauren completed her undergraduate degree at the Royal Veterinary College, London, where she gained experience with human and veterinary epidemiology, one health and the control of neglected tropical disease. Her time here sparked her interest in epidemiology and disease surveillance.

Before continuing to her masters Lauren carried out a position within the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool. Here, she worked on a big data project researching evidence for the presence of antimicrobial resistance in different environments.

This year, Lauren graduated from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine with a masters in Tropical Disease Biology. Her research focused on using spatial and statistical analysis to identify drivers of Lymphatic Filariasis in different regions of Ghana and identifying areas of high and low risk.

Lauren has a keen interest in public health, disease surveillance and policy.  Lauren is excited to start her PhD, investigating the spatio-temporal drivers of inequalities in gastrointestinal infections.


HPRU GI Annual Scientific Conference 2022

Michael is a registered Physician Associate, having previously worked for the NHS in general practice, clinical oncology and respiratory medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also been involved in both NHS and commercial clinical trials, including numerous phase one studies.

His PhD research aims to examine the relationship between gastrointestinal illness and COVID-19 across Cheshire and Merseyside using linked public health data systems. Furthermore, his research will explore the impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on gastrointestinal health, and investigate novel methods of health data reporting, including over-the-counter drug sales and school absenteeism records.

Following his PhD, Michael has a keen interest in both public health training and roles in clinical trials.



HPRU GI Annual Scientific Conference 2022

Busola is a graduate of Medical and Pharmacological sciences from Coventry university, and she completed her master’s in public health at the University of Birmingham. She started her career at Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford where she worked as a NIHR fellow in Systematic Reviews. She authored a few papers in this role with the most predominant one a Cochrane paper on Multiple and Multifactorial interventions in preventing falls in older people living in the community. Busola has worked in a medical devices company, within health consultancies and in the last couple of years, Public Health England (UKHSA).  In this role she worked on air pollution surveillance and the PHE COVID-19 national response. Busola just started her PhD with the real time syndromic surveillance team at the UK Health Security Agency in Birmingham, she will be working on national syndromic surveillance data and specifically the surveillance of GI viral pathogens. In addition, she will be exploring novel digital data to enhance GI surveillance.



Multifactorial and multiple component interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community (Review)

Influence of peer review on the reporting of primary outcome(s) and statistical analyses of randomised trials.



HPRU GI Annual Scientific Conference 2022

Derryk Schieck



Derryk is a first year PhD Student within the HPRU-GI. He will be working alongside Xavier Didelot and Chris Quince on novel mathematical models for transmission of antibiotic resistance genes. He joins the HPRU- GI after completing a masters in theoretical physics from Radboud University in the Netherlands, where he is originally from.


In his maters he conducted research on quantum gravity, and more specifically on functional renormalization in Supersymmetric field theories, the AdS/CFT correspondence and string theory. After many considerations he has changed from this field of research to a more medical direction. He is looking forward to using his previous experience to undertake this research in a medical field with a mathematical viewpoint, which Derryk will find interesting.

Nikola is a second-year PhD student analysing norovirus surveillance in England in collaboration with Public Health England. The goal of this effort is to build a practical, norovirus forecasting tool. Besides public health and predictive modelling, her interests include risk communication and process automation.

Before, Nikola studied Psychology and Cognitive Science. During her studies, she developed a strong interest in statistics and coding, which led to her data science position at a reinsurance company where she focused on analysing structured data in the context of human health.

Jade Jordan



Jade completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Sheffield where she also developed an interest in science communication. After this, she went on to complete her Masters in Genomic Medicine at the University of Birmingham and it was during this degree that she was exposed more to research and public health.   


Between graduating and starting her PhD, Jade completed a PGCert in Public Health and worked for an NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) where she developed her interest in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI), leading to her current PhD at the University of Warwick. 

Jade’s research interests include PPI, health inequalities, science communication and global health. She is excited to start her PhD research, exploring aims to explore the perspectives of Black communities of the impacts of PPI.