About Us: Researchers (PDRA/ Tenure Track Fellows)
Dan Hungerford, NIHR Post-doctoral Research Fellow and Tenure Track Fellow
Dan is an infectious disease epidemiologist with expertise in gastrointestinal infections and vaccines, with an interest in health inequalities. Dan holds a NIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship, and was recently appointed to a Tenure Track Fellowship position within the NIHR HPRU in Gastrointestinal Infections. During his career he has worked across academia, Public Health England and the NHS. Dan’s NIHR Fellowship is multi-disciplinary, combining epidemiology, laboratory science and modelling to predict risk of rotavirus diarrhoea in vaccinated children. Dan is also the epidemiologist for the European Rotavirus Surveillance Network (EuroRotaNet) and is leading the field work for the Liverpool household COVID-19 cohort study, COVID-LIV. Dan has 25+ peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to multiple externally funded research projects (totalling £2 Million to date).
His work spans across Themes 1, 2 and 4.
Suzie Rotheram, Post-doctoral research fellow
Suzie Rotheram is a postdoctoral fellow for the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections based in the department of Public Health, Policy and Systems at the University of Liverpool. Her PhD took an ethnographic approach to understanding inequalities in GI infections in families with young children. Her current project is using the gastrointestinal infection Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) as a lens to understand how local environmental health protection systems can better address inequalities in gastrointestinal infection risk and consequences, given the context of austerity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Before starting her postgraduate studies Suzie worked as a vet in clinical practice and is a Bristol veterinary school graduate.
Xingna Nina Zhang, Post-doctoral research fellow
Nina is a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in spatial statistics and modelling based in the department of Public Health, Policy and Systems at the University of Liverpool. She did her PhD in Advanced Quantitative Methods in Human Geography in University of Bristol. She then worked in London School of Economics and Political Science as a postdoctoral researcher before joining University of Liverpool. She is interested in developing place-based indicators of GI infection and consolidating evidence on drivers of high GI disease burden in disadvantaged communities to tackle GI health inequalities. She will use spatial data resources to understand the higher burden of GI infection in more deprived places and its relationship to ethnicity and foreign travel for the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections.
Her work is across both Themes 1 and 2.
David is a Bioinformatician/Healthcare Scientist at the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit (GBRU) at the UK Heath Security Agency and is also completing a part-time PhD with the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. David’s main duties include maintenance and development of bioinformatics pipelines and data analysis on whole genome sequencing data of gastrointestinal pathogens. He is working of the validation of Oxford Nanopore Technologies for the investigation of outbreaks of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 in humans to both better understand the genome plasticity of STEC O157:H7 and assess this technology’s applicability for epidemiological investigations.
His work spans across both Theme 3 and 4.
Matthew Moore, Post-doctoral research fellow
Matt is a postdoctoral fellow with the Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections, based within the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick. Matt’s research experience spans his doctoral work on the comparative genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to postdoctoral work on the reconstruction of ancestral eukaryote genomes, to his most recent work with Clostridioides difficile. Working as a bioinformatician and postdoctoral computational biologist with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Consortium he worked to develop methods that enable rapid comparison of thousands of C. difficile genomes. Within HPRU themes 3 and 4 Matt will focus on developing scalable comparative methods for clinical and public health microbial genomics, developing inferential methods to discern the evolutionary forces shaping gastrointestinal pathogen genomes and the leveraging of genomic data towards source, phenotype and clinical outcome attribution.
Dana Sumilo, Post-doctoral research fellow
Dana is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, Consultant in Public Health and holds an honorary contract with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Her research interests include infectious diseases (with her current work in the HPRU-GI Theme “Predict and Prevent” focussing on Shiga toxin producing E. Coli in childcare settings and establishing enhanced sentinel surveillance for yersiniosis), maternal and child health, as well as wider research in epidemiology, health inequalities, technology facilitated interventions and public health.
Edward Cunningham-Oakes, Post-doctoral research fellow
Edward graduated with a PhD from Cardiff University which focused on understanding the basis for bacterial resistance to preservatives, using genomic and metagenomic strategies. His PhD amounted in numerous contributions to the field of microbial genomics, including a detailed analysis of megaplasmids within industrial Pseudomonas strains (Weiser & Green et al. 2019), a comprehensive review with a novel meta-analysis of non-food industrial product contamination microorganisms (Cunningham-Oakes et al. 2020, FEMS Microbiology Letters), a microbial resource announcement characterising the multireplicon industrial Pluralibacter gergoviae genome for the first time (Cunningham-Oakes et al. 2020, Microbial Resource Announcements), a detailed genomic study of Burkholderia cepacia complex taxon K demonstrating that multilocus sequence typing and non-high-resolution molecular methods do not distinguish industrial strains, and a novel species Burkholderia aenigmatica (Cunningham-Oakes et al. 2021). He has also worked as an industrial bioinformatician (Unilever Research & Development) on the implementation of metagenomic analyses in the context of the home microbiome. Within the HPRU, he will be applying his expertise to a large data set of shotgun metagenomic data (2000 samples) generated by the HPRU and the INTEGRATE Project.
Nicola Love, Post-doctoral research fellow
Nicola is an infectious disease epidemiologist working both as a postdoctoral fellow at the department of Clinical Infection, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Liverpool and as a Senior Epidemiology Scientist at the UK Health Security Agency. She undertook a laboratory-based PhD at the University of Cambridge followed by a postdoctoral position in epidemiology at the Health Protection and Influenza group, University of Nottingham. She is interested in the strengthening of infectious disease surveillance and outbreak investigation through digital and novel methodologies, with a particular focus on the collection of exposure data. Her current research focuses on the epidemiology of foreign travel associated GI infections and aims to better understand the risk factors for acquiring GI infections while abroad.