Research Capacity Development

Helen Clough

Academic Career Development Lead


Valerie Decraene



Noel McCarthy

University of Warwick Co-Lead


Research capacity development is essential to providing public health practitioners and academics working in public health with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them to understand and tackle the problem of gastrointestinal infections in the UK population. Through education and training we will develop staff capacity and capability in gastrointestinal infections, thus growing the human resource that will help develop and apply enhanced infection prevention and control strategies to protect the health of the population now and in the future.

The Education and Training objectives for the HPRU GI are:

  • To provide high quality supervision, training and mentorship for HPRU-GI staff and students
  • To provide training opportunities for UKHSA front line staff through engagement with the UKHSA network of GI leads and practitioners. 
  • To improve skills in translation, knowledge mobilisation and PPIE alongside research excellence.
  • To develop a network of collaborating researchers and practitioners to support a legacy of improved research and evidence-based practice.


NIHR Doctoral Training Camp 2022

The HPRU-GI Academic Career Development Lead, Helen Clough, took on the role of group mentor at the Thirteenth NIHR Doctoral Training Camp, which took place in Cheshire in July. The event featured a range of presentations on topics such as patient and public involvement and engagement; applying for NIHR research funding; and an overview of career experiences from an inspirational speaker. Working in small mentored groups over three days, participants then developed, presented and defended a funding application under a call to a fictitious research programme. Our group (pictured) won a prize for the best presentation, with a commendation for the impressive way in which they defended their proposal!



PhD students

A key focus for the HPRU GI is providing high quality supervision for PhD students. Please see below the research titles relating to the four key research themes for our current PhD students.

For more information on the current PhD students research backgrounds please click here.


People and Places Theme

'Understanding ethnic inequalities in gastrointestinal infections.'- Iram Zahair

'Investigating the spatio-temporal drivers of inequalities in gastrointestinal infections.'- Lauren Murrell


Data and Informatics Theme

'National syndromic surveillance data for the surveillance of GI viral pathogens and exploration of novel digital data to enhance GI surveillance.' - Busola Adedire

'Investigating the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on gastrointestinal illness using advanced linked data systems.' - Michael Hawkings

Associated with the HPRU GI:

'Norovirus Surveillance in England: Data Science Perspective' - Nikola Ondrikova


Pathogens and Microbiomes Theme

'Rapid and precise detection of gastrointestinal infections using metagenome sequencing' - Hannah Trivett.

‘Advancing molecular risk assessment and risk management of Listeria monocyotogenes in the genomic era’ - Emily Fotopoulou

'Bayesian graphical models for strain resolution from hybrid metagenomics sequencing' - Derryk Schieck


Predict and Prevent Theme

'Quantifying the factors contributing to sexual transmission of antimicrobial resistant shigellosis' - Lewis Mason

'STEC surveillance and patient management in the culture-free era' - Ella Rodwell

'Joint analysis of national surveillance and external data and modelling of disease spread' - Ellie Brown