St George’s, University of London and St George’s Hospital lead country for coronavirus research
Published: 22 May 2020
According to National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) data, St George’s, University of London and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are leading the country for urgent public health studies into coronavirus.
With fourteen studies being carried out on site, including trials to improve treatment, prevention and diagnosis of the disease, St George’s is a centre of activity for research into Covid-19. Each of the studies brings together clinicians and researchers from across the University and Hospital so that the trials may benefit from their joint expertise.
The research taking place spans fields such as developing vaccines as part of the Oxford Vaccine trial and testing different treatments as part of the national RECOVERY trial. St George’s is also leading on studies to develop rapid antibody tests for the disease and understanding whether pregnant mothers can pass coronavirus onto their babies in the womb.
Speaking on the data, Professor Jon Friedland, Deputy Principal for Research, said: “As the UK’s specialist health university, it’s great to see us leading the way for research into coronavirus. Our scientists continue to push boundaries across all our Research Institutes and build our reputation internationally as experts in population health, infection and immunity, and molecular and clinical sciences.
“In the face of an unprecedented pandemic, our experience in leading and running high impact clinical trials is proving essential in tackling this disease. These most recent data show that St George’s is continuing to punch above its weight and is committed to taking a leading role in the nation’s response to coronavirus and beyond.”
In order to facilitate the large number of trials, across all aspects of the disease, the University and Hospital have had to work in tandem with each other to get each study off the ground as quickly as possible. The joint efforts of researchers from different disciplines, alongside clinicians and administrative staff have enabled St George’s to react promptly to the nation’s calls for coronavirus research.
Dr Daniel Forton, Associate Medical Director at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "St George's clinicians from a broad range of specialities have come together in an unprecedented way to deliver our Covid-19 research, enrolling patients in both clinical trials and other studies to allow us to understand this emerging disease.
“It is a testament to the interest and commitment of our investigators that we are running more Covid-19 research studies than any other NHS organisation. None of this would be possible without the fantastic support of the nurses and staff in the Clinical Research Facility and the behind the scenes efforts of Joint Research and Enterprise Services."
This news comes as St George’s has stepped up its research efforts into tackling the current coronavirus pandemic. The University has recently launched a Coronavirus Action Fund to raise money for vital research into the pandemic and is actively seeking support for a broad research programme involving all parts of the University.
Note: a previous version of this article listed St George's as leading with Southampton General Hospital. The article has been updated in line with the latest figures from NIHR.