The NIHR Imperial BRC has established a new ‘virtual’ Theme, with the aim of acting as a focal and coordinating point for all the active and proposed research initiatives currently being directed towards the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 infection, across Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

We are aiming for every patient with COVID-19 disease who is admitted to our hospitals to be given the opportunity to be part of one of the research trials or studies that we are running at Imperial.

Statement from Professor Mark Thursz, NIHR Imperial BRC Director:

“Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary responses. The NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre has set up a COVID19 Theme in order to meet some of the challenges imposed on us by the coronavirus pandemic. Research is one of the key pillars of our fight against the pandemic; as expected Imperial scientists and clinicians are eager to play an important part in generating the results which will change clinical outcomes for our patients. Our ambition is for the BRC to coordinate, support and fund the studies which will make a difference for patients with COVID-19 and for the local community in NW Thames.”

A multi-disciplinary COVID-19 Research Committee has been established to co-ordinate the initiation and delivery of clinical trials and research studies. Specific clinical research trials and studies currently ongoing or in set-up at Imperial are:

Interventional Studies:

Recovery Trial

An interventional platform trial with the aim of testing a number of possible treatments for the disease. Imperial recruited its first patient to this study on 25 March 2020. The trial is sponsored by the University of Oxford and the Imperial lead is Professor Graham Cooke.


An adaptive clinical trial aiming, over time, to determine and continuously update the optimal set of treatments for community-acquired pneumonia in the intensive care setting. It is currently being set up and is led from Imperial by NIHR Research Professor Tony Gordon.

Observational Studies:

International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC)

An existing global observational study which is collecting standardised clinical data and samples from suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

BioAID logo

The Bioresource for Adult Infectious Diseases (BioAID) is a collaborative project between multiple NHS Hospitals in partnership with closely affiliated UK Universities. It is funded by the NIHR Imperial BRC, and led by Professor Shiranee Sriskandan. It collects biological samples and clinical information from patients presenting to hospital with a suspected infectious disease. It’s focus is now on COVID-19.

In addition to coordinating and prioritizing research studies, the NIHR Imperial BRC is providing additional infrastructure and funding where required to support the delivery of these activities, including research nurses, clinical research fellows, and consumables.

The NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC) is actively engaged and the ICHT Research Informatics team are collating data and reports on suspected and actual COVID-19 patients, prototyping a real-time tool to support clinicians on the front-line and to support recruitment into studies.

The Colebrook Laboratory, funded by an NIHR capital award, is one of the epicentres for the collection and analysis of samples from patients with COVID-19.

Key Individuals
  • Professor Graham Cooke
    Professor Graham Cooke
    Professor of Infectious Diseases
  • Professor Jane Apperley
    Professor Jane Apperley
    Chair of the Department of Haematology
  • Professor Jonathan Weber
    Professor Jonathan Weber
    Dean, Faculty of Medicine
  • Professor Mark Thursz
    Professor Mark Thursz
    NIHR Imperial BRC Director
  • Professor Peter Openshaw
    Professor Peter Openshaw
    Theme Lead, Infection
  • Dr Aldo Faisal
    Dr Aldo Faisal
    Senior Lecturer in Neurotechnology
  • Dr Bob Klaber
    Dr Bob Klaber
    Director of strategy, research and innovation
  • Dr Ceire Costelloe
    Dr Ceire Costelloe
    Director of Global Digital Health Unit
  • Dr Christopher Chiu
    Dr Christopher Chiu
    Senior Clinical Research Fellow
  • Dr Nichola Cooper
    Dr Nichola Cooper
    Consultant Haematologist
  • Dr Stephen Brett
    Dr Stephen Brett
    Reader in Critical Care
  • Mr Erik Mayer
    Mr Erik Mayer
    Clinical Senior Lecturer
  • Mr James Kinross
    Mr James Kinross
    Clinical Senior Lecturer in Colorectal Surgery
  • Prof Mary Wells
    Prof Mary Wells
    Lead Research Nurse
  • Professor Alan Winston-OKeefe
    Professor Alan Winston-OKeefe
    Professor of Genito-Urinary Medicine
  • Professor Alison Holmes
    Professor Alison Holmes
    Professor of Infectious Diseases
  • Professor Antony Gordon
    Professor Antony Gordon
    Chair in Anaesthesia and Critical Care
  • Professor Chris Toumazou
    Professor Chris Toumazou
    Regius Professor of Engineering, Chair in Biomedical Circuit Design
  • Professor George Hanna
    Professor George Hanna
    Professor of Surgical Sciences
  • Professor Graham Taylor
    Professor Graham Taylor
    Professor of Human Retrovirology
  • Professor Helen Ward
    Professor Helen Ward
    Professor of Public Health and Director, PERC
  • Professor Jamil Mayet
    Professor Jamil Mayet
    Consultant Cardiologist
  • Professor Martin Wilkins
    Professor Martin Wilkins
    Director, NIHR Imperial CRF
  • Professor Michael Levin
    Professor Michael Levin
    Chair in Paediatrics & International Child Health
  • Professor Neil Ferguson
    Professor Neil Ferguson
    Professor of Mathematical Biology
  • Professor Paul Aylin
    Professor Paul Aylin
    Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Professor Paul Freemont
    Professor Paul Freemont
    Chair in Protein Crystallography
  • Professor Robin Shattock
    Professor Robin Shattock
    Chair in Mucosal Infection and Immunity
  • Professor Sarah Fidler
    Professor Sarah Fidler
    Professor of HIV medicine
  • Professor Shiranee Sriskandan
    Professor Shiranee Sriskandan
    Professor of Infectious Diseases
  • Professor Wendy Barclay
    Professor Wendy Barclay
    Chair in Influenza Virology
  • Professor Xiao-Ning Xu
    Professor Xiao-Ning Xu
    Chair in Human Immunology
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