Purple flowers in front of the chapel doors

Peter’s People Combating COVID-19

The people of St Peter's are contributing, with their expertise and their time, to the collective effort to get us through the enormous challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

St Peter’s Medics Are Contributing

We are all of us thankful to all the NHS staff who are fighting coronavirus for us on the front line. Here's what some of St Peter’s medics are doing to help keep our NHS going during this period of acute pressure. 

Dr Nick Talbot, Research Fellow and Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at St Peter’s, is a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the JR/Churchill. Nick is, therefore, right in the thick of it, treating patients who are seriously ill with coronavirus.

Dr Susanne Hodgson, Research Fellow and Lecturer in Clinical Medicine at St Peter's, with expertise in Infectious Diseases, is working on the clinical trials team for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Dr Huw Dorkins, the E.P.Abraham Fellow and Tutor in Medicine and Vice-Master at St Peter’s, is a Consultant in Genetics at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Huw's medical colleagues from the Genetics team have been redeployed to help cover elsewhere during the crisis, so Huw now runs his Genetics clinics alone. 

Our final-year medics have just been graduated in absentia in order to get them on to the front line of NHS working with all possible speed. We salute them for what they are doing.

The Expertise of St Peter’s People 

(a) is contributing to our understanding of disease transmission and control

Professor Christl Donnelly, CBE, FMEDSCI, FRS, a Statistical Epidemiologist, is Professorial Fellow in Applied Statistics at St Peter’s. A world-leading expert in infectious disease epidemiology and control, Christl is among those Oxford researchers at the cutting-edge of the fight to stem the spread of the COVID-19. You can read more about her work here

(b) is contributing to our understanding of community infection rates

Professor Mike Bonsall, Fellow and Tutor in Biological Sciences at St Peter’s and Professor of Mathematical Biology in the Department of Zoology, is working alongside colleagues Dr Cassidy Nelson and Dr Simeon Innocent to conduct a UK cross-sectional survey study to determine the level of community-based COVID-19 infection rates. Mike’s research group has received funding from Ben Delo and Effective Giving to explore the use of nanopore technology (which sequences the whole genome of pathogens) as a diagnostic tool, comparing with serology and PCR tests for COVID-19. Unlike these more conventional methods, nanopore sequencing does not require prior knowledge of the pathogen, making it unique in its ability to potentially assist in diagnosis of new emergent infectious diseases. The study is designed both to inform the public health response to COVID-19 now, and to build capacity to respond better to pandemics in the future. Results will be shared with Public Health England and the NHS. 

(c) is contributing to our understanding of the solid state detection of coronavirus

Professor Mark Moloney, the Sydney Bailey Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry and Senior Tutor at St Peter’s, has a research team in Oxford and a research team in the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) in Suzhou, China. The team is currently working on the rapid manufacture of PPE and the solid state detection of Covid-19.

(d) is contributing to our understanding of the international implications of the financial crisis

John Evans, currently an Academic Visitor at St Peter's, and previously General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee and Chief Economist of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), has worked previously on the impact of international financial crises on developing countries. He is currently conducting a study commissioned by the ITUC to compare the G20’s economic policy and institutional response to the Financial Crisis in 2009-2010 with the measures currently being implemented in different circumstances in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

St Peter's Contributing Locally in Small, Practical Ways

College is offering help, where we can, to our Oxford city neighbours. Currently, this includes:

  1. Oxford Winter Night Shelter. St Peter’s donates and launders the bed linen for the Oxford Winter Night Shelter. 
  2. Accommodation for NHS workers. St Peter’s has offered accommodation for NHS workers if/as needed.