Edinburgh Infectious Diseases
EID logo 2019

Annual Edinburgh Infectious Diseases Symposium

We were delighted to host our annual symposium on Wednesday 24 June 2021. This was our 10th annual event, and as always celebrated some of the best infectious disease research from across Edinburgh. 

Due to the current pandemic, this event was held online, and helped to keep our community connect with other researchers across Edinburgh.


Session 1 – Chair Ross Fitzgerald

09.15:  Ross Fitzgerald (Director of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases) – Welcome and introduction

09.20:  Ker Lecture: Stewart Cole (President of the Institut Pasteur, Paris) – Accelerating tuberculosis drug development

Session 2 – Chair:  Till Bachmann (Infection Medicine)

10.15:  Aaron Trent Irving (Infection Medicine / Zhejiang University) Bats as reservoirs of zoonotic coronaviruses

10.35:  Katie Atkins (Usher Institute)Combining mathematical models and phylogenetics to understand SARS-CoV-2 and HIV

10.55:  Adam Hayward (Moredun Research Institute) Quantifying the impact of liver fluke on performance in beef cattle

11.15:  ECR short talks x 4

  1. Enock Mararo (Roslin Institute) – Comparative metabolomics of Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma congolense and their impact on macrophage function and host immune responses
  2. Wiebke Nahrendorf (School of Biological Sciences) – Adaptive T cells regulate disease tolerance in human malaria
  3. Sara Clohisey (Roslin Institute) – Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in COVID-19
  4. Lois King (Usher Institute) – Addressing childhood pneumonia in a post-COVID world: power, political priorities and progress

Session 3 – Chair:  David Dockrell (Centre for Inflammation Research)

11.45:  Ker Prize Winner:  Derick Nii Mensah Osakunor (School of Biological Sciences) – Paediatric Schistosomiasis: Dynamics and Consequences

Session 4 – Chair:  Amy Pedersen (School of Biological Sciences)

12.00:  Christine Tait-Burkard (Roslin Institute)  IFN alpha variants as a treatment and immune-stimulant against SARS-CoV-2 infection

12.20:  Maddie Moule (School of Biological Sciences) – Dissecting the host-pathogen interactions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis dissemination and extrapulmonary spread

12.40:  Dominic Moran (Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security)Antimicrobial resistance: an economic primer

Ker Memorial Prize and Lecture

2021 Ker Memorial Lecture

We are very pleased that the Ker Memorial Lecture will be given by Prof Stewart Cole, the President of the Institut Pasteur.

Ker Memorial Lecture:  Accelerating tuberculosis drug development

Despite the advent of Covid-19, tuberculosis (TB) obdurately remains the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent having claimed over a billion human lives in the past two centuries.  There are many similarities between the two airborne diseases and much can be learned about controlling Covid-19 from TB. 

In the last two decades, intensive efforts have been made by the public and private sectors to discover and develop new diagnostics and therapeutic or prophylactic agents for TB.  A promising drug treatment pipeline is now in place and I will describe how this was achieved and how Covid-19 can benefit therefrom.

About the speaker

Stewart studied microbiology at the University of Wales in Cardiff prior to earning his PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Sheffield in 1979. Subsequently, he embarked on a career as a research scientist at the University of Umeå (Sweden) and the Max-Planck-Institut in Tübingen (Germany). 

In 1983 he joined the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France), where he rose to be the Scientific Director.  In 2007, he moved to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne  where he led a world-class research unit dedicated to TB drug discovery, and served as the Director of the Global Health Institute. 

In 2018, Stewart rejoined the Institut Pasteur as its President.

Stewart Cole, Institut Pasteur

Stewart Cole ORCiD

2021 Ker Memorial Prize

We are delighted that this year the 2021 Ker Memorial Prize has been awarded to Dr Derick Nii Mensah Osakunor. 

Derick carried out his PhD with Professor Francisca Mutapi on the School of Biological Sciences, and will present his work on paediatric schistosomiasis at the Symposium.

Dr Derick Osakunor is winner of 2021 Ker Memorial Prize


Jun 24 2021 -

Annual Edinburgh Infectious Diseases Symposium

Our 10th Annual Symposium was held online on the morning of Thursday 24 June 2021.

Online - Blackboard Collaborate