With over 200 scientists , the Bloomsbury Research Institute is one of the largest infection research groups, with unique expertise in applied research on bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

The Institute brings together researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and the UCL Division of Infection and Immunity - two of the most highly cited institutions in the fields of infectious diseases, virology, bacteriology and parasitology.

The team is further strengthened by working and collaborating with a unique network of specialist research centres within the partner institutions.

Sharon Peacock, Director of the Bloomsbury Research Institute

Background

Sharon Peacock took up the role of founding Director of the Bloomsbury Research Institute in September 2015. Prior to this, she was Professor of Clinical Microbiology in the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge (2009-2015), and head of bacterial diseases research at the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Bangkok (2003-2009).

Professor Peacock is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and was awarded a CBE for services to medical microbiology in 2015.

Research

The Peacock group is evaluating the use of microbial whole genome sequencing in diagnostic and public health microbiology and its application to outbreak investigation and antimicrobial prescribing. Her group is also undertaking a series of genomic studies to identify reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance in healthcare facilities, farms, the food chain and the environment.

She receives funding from the Medical Research Council through a UKCRC (UK Clinical Research Collaboration) Translational Infection Research Initiative Consortium Grant, from the Department of Health and Wellcome Trust through a Health Innovation Challenge Fund Award, and from the MRC-DBT for the development of a partnership between Cambridge and the National Institute of Research on tuberculosis in Chennai, India.

Selected publications

  1. Reuter S, Török ME, Holden MT, Reynolds R, Raven KE, Blane B, Donker T, Bentley SD, Aanensen DM, Grundmann H, Feil EJ, M. Spratt BG, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Building a genomic framework for prospective MRSA surveillance in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Genome Res. Accepted.
  2. Limmathurotsakul D, Golding N, Dance DA, Messina JP, Pigott DM, Moyes CL, Rolim DB, Bertherat E, Day NP, Peacock SJ, Hay SI. Predicted the global distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei and burden of melioidosis. Nature Microbiol. Accepted.
  3. Peacock SJ, Paterson GK. Mechanisms of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Annu Rev Biochem. 2015;84:577-601.
  4. Tong SY, Holden MT, Nickerson EK, Cooper BS, Köser CU, Cori A, Jombart T, Cauchemez S, Fraser C, Wuthiekanun V, Thaipadungpanit J, Hongsuwan M, Day NP, Limmathurotsakul D, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Genome sequencing defines phylogeny and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a high transmission setting. Genome Res. 2015; 25:111-8.
  5. Köser CU, Ellington M, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing to control antimicrobial resistance. Trends Genetics. 2014;30:401-407
  6. Török ME, Harris SR, Cartwright EJ, Raven KE, Brown NM, Allison ME, Greaves D, Quail MA, Limmathurotsaukul D, Holden MT, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Zero tolerance for healthcare-associated MRSA bacteraemia – is it realistic? J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014;69:2238-45.
  7. Uhlemann AC, Dordel J, Knox J, Raven KE, Parkhill J, Holden MT, Peacock SJ, Lowy FD. Molecular tracing of the emergence, diversification, and transmission of S. aureus sequence type 8 in a New York community. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014;111:6738-43.
  8. Chetchotisakd P, Chierakul W, Chaowagul W, Anunnatsiri S, Phimda K, Mootsikapun P, Chaisuksant S, Pilaikul J, Thinkhamrop B, Piphitaporn S, Susaengrat W, Toondee C, Wongrattanacheewin S, Wuthiekanun V, Thaipadungpanit J, Day NP, Limmathurotsakul D, Peacock SJ. Trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole versus trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole plus doxycycline as oral eradicative treatment for melioidosis (MERTH): a multicentre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2014;383:807-814.
  9. Köser CU, Fraser LJ, Ioannou A, Becq J, Ellington MJ, Holden MT, Reuter S, Török ME, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Gormley NA, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Rapid single-colony whole-genome sequencing of bacterial pathogens. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014; 69:1275-1281.
  10. Köser CU, Bryant JM, Becq J, Török ME, Ellington MJ, Marti-Renom MA, Carmichael AJ, Parkhill J, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for rapid susceptibility testing of M. tuberculosis. New Engl J Med. 2013;369:290-292.
  11. Harris SR, Török ME, Cartwright, EJ, Quail M, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J. Read and assembly metrics inconsequential for clinical utility of rapid whole genome sequencing in mapping outbreaks. Nat Biotechnol. 2013;31:592-594.
  12. Reuter S, Ellington MJ, Cartwright EJ, Köser CU, Török ME, Gouliouris T, Harris SR, Brown NM, Holden MT, Quail M, Parkhill J, Smith GP, Bentley SD, Peacock SJ. Rapid bacterial whole-genome sequencing to enhance diagnostic and public health microbiology. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:1397-404.
  13. Harris SR, Cartwright EJP, Török ME, Holden MT, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Ellington MJ, Quail MA, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for analysis of an outbreak of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a descriptive study.Lancet Infect Dis. 2013;13:130-6.
  14. Bryant J, Grogono DM, Greaves D, Foweraker J, Roddick I, Inns T, Reachers M, Haworth CS, Curran MD, Harris SR, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J, Floto RA. Whole-genome sequencing to identify transmission of Mycobacterium abscessus between patients with cystic fibrosis: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet. 2013;381:1551-60.
  15. Limmathurotsakul D, Kanoksil M, Wuthiekanun V, de Stavola B, Day NP, Peacock SJ. Activities of daily living associated with acquisition of melioidosis in northeast Thailand. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(2):e2072.
  16. Wiersinga WJ, Currie BJ, Peacock SJ. Melioidosis. New Engl J Med. 2012;367:1035-44.
  17. Köser CU, Ellington MJ, Cartwright EJP, Gillespie SH, Brown NM, Farrington M, Holden MT, Dougan G, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Routine use of microbial whole genome sequencing in diagnostic and public health microbiology. PLoS Pathogens 2012;8:e1002824.
  18. Chantratita N, Rholl DA, Sim B, Wuthiekanun V, Limmathurotsakul D, Amornchai P, Thanwisai A, Chua HH, Ooi WF, Holden MT, Day NP, Tan P, Schweizer HP, Peacock SJ. Antimicrobial resistance to ceftazidime involving loss of penicillin-binding protein 3 in Burkholderia pseudomallei. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108:17165-70.
  19. GarcÍa-Álvarez L, Holden MT, Lindsay H, Webb CR, Brown DF, Curran MD, Walpole E, Brooks K, Pickard DJ, Teale C, Parkhill J, Bentley SD, Edwards GF, Girvan EK, Kearns AM, Pichon B, Hill RL, Larsen AR, Skov RL, Peacock SJ, Maskell DJ, Holmes MA. Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with a novel mecA homologue in human and bovine populations in the UK and Denmark: a descriptive study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011; 11:595-603.
  20. Harris SR, Feil EJ, Holden MT, Quail MA, Nickerson EK, Chantratita N, Gardete S, Tavares A, Day N, Lindsay JA, Edgeworth JD, de Lencastre H, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Bentley SD. Evolution of MRSA during hospital transmission and intercontinental spread. Science. 2010;327(5964):469-74.

Affiliated specialist research centres

  •  Malaria Centre (LSHTM)
  •  TB Centre (LSHTM)
  •  Diagnostic Centre (LSHTM)
  •  MRC Molecular Cell Biology Unit (UCL)
  •  Wolfson Centre for Intestinal and Respiratory Diseases (LSHTM)
  •  Wellcome Bloomsbury Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)