The ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented in scale and has caused significant suffering and hardships for the people living in the affected countries. For the first time, researchers had the opportunity to assess potential treatments for this often fatal infection, but clinical trials for Ebola are far from easy. Research teams from the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, led by Professor Peter Horby, have conduced two clinical trials during the current outbreak. This talk will describe how these unique studies were conducted and the challenges the researchers faced, what life was like in the field, how far we have come with outbreak research and why there is still room for improvement.
About the speaker: Jake Dunning a Senior Clinical Researcher at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health and an Infectious Diseases Consultant. After completing his infectious diseases training in London and a PhD in Respiratory Virus Immunology at Imperial College, he joined the Epidemic infectious Diseases Research Group (ERGO) at Oxford. Since October 2014, he has been working in Liberia and Sierra Leone as the Lead Clinician and Co-Investigator for the RAPIDE Ebola treatment trials. Jake has also contributed to clinical, public health and global research initiatives for several recently-emerged infectious disease threats, including pandemic H1N1 influenza, avian H7N9 influenza, and MERS coronavirus. In October 2015, Jake will take up a new consultant role at Public Health England, specialising in respiratory virus outbreaks and emerging infections, but he will remain a Visiting Researcher at both Oxford and Imperial.