The Pandemic Institute is positioned to leverage existing capabilities and assets to better prepare the world for future pandemics
The Pandemic Institute is headquartered in Liverpool, a city at the leading edge of innovative public health responses, and with a rich history of pandemic science. During COVID-19 the city of Liverpool’s civic leadership, academic institutions and health infrastructure combined powerfully on testing, vaccine development and the Events Research Programme. The collaboration led to the most agile public health response seen across the nation. The Pandemic Institute is the next stage in this journey.
Our leadership team
PROF. Tom Solomon CBE
Director of the Pandemic Institute
Professor Tom Solomon CBE has been working on emerging infections of pandemic potential for nearly thirty years, with research programmes in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the UK.
He is Professor of Neurological Science and Head of the Brain Infections Group at the University of Liverpool. He trained in medicine in Oxford, did his PhD in Vietnam, and post-doctoral research in the United States. He was Director of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health (2010-17). In 2014 Tom was made founding Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections which was heavily involved in the UK response to Ebola, Zika, Covid-19 and now monkeypox. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator, and Vice President (International) of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Tom appears regularly in the media discussing emerging infections, hosts the Scouse Science Podcast and tweets @RunningMadProf.
dr RAY KENT
Chief Operating Officer
Dr Ray Kent is a senior manager with a passion for supporting leading-edge research into emerging infectious diseases and facilitating knowledge exchange with industry.
Prior to joining The Pandemic Institute in August 2022 as Chief Operating Officer, Ray was Director of Research and Innovation Services at The Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Since 2015 he has won more than £20 million in grant funding for research and knowledge exchange activities, much of it in infectious disease and vaccine development. Most notably, from 2018 to 2022 Ray led The Bloomsbury SET (‘Science, Economics, Technology’), a £7-million translational research programme on infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance. This brought together leading researchers from London and Liverpool with the aim of bringing new products and services closer to the marketplace – the perfect introduction to his role at The Pandemic Institute.
Ray’s interests span UK and international science policy, and the role of knowledge-based institutions in supporting local economic growth. He is keen to connect with companies and individuals interested in understanding more about the work of The Pandemic Institute.
Her key areas of expertise include programme design, oversight and monitoring of programme implementation and cross-sectoral collaboration. Sarah has a strong track record building partnerships between stakeholders, including collaborating with national governments and local experts in complex multicultural environments across Africa.
dr Caryn hughes
Prior to joining, Caryn was Manager of the Doctoral Training Hub at the University of Glasgow, leading a multi-institutional team responsible for providing end-to-end management and administration for numerous UKRI-funded Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and also served as Coordinator for the CDT in Future Ultrasonic Engineering in partnership with Strathclyde University.
Preceding this, Caryn worked as a Business Development Manager for an EPSRC and SFI CDT between the University of Glasgow, Queen’s University Belfast and the Irish Photonic Integration Centre.
Caryn’s former research background was based on spectral pathology for disease-state diagnostics, working as PhD student and Research Associate at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, the Analytical and Medical Vibrational Spectroscopy Group at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and as a Visiting Researcher at the Spectral Analytics Laboratory at the University of Strathclyde.
Sara has a proven track record in High-level programme coordination, with operational and financial management. She has over 17 years’ experience in the delivery of major projects funded by UKAid (DFID/FCDO), GSK, and BMGF in partnership with government and non-governmental bodies across UK, Asia and Africa. Collaborating with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to deliver against demanding deadlines,
Sara’s previous role was on the programme management team for the Ascend West and Central Africa programme. With the responsibility for the financial management and reporting of a 3 year, £18M milestone-based contract. Funded by FCDO UKAid and managed by four leading development organisations: LSTM, Sightsavers International, The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Foundation, and Mott MacDonald. Other responsibilities include the supervision and coordination of high preforming administrative teams, both in the UK and DRC.
The University of Liverpool is a public research university based in the city of Liverpool, England. Founded as a college in 1881, it gained its Royal Charter in 1903 with the ability to award degrees and is also known to be one of the six original ‘red brick’ civic universities.
The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine was established in 1898 and it was the first institution in the world dedicated to research and teaching in tropical medicine.
Liverpool John Moores University is a public research university in the city of Liverpool, England. The university can trace its origins to the Liverpool Mechanics’ School of Arts, established in 1823.
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the newly merged Trust responsible for managing Aintree University Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool University Dental Hospital and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
The Liverpool City Region is a combined authority region of England, centred on Liverpool, incorporating the local authority district boroughs of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral.
KQ Liverpool is a 450-acre innovation district at the heart of Liverpool City Centre which is home to some of the world’s most influential names in science, health, technology, education, music and the creative and performing arts.
Liverpool has extensive and world-leading expertise in pandemic research. The city is unique within the Higher Education ecosystem in the UK with medical, veterinary, public health, tropical medicine and behavioural science schools that network across Health & Life Science clusters in KQ Liverpool, Daresbury and Alderley Park. The city is therefore home to an exceptionally talented workforce, including ISARIC, a leading consortium of researchers collating clinical information on pathogens of public interest.
Liverpool pioneered innovative approaches during the Covid-19 pandemic, including a whole city community testing pilot which cut transmission rates by a fifth, as well as hosting large-scale pilot events on behalf of the Government that provided evidence of how to safely reopen important sectors of the economy. Our city worked together to help our communities tackle the pandemic and develop Liverpool’s reputation as a leader in pandemic management and resilience. More broadly, Liverpool is a national leader in genomic sequencing and holds one of the richest global data sets of zoonotic pathogens. It is also home to the pioneering AGILE clinical trial platform and has extensive vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturing experience.
Liverpool has a critical mass of civic organisations and HEIs acting as one system, leveraging their collective infrastructure to enable research across the pandemic lifecycle. It is also home to one of only five High Consequences Infectious Disease Units in the UK and hosts the Center for Global Vaccine Research, as well as a global biobank hub which can be leveraged and scaled rapidly. Additionally, the Founding Partners have significant global reach, with collaborations and hubs located across the world, which the Institute will build upon.
Innova Medical Group, Inc. delivers better global health outcomes with its deep expertise in testing, unique offerings in diagnostic medical devices and services that help tackle some of the world’s most challenging healthcare problems. Innova specializes in innovative screening, testing and diagnostics for cancer, heart disease, arterial calcification, stroke and virus detection focused on infectious disease. In response to the global pandemic, Innova developed an end-to-end ecosystem of rapid diagnostic and screening tests, along with digital reporting and tracing applications to help organizations manage the COVID-19 crisis.
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