Founded in 2014, the mission of the NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London is to support the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) creating a centre-of-excellence to design, conduct and share internationally leading multidisciplinary health protection research with a goal to protect and improve the public’s health through better application of cost-effective public health interventions.
The HPRU has a strong track-record of translating cutting-edge laboratory research into cost-effective practical solutions to address major unmet public health needs. For example, we designed and evaluated new national screening programmes for TB infection, discovered drug-resistance to new anti-flu drugs and improved winter illness forecasting to inform NHS planning.
Now in our second funding round, 2020-2025, our vision includes addressing UKHSA’s new top priorities through research that improves clinical practice, modernises diagnostic services and informs public health policy, particularly for vulnerable populations.
This second-round of HPRU in Respiratory Infections (2020-2025) is focused around 4 themes:
1. Respiratory Surveillance and Analytics
2. Influenza Vaccines
3. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Moreover, the HPRU strategic coordination maintains responsive in its research capacity to address emergent threats, harnessed to directly address public health priorities and health inequalities. Therefore, as a result of the urgent COVID-19 pandemic response, the HPRU is carrying out two urgent large research studies:
1. Integrated Network for Surveillance, Trials and Investigations into COVID-19 Transmission (INSTINCT).
2. Assessment of Transmission And Contagiousness of COVID-19 in Contacts (ATACCC) – chief medical officer commissioned.