Dr Anika Singanayagam is an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in the Section of Adult Infectious Disease at Imperial College London. She is Principal Investigator on a SARS-CoV-2 human challenge study. She also collaborates on the ATACCC SARS-CoV-2 household transmission study, via the NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections. Her research interests are in the virology and transmission of respiratory viruses (e.g. influenza, SARS-CoV-2, RSV) including the application of strategies to reduce viral transmission (testing, vaccines, antivirals).
Anika graduated in Medicine (BM BCh MA) from Oxford University (2002-2008). She completed general medical training in London and subsequently entered Infectious Diseases specialty training as an Academic Clinical Fellow in 2012.
Her PhD research (funded by a national Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship) on pandemic influenza viruses was in the laboratory of Prof Wendy Barclay at Imperial College. Using in vitro and animal models, her work demonstrated how influenza virus stability is important for human adaptation and airborne transmission. This involved developing a new experimental technique for collecting and characterising infectious viruses from the air, described here. Her doctoral work also involved investigating virological causes of reduced effectiveness of the nasally-administered live attenuated influenza vaccine given to children, which helped to inform how these vaccine strains are selected and manufactured.
Anika also has close links to UKHSA. At UKHSA, she has worked in the Virus Reference Department, primarily within the Respiratory Virus Unit and Polio Reference Service. She was a key member of the Virology Cell of the COVID-19 National Incident Management Team from the onset of the pandemic in January 2020. Her role involved providing technical and scientific input on virology, transmission and testing for SARS-CoV-2, contributing to national public health policy. Her work on SARS-CoV-2 duration of infectiousness has >900 citations and directly informed isolation policy in the UK and many other countries worldwide. Her research also provided some of the first evidence globally of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurring between vaccinated people, contributing extensively to international media interest around these findings. She co-authored a Technical Report on the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK for the Chief Medical Officer.
Zhou J, Singanayagam A, Barclay WS, 2023, Is it possible to generalise superspreading individuals or events of SARS-CoV-2? - Authors' reply., Lancet Microbe, Vol:4
et al., 2023, Increased reports of severe myocarditis associated with enterovirus infection in neonates, United Kingdom, 27 June 2022 to 26 April 2023, Eurosurveillance, Vol:28, ISSN:1025-496X
et al., 2023, Viral emissions into the air and environment after SARS-CoV-2 human challenge: a phase 1, open label, first-in-human study, The Lancet Microbe, Vol:4, ISSN:2666-5247, Pages:e579-e590
et al., 2023, Asymptomatic immunodeficiency-associated vaccine-derived poliovirus infections in two UK children, Nature Communications, Vol:14, ISSN:2041-1723
et al., 2023, Risk factors and vectors for SARS-CoV-2 household transmission: a prospective, longitudinal cohort study, The Lancet Microbe, Vol:4, ISSN:2666-5247, Pages:e397-e408