Leading St Andrews infectious disease expert to deliver keynote lecture
Dr Muge Cevik, world-leading infectious disease expert from the University of St Andrews School of Medicine, will deliver a keynote lecture at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) next week (Tuesday 15 February).
Bringing together the most respected infectious disease healthcare professionals and scientists from around the globe to discuss human retroviruses and other relevant infections such as SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), CROI is one of the world’s most prestigious congresses in this field.
Her research interests focus on HIV, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, emerging infections, including Covid-19 since the beginning of 2020.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as working on the NHS front line of the response, Dr Cevik provided scientific advice to the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland and advisory groups on recent scientific developments on Covid-19. She serves as a member of NERVTAG (New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group), an expert government committee of the UK Department of Health, advising and producing guidance documents for the UK-SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies). She also provided consultancy to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on risk communication during Covid-19 pandemic.
The keynote address by Dr Cevik will provide an overview of the global epidemiology of Covid-19, mainly focusing on disparities in transmission, severity and outcomes. Dr Cevik will also summarise the challenging and often misinterpreted but consequential epidemiological aspects, such as asymptomatic transmission, changes in the severity of disease and transmissibility of variants, focusing on better ways to evaluate these areas going forward. The Covid-19 pandemic, with its myriad uncertainties, well-publicised retractions, shifting recommendations and more than 300,000 publications, has underscored the importance of carefully synthesising and translating the vast amount of data into evidence-based and actionable insights.
Dr Cevik critically appraised emerging data and provided evidence summaries of complex scientific arguments, including transmission and school openings. For example, in April 2020 she identified that evidence-indicated transmission often occurred after sustained close contact and indoors, such as through family gatherings, or in poorly ventilated indoor environments. Her research team performed systematic reviews and clinical research, working towards providing rapid reviews for governments and the WHO,which directly informed the policy in the UK and internationally.
Dr Cevik is also coordinating the recruitment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in South East Asia and South Africa. Additionally, she is co-leading a household transmission study in Scotland as well as a prospective study to quantify the burden of Covid-19 in patients with tuberculosis in Kampala, Uganda.
The full programme for Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) is available online.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.