Professor Judith Breuer is a Professor of Virology at UCL and Clinical lead for Virology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Her research interests include the development of high throughput pathogen sequencing directly from clinical material for the analysis of pathogen evolution and identification of pathogen genetic determinants of clinical disease. Professor Breuer has worked for many years on varicella zoster virus and its vaccine. Her work has elucidated many aspects of VZV natural history and pathogenesis. Professor Breuer’s use of combined host and viral transcriptomics uncovered the requirement of VZV replication for keratinocyte differentiation and identified new epidermal signalling pathways associated with replication not only of VZV but other skin viruses. The application of enriched transcriptomics to early post mortem human trigeminal ganglia led her group to discover the canonical VZV latency transcript. More recently Professor Breuer has applied different genomic approaches to the diagnosis of infections. In particular she has developed metagenomic methods for pathogen discovery in patients with undiagnosed infections of the brain, widening this recently to other samples. Her work on pathogen genome sequencing to investigate nosocomial transmission of viruses has culminated in the the COG-UK Hospital Onset Covid Infection trial, which will measure the impact of sequencing on IPC management of SARS-cpV-2 outbreaks in hospitals. Professor Breuer chairs the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation Varicella zoster vaccine subcommittees and the Immunocompromised Working Group. Professor Breuer is a member of the MHRA Expert working group on Covid vaccines, the SAGE subcommittee on Hospital Onset Covid Infection and the COG-Uk steering group.
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