Photo of Professor Calum Semple

Professor Calum Semple OBE PhD FRCPCH FRCPE FFPH FHEA

Professor of Child Health and Outbreak Medicine, Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician at Alder Hey Children's Hospital Clinical Infection, Microbiology & Immunology

Research

Research Overview

"Professor Calum Semple has studied severe virus disease outbreaks since 1989 in the fields of diagnostics, clinical characterization and clinical trials. He was a founder member of ISARIC. He has led studies of COVID-19, MERS, Monkeypox, Ebola (EVD and Survivors), Lassa Fever, Influenza and Bronchiolitis, at times field-deployed in austere circumstances.

He is Chief Investigator for BESS, FLU-CATs, WHO ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK), and CO-CIN. ISARIC CCP-UK and CO-CIN are pandemic response studies that have been activated for the covid-19 outbreak.

Calum is the chief investigator for ISARIC’s Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium in the UK (ISARIC4C.net). Thanks to the consortium’s work, the UK now leads the world in having the largest and most detailed observational study on COVID-19 (n>305,000). The harmonised data sets and biological samples have supported vaccine development (ChAdOx), therapeutic trials (RECOVERY) and led to discoveries of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and long-COVID.

BESS - the Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study in a multinational randomised controlled trial of Endotracheal Surfactant administered to infants with life-threatening Bronchiolitis funded by the NIHR EME programme.

He is co-investigator on ARCHIE (2014-) and Emergency Evaluation of Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) in Guinea "Ebola-Tx" (2014-17). Calum was a co-investigator on the FLU-CIN and MOSAIC studies that characterized in near real-time the clinical and immunological response to Influenza A/H1N1pdm2009 infection during the pandemic. "

Severe Acute Respiratory Infection

Influenza disease, bronchiolitis of infants, Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human Metapneumovirus.

Emerging Infections

With the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC), clinical characterisation and development of clinical countermeasures to Emerging Infections.
Deployed to Sierra Leone 2014-2016 to lead a trial of Ebola Convalescent Plasma in Freetown.

Ebola_CP “Convalescent plasma for early Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone"

The study Ebola_CP “Convalescent plasma for early Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone (ISRCTN13990511 & PACTR201602001355272) is funded by the Wellcome Trust (Award ref 106491) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr Semple and Dr Scott received support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at the University of Liverpool.

The Ebola_CP Consortium investigators are MG Semple, (Consortium Lead Investigator) & JT Scott, (both Institute of Translational Medicine and NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK); SM Gevao (Country Lead Investigator) F Sahr (Country Deputy Lead Investigator), CP Cole & J Russell (all College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, Freetown, Sierra Leone); S Baker, O Kargbo & P Kamara (all National Safe Blood Service, Connaught Hospital, Ministry of Health & Sanitation, Freetown, Sierra Leone); M Lado & CS Brown (both King’s Sierra Leone Health Partnership, King’s Health Partners & King’s College London, London, UK); J van Griensven, R Ravinetto & Y Claeys (all Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium); RS Tedder, R Gopal & TJG Brooks (all National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, UK); CC Smith (Health Protection Scotland, UK); HA Doughty (NHS Blood and Transplant, & College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK); A Mari Saez and M Borchert (both Institute for Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité, Berlin, Germany); AH Kelly (Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, Exeter University, Exeter, UK); JK Baillie (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK) N Shindo & D Pfeifer (both Department of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases, World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland); DL Hoover (ClinicalRM Inc., Ohio, USA) WA Fischer II & DA Wohl (both Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA) NM Thielman (Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, USA) PW Horby & L Merson (bith Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK) PG Smith & T Edwards (both MRC Tropical Epidemiology Group, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London).

Acknowledgements: G McCann & L Matthews (Institute of Translational Medicine and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK); I Bates (Department of International Public Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK) A Kohlenberg (HIV and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium); WA Brooks (International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging infection Consortium (ISARIC), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA); MP Kieney (World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland), A Jones (Department of Biostatistics, and North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK); C Burm & D Arango (Clinical Trials Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium); NF Walker (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), the members of the Convalescent Products and Allied Therapy Intervention Technical Committee, the Research Ethics Committee and Pharmacy Board Committee, (all Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Republic of Sierra Leone).

Convalescent Products and Allied Therapy Intervention Technical Committee (COPATIC): Chair Prof Sahr M Gevao, Deputy Chair Prof Foday Sahr, Secretary Mr Onome T Abiri, Ordinary members: Dr Samuel Baker, Mr Philip Kamara, Mr Osman Kargbo, Dr James Russell, Mr Brian Conton, and Dr Sylvester Nicol.

Research Group Membership

Research Grants

GroundsWell: Community-engaged and Data-informed Systems Transformation of Urban Green and Blue Space for Population Health

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)

October 2021 - September 2026

CO-CONNECT

UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (UKRI) (UK)

October 2020 - April 2022

Evaluation of the implementation of pandemic preparedness plans during COVID-19 at the interface with infection prevention and control services in acute and community care.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

March 2021 - September 2022

Predicting unplanned hospital readmission prior to discharge in patients with COVID-19: development, validation, and implementation of a machine- learning based risk prediction model

HEALTH DATA RESEARCH UK - HDRUK (UK)

October 2021 - September 2022

What are the patterns of healthcare use in children and young people with SARS-CoV-2 in the 12 months following infection?

HEALTH DATA RESEARCH UK - HDRUK (UK)

October 2021 - September 2022

The UK Interstitial Lung Disease Long-COVID19 study (UKILD-Long COVID): understanding the burden of Interstitial Lung Disease in Long COVID.

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)

February 2021 - July 2022

A UK underpinning platform to study immunology and immunopathology of COVID-19:The UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)

August 2020 - August 2022

Characterization of severe coronavirus infection in humans and model systems for medical countermeasure development and evaluation

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTATION (USA)

September 2020 - September 2025

Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study: a national consortium to understand and improve long-term health outcomes (PHOSP-COVID)

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)

July 2020 - April 2023

Clinical Characterisation of COVID-19 admitted to hospitals in the United Kingdom (Tier Zero of The Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK reporting to CO-CIN) (CO-CIN)

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

April 2020 - September 2022

CCP - UK

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC), UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (UKRI) (UK)

March 2020 - September 2022

The efficacy and mechanism of surfactant therapy in infants with life threatening Bronchiolitis: the Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study (BESS).

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

February 2018 - November 2023

Longitudinal Observational Study of Ebola Survivors with Secondary Retinal Sequelae

THE DOWAGER COUNTESS ELEANOR PEEL TRUST (UK)

September 2017 - December 2021

Defining Post Ebola Virus Disease Ophthalmic Sequelae and Opportunities for Intervention

BAYER CORPORATION (USA)

August 2016 - December 2018

Combating Visual Loss in Ebola Survivors

THE DOWAGER COUNTESS ELEANOR PEEL TRUST (UK)

February 2016 - January 2017

Systematic review of environmental factors predisposing to severe childhood asthma

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

September 2017 - August 2018

International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium - Flu Sequelae

BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION (USA)

February 2016 - May 2018

Clinical provision and priority research activities for Ebola survivors

LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE (UK)

June 2015 - March 2019

Convalescent Plasma for Early Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone “Ebola_CP”

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

March 2015 - September 2017

ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Protocol for Severe Emerging Infection and Short Period Incidence Study of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection

IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON (UK)

January 2016 - December 2019

Emergency evaluation of convalescent whole blood (CWB) and plasma (CP) for Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) in affected West African countries - Ebola tx

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

November 2014 - October 2016

ARCHIE - Early antibiotic use in ‘at risk’ children with influenza

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

October 2012 - September 2020

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Bronchiolitis: Clinical and Immunological Associations in Infancy.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

January 2002 - April 2008

UK H1N1 Clinical Information Network (FLU-CIN)

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

September 2009 - August 2012

Evaluation & refinement of pan-flu triage tools

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

January 2013 - March 2022

Research Collaborations

Dr Roger Parslow

Project: BESS
External: PICANet University of Leeds

Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study

Prof Howard Clarke, Prof Tony Postle

Project: BESS
External: University of Southampton

Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study

Dr Tansy Edwards

Project: Ebola CP and Ebola TX
External: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Virus Disease

Prof Simon de Lusignan

Project: FLU-CATs
External: University of Surrey

Refinement and validation of pandemic influenza triage tools

Prof Jonathan van Tam and Dr Louise Lansbury

Project: FLU-CATS
External: University of Nottingham

Refinement and validation of pandemic influenza triage tools

Dr A Kipar

Internal

Substance P and hRSV Bronchiolitis

Prof Johan van Griensven

Project: Ebola CP & Ebola TX
External: Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITG) Antwerp

Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Virus Disease

Dr Allan Bennett

External: Health Protection Agency

The Airborne Respiratory Disease Infection Simulator (TARDIS)

Dr Anthony Harnden

External: University of Oxford

NIHR HTA Grant coapplicant

Dr Jonathan Read

Internal

Establishing and modelling contact behaviour in children and their carers, in illness and health.

Dr Dai Evans

Project: FLU-CATs
External: PRIMIS, University of Nottingham

Refinement and validation of pandemic influenza triage tools.