Dr Ben Morton

Senior Clinical Lecturer

I am a senior clinical lecturer in critical care medicine at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, working clinically at the Aintree site of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Since my doctorate was awarded in 2016 I have developed a translation research career focusing on treatment and prevention of severe infection. During this time, I spent two years working at the Malawi-Liverpool Welcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (2019-2021) before returning to Liverpool in July 2021.


In the UK, after MD completion, I successfully delivered a MRC DPFS awarded programme culminating in a “first in human” phase 1 MHRA clinical trials authority submission for P4 peptide, an immunomodulatory therapeutic candidate for sepsis.

Following this I worked as clinical post-doctoral research associate with the NIHR-funded IMPALA group and have successfully supervised two of their PhD students to completion.

I moved to Malawi for a two-year period in June 2019, fully funded through a Wellcome Trust award, to work as clinical lead for the “MARVELS” programme. There, I established feasibility and safety of a pneumococcal controlled human infection model CHIM technology. Subsequently, I developed and obtained permissions for a clinical trial to test the efficacy PCV13 versus placebo vaccination against experimentally induced pneumococcal carriage in Malawi, opening to recruitment in March 2021. During this time, I trained and built capacity with the local clinical team and handed over responsibility for safe delivery upon my planned return to the UK in July 2021

During this period, I also led the opening of a new high dependency unit in Blantyre, developing context-sensitive treatment guidelines and successful delivery of highly impactful research, particularly around COVID-19 funded by Wellcome-FCDO. This work directly led to a successful application to the NIHR RIGHT3 funded programme designed to improve outcomes for patients admitted to hospital in Malawi and Tanzania with acute manifestations of multimorbid disease.

Now working in Liverpool, working in partnership with the UKRI funded Infection Innovation Consortium, I am actively engaged in the development of new controlled human infection models targeting respiratory pathogens including pneumococcus, influenza and TB.

I currently supervise 2 PhD students

Further information

Editor, Anaesthesia

Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA)

Fellow of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FFICM)

Selected publications

    • Morton B et al. Consensus statement on measures to promote equitable authorship in the publication of research from international partnerships. Anaesthesia 2022 77(3): 264-276. https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.15597
    • Morton B, Barnes KG, Anscombe C et al. Distinct clinical and immunological profiles of patients with evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature Communications 12: 3554 (2021)
    • Morton B et al. A feasibility study of controlled human infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae in Malawi. EBioMedicine 2021 Volume 72, 103579, October 01, 2021
    • Morton B, Banda NP, Nsomba E, et al. Establishment of a high-dependency unit in Malawi. BMJ Global Health 2020; 0:e004041. DOI:10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004041
    • Abrams ST, Morton B, Alhamdi Y, Alsabani M, Lane S, Welters ID, Wang G and Toh CH. A novel assay for neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation independently predicts disseminated intravascular coagulation and mortality in critically ill patients. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2019 DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201811-2111OC