Hugh studied medicine at University College Dublin and trained in internal medicine in inner-city Dublin. He then completed his diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene at LSTM, followed by a stint of paediatric HIV research in South Africa before returning to LSTM to take up a research fellow position with the respiratory infection group. His research at LSTM involved expanding the successful Experimental Human Pneumococcal Colonisation (EHPC) model into new populations. For his PhD, under the supervision of Daniela Ferreira, Jamie Rylance and Stephen Gordon, he demonstrated the safety of EHPC in volunteers aged up to 80 years. His research also refined our understanding of the immunology of pneumococcal colonisation in older people, and explored the changes in pneumococcal epidemiology in healthy adults in the city of Liverpool after changes in the childhood vaccination programme.
After completing his PhD, Hugh has worked as a specialty trainee in infectious diseases and medical microbiology, based in hospitals across Merseyside. He continues to teach on the DTM&H and the MSc Tropical and Infectious Diseases. His ongoing research interests include pneumococcal colonisation and disease, antimicrobial resistance, and imported and emerging infections including monkeypox. He has built on his experience caring for patients with monkeypox in the Liverpool High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) unit to describe the UK-wide clinical experience with this emerging virus, in collaboration with the national HCID network, including the first report of antiviral treatment for this disease.