Dr Rachel Louise Byrne

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Since completing a BSc in Tropical Disease Biology at the University of Liverpool (2012-2015) I went on to complete a Research Masters at Trinity College Dublin investigating the parasite community of the European badger (Meles meles) in the Republic of Ireland.

In between degrees I also worked within the Dagnall laboratory at LSTM as a teaching laboratory assistant.


I work on the application of molecular diagnostics for the surveillance of emerging infectious diseases, collaborating with the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome (MLW) Trust and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital Trust (RLUHT). My two main focuses are antimicrobial resistance (AMR) based in Malawi and SARS-CoV-2 here in Liverpool.

Related activities

I am an advocate for science communication and have recently collaborated with Everton in the Community to educate school age children from Liverpool about the importance of handwashing to fight COVID-19. I regularly chat to BBC radio Merseyside about my work on COVID-19 diagnostics and outreach.


I demonstrate on the laboratory practical courses for the DTM&H course.

Selected publications

  • Byrne RL, Kay GA, Kontogianni K, et al. Saliva Alternative to Upper Respiratory Swabs for SARS-CoV-2 Diagnosis. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(11):2769-2770. doi:10.3201/eid2611.203283.

    Brown, L., Byrne, R. L., Fraser, A., Owen, S. I., Atienzar, A. I. C., Williams, C., ... & Garrod, G. (2020). Self-sampling of capillary blood for serological testing of SARS-CoV-2 by COVID-19 IgG ELISA. medRxiv.