Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine postgraduate students win Pandemic Institute/ DAM Health’s Student Excellence Awards, 2023

News article 20 Feb 2023

Four LSTM studentshave been awarded grants of £3500 each after winning Student Excellence Awards, designed to boost their studies as part of a unique collaboration between The Pandemic Institute and DAM Health. The awards have been set up to support the next generation of scientific, medical, and humanistic PhD students in Liverpool.

A celebration of the Student Excellence Awards took place at The Liverpool Medical Institution with family, friends, colleagues, and academic mentors attending the ceremony. The students received their awards from Professor Frank Joseph, DAM Health’s Medical Director and Dr Ray Kent, Chief Operating Officer of The Pandemic Institute, both of whom were members of the judging panel.

 Postgraduate students from The University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, were invited to apply for the awards in autumn 2022, across scientific, medical and humanities fields. There were seven winners in total and four of those came from LSTM:

 Caitlin Greenland-Bews (LSTM) Supervisor: Thomas Edwards

Study:  Development and Evaluation of Non-Sequencing Surveillance Methods for Emerging Pathogens
Benefit of Award:
Travel and attendance to compulsory training courses.

Caitlin Thompson (LSTM) Supervisor: Emily Adams

Study: Development and Evaluation of Monoclonal Antibodies for use in the Diagnostics of Emerging Infectious Diseases
Benefit of Award: Travel to the Professor Kobinger’s laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

 Kostas Liatsikos (LSTM) Supervisor: Andrea Collins

Study: Respiratory pathogens in adults: Exploring associations, effects, and prophylactic pharmacological measures​
Benefit of award:
Attending two conferences.

 Mercy Chepkirui Terer (LSTM) Based in Kenya (KEMRI) Supervisor: Stephanie Dellicour

Study: Application of machine learning techniques for health record linkage in Kenya: Methods for leveraging existing data for pandemic preparedness
Benefit of award: Training, mentorship and conferences.

 The awards debuted last year, and this year’s grants will once again promote career development opportunities for winners, enabling them to attend international conferences or take up training and development opportunities at world-leading laboratories.

Dr Ray Kent, Chief Operating Officer at The Pandemic Institute, said, “At The Pandemic Institute, we strive to protect the world from emerging infections and future pandemic threats. We are passionate about developing the next generation of leading scientists to help achieve our ambitious goals. Thanks to the generosity of DAM Health, one of our sponsors, we have a wonderful opportunity with the Student Excellence Awards 2023 to support some exceptionally talented researchers. The quality of the applicants made it hard to choose the winners, but we are pleased that there are awardees from all three universities involved in The Pandemic Institute. This is testament to the calibre of students studying for a higher degree in our great city of Liverpool. It is exciting to see the breadth of topics that the awardees are working on, extending from traditional laboratory-based biological sciences, through to clinical science and data science.”

 Professor Frank Joseph, Medical Director of DAM Health, said, “It was amazing to be able to reward the students for their amazing endeavours. The quality of the work and the presentations were exceptional and spanned a wide variety of topics looking at more than just what people traditionally think of with pandemics. Some of the technology and methods are revolutionary and will have significant impacts in the immediate and distant future. It was also amazing to be able to recognise students from across the globe. As DAM Health starts to deliver post-pandemic health care solutions for a range of conditions that the pandemic has brought to the fore, the Student Excellence Awards are a great opportunity to recognise the hard work that has gone on to get us to where we are today.”