Research expertise

Professor Jacqui Reilly

Shaping policy

Professor Jacqui Reilly and Professor David Goldberg supported COVID-19 research and intelligence work at Health Protection Scotland as it transitioned to form part of Scotland's new national body Public Health Scotland.

Co-Lead of the Centre for Living's Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention Research Group, Professor Reilly is Nurse Director at NHS National Services Scotland and Executive Lead for Quality Healthcare-Associated Infection. She directed infection prevention and control during the establishment of NHS Louisa Jordan as its healthcare-associated infection executive lead.

David, Professor of Public Health at the University, led Public Health Scotland’s COVID-19 Research and Intelligence Steering Group. The group developed and coordinated the central research and intelligence programme to support the country’s Health Protection Response.

Meanwhile, Professor Sara Cantillon, Director of the Wise Centre for Economic Justice, was appointed to the United Nations Crisis Bureau Experts Roster for Rapid Response to mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research expertise

Professor Claudia Estcourt advised the Scottish Parliament, Public Health England and the HM Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor on National Security on contact tracing for COVID-19.  

Professors Sharon Hutchinson and David Goldberg were central to major research that offered epidemiological insights on COVID-19 to aid the public health response. Their work, in collaboration with Public Health Scotland’s Epidemiology Research Cell on behalf of the COVID-19 Intelligence, Research and Development Programme, revealed that, along with being older and male, severe COVID-19 is strongly associated with past medical history across all age groups in Scotland and that healthcare workers and members of their household contributed a sixth of COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital among working-age adults in Scotland during the first wave.  

Professor Michael Roy, Dr Jamie Frankis and Dr Alex Pollock

The Scottish Government awarded Dr Jamie Frankis, Dr Alex Pollock and Dr Pauline Campbell £136,290 to fund projects tackling coronavirus’ long-term social impact - part of a £5million package to support 55 rapid research projects in Scottish universities and research institutions.   

Professor of Economic Sociology and Social Policy Michael Roy, from the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, also received £58,245 to lead a study into the role of mutual aid to the pandemic, from the fund.

In addition, our physical activity researchers, respiratory experts, and sports and exercise psychologists launched the world’s most comprehensive study exploring if getting active can boost COVID-19 immunity.  

We began the first major study of its kind analysing the effects of lockdown on Scots’ mental health and Dr Nicola Roberts led a study that revealed that nurses working with respiratory patients on the frontline suffered anxiety and depression as they struggled to support their families emotionally and financially. 

Professor Lesley Price co-ordinated the Scottish arm of the UK-wide SIREN study, in partnership with Public Health Scotland, and working closely with National Research Scotland and the Chief Scientist Office. SIREN is testing 100,000 health workers to determine whether the presence of COVID-19 antibodies is associated with a reduction in the risk of re-infection.