A CTLGH team member who responded to an appeal to help administer a vital study on Covid-19 has been praised by the researcher leading the work.
Jen Meikle, Finance Officer and Centre Administrator of CTLGH, was one of over 70 people from the Roslin Institute and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies who responded to an appeal by Roslin researcher Dr Kenneth Baillie who urgently needed admin support to set up his new project.
Dr Baillie is leading a UK wide project called Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care (GenOMICC). Researchers from the Roslin Institute, the NHS and Genomics England will study the genetic codes of severely-ill Covid-19 patients and try and find out why the disease affects some people more than others. It is hoped that this information will help identify potential treatments.
Launched by Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary, this £28 million study will allow the genome sequencing of up to 20,000 people who have been in intensive care units (ICUs) throughout the UK with Covid-19 and 15,000 others who show mild symptoms. With over 2,000 patients already recruited, it is by far the largest study of critical care genetics in the world.
The initial target was to try and recruit a third of ICUs in the UK but thanks to the efforts of Jen and the rest of the small team of GenOMICCs volunteers, almost every ICU has now been recruited to the study, which will help ensure that as many covid-19 patients as possible can be approached to take part.
Dr Baillie took to twitter to recognise and thank Jen and the rest of the small GenOMICC team for their role establishing links with ICU sites across the UK to recruit volunteers, parcelling up and posting hundreds of sampling kits, providing admin support for any ICU queries and maintaining accurate database records. He tweeted:
Jen is proud to be part of the GenOMICC effort and commented:
“I have been incredibly lucky to work for this institution for close to 30 years and this is probably the only time that I have witnessed such a powerful response to an equally tough and global challenge. I feel very privileged and humbled to have been able to assist by contacting hospitals, trying to get them involved win the study, issuing documents for protocol and site set up as well as database access.”