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NIHR leaders recognised in Queen’s Jubilee Honours List

Published: 08 June 2022

Leading NIHR researchers Professors Jill Manthorpe, Saul Faust and Margaret Johnson have been recognised in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours List.

Director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, Professor Saul Faust, has been awarded an OBE for his role in leading the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

During the pandemic, Southampton researchers and medics led and supported multiple studies which helped to determine the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for use in adults and children across the world.

One of the biggest studies, COV-BOOST, looked at the safety, immune responses and side-effects of seven vaccines when used as a third booster jab and made international headlines.

The trials were led by Prof Faust, who holds a joint role as a Professor of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton. The findings not only played a major role in shaping the UK COVID booster programme, they were also recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Prof Faust says: “I am deeply humbled and grateful to be recognised in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours. Although this award is to me, I couldn’t have done any of my work during the pandemic without the amazing research teams across Southampton, Dorset, Hampshire, South Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight. And of course, nothing would have been possible without the public coming forward to take part in the vaccine trials that are still continuing today.”

Prof Faust is also clinical director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex and a lead for Microbiology, Immunology and Infection in the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, and has been involved in wider studies including a needle-free vaccine for Covid-19 variants.

Professor Jill Manthorpe, Associate Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, has been awarded a CBE for services to social work and social care research.

Prof Manthorpe also directs the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, and is social care theme lead for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London. Her research spans social care and health services in the UK and internationally. Jill also has been and continues to be a Trustee for a range of voluntary sector organisations and has been a non-executive director for NHS Community, Mental Health and Primary Care Trusts.

She said: “I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed to our research, especially during the pandemic pressures. It is hugely inspiring to learn from people with a passion to make the world a better place through their work.

“This award recognises the substantial investments being made by the government in social care and social work research and its multiple achievements.”

Professor Margaret Johnson, co-Clinical Director at CRN North Thames, has been awarded an OBE for services to the NHS and people with HIV. Prof Johnson is also a consultant in thoracic and HIV medicine at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and professor of HIV medicine at UCL. 

She said: "I'm so pleased to have been given this honour - what I've achieved in HIV care would not have been possible without my fantastic team.

"I think what I'm most proud of is that HIV care is now mainstream, it's not hidden away. At the Ian Charleson Day Centre we have a multi-speciality approach - we run joint clinics with specialists from different areas, so we provide patients with holistic care. I'm also really proud of our track record on research - our patients have participated in early clinical trials and that's saved so many lives.

"HIV is a prime example of public participation in research changing lives for the better, but we know that research can benefit patients from across the disease spectrum. I am fortunate that, in my role as co-Clinical Director at CRN North Thames, I am able to work with our dedicated partners both within and outside the NHS to deliver research to improve the lives of our population.”

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