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Dr Claire Smith
UCL GOS Insitute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
Dr Claire Smith profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Claire is an Associate Professor at UCL GOS Institute of Child Health with expertise in primary human epithelial respiratory virus infection models, including RSV, influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2. 

Claire has a BSc (Hons) in Medical Microbiology and a PhD in which she developed novel vaccine strategies against Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria that causes pneumonia. Claire has held Research Associate positions at University of Leicester, University of Warwick and UCL during which time she has developed specialized cell culture infection models that contain the primary target of many respiratory viruses, ciliated human airway epithelial cells. Claire was appointed as a Lecturer at UCL in 2015 and Associate Professor in 2021. 

At UCL GOS Institute of Child Health, Claire established and continues to manage a research tissue bank that facilitates projects focused on respiratory diseases across UCL and externally. 

Claire is also involved in public and scientific engagement activities, most recently with the development of the GOS ICH YouTube channel.

Claire has taken three career breaks since she obtained her PhD and she is a strong supporter of EDI issues - encouraging the most creative and talented minds to stay in science.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Claire's current research explores how respiratory viruses target the airway and how the immune cells (neutrophils) that are recruited as the airway’s first line of defense, contribute to viral clearance or damage caused. Her work in this field has been funded by UKRI, AFRUK, GOSHCC, and the Wellcome Trust. She also works closely with industrial partners to test novel and combination antiviral therapies against RSV and SARS-CoV-2. 

Learn more about Claire's current research team HERE

Teaching Summary
Claire is co-director of the MRes Child Health. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and has experience in the design and delivery of lectures to the MSc students at Leicester and UCL. She currently supervises two competitively funded PhD students as PI. Other supervision includes: five PhD students as secondary supervisor, three of which has successfully completed their studies, the other two are ongoing; and four BSc and eight MSc project students completed with merit or distinction grades.
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