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Research papers and activity

Aside from our health and clinical research into treatments and therapies, the following is a selection of the related research activity that Queen's has been undertaking recently in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

>> Details of the latest COVID-19 related research funding opportunities can be found here. 

Research Activity
  • The disruption and recovery of cancer from COVID-19: pathway, outcomes and restarting

    It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the biggest threats to health in the UK brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, is to cancer services and cancer patients. The major disruptions to the cancer pathway have effectively stopped cancer screening, reduced referrals by more than 40%, and as a consequence have impacted considerably on cancer diagnosis and treatment, (including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy). This report look at the necessary steps to recover and restore cancer services as a result of the significant findings that highlighted the impact of COVIC-19 and Cancer. Data input and findings from Professor Mark Lawler.

  • How to ensure emerging and existing evidence is accessible

    With an overwhelming amount of new evidence coming to light around COVID-19, Professor Mike Clarke explains how his work aims to ensure the most relevant information is available for those who need it.

  • THEMIS: Protecting Human Rights and Public Health in Global Pandemics - Courts, Rights and Pandemics

    THEMIS is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme and hosted at the Health & Human Rights Unit at the School of Law. The project reacts to the fact of increasing occurrence of global pandemics, like the present COVID-19 (coronavirus), and restrictive public health measures taken in response to threat. It contributes to better understanding of how to prepare for, and respond to, global pandemics through the lens of a rights-based approach, and offers a vital reference for policy-making at national and global levels that prioritises fair pandemic preparedness to cross border health threats.

  • Coronavirus Psychological Well being Study

    Researchers from the STARC lab in the School of Psychology are currently conducting a study which aims to better understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on the psychological wellbeing of the people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

  • COVID-19 Data Sonification Project

    This project uses data from the World Health Organization Situation Reports in which global figures are presented for population infected with Covid 19 and new deaths related to the virus by day between the 21st January 2020 and the 25th March 2020.

  • COVID Evidence Bot

    Dr Ciara Keenan, an information retrieval specialist for Campbell UK and Ireland, has built an automated aggregating twitter feed

    This Twitter account is the one of the few sources at present which exists with a focus on evidence acquisition on COVID19. It produces a diverse range of real-time, peer-reviewed/soon to be reviewed research and commissioned reports directly on a feed using the RSS sources from a range of science and medical databases. These include at present PubMed, F1000 research, BMC, bioRxiv, medRxiv,, Nature, Cell and Science. The search strategy includes terms such as: coronavirus,”corona virus”,”2019 coronavirus”, “corona virus disease”, “novel coronavirus”,”wuhan coronavirus”, “Coronavirus 2″,”COVID-19″”SARS-CoV2”. The developers intend to add databases and improve the search strategy based on the needs and requests from the public and in particular from academic partners.

Research Papers
  • COVID-19 pandemic – A focused review for clinicians, Clinical Microbiology and Infection (2020)

    The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 remains a significant issue for global health, economics and society. A wealth of data has been generated since its emergence in December 2019 and it is vital for clinicians to keep up with this data from across the world at a time of uncertainty and constantly evolving guidelines and clinical practice.

  • D.T. Bradley et al., A systems approach to preventing and responding to COVID-19, EClinicalMedicine (2020)
    27 March 2020The Lancet

    A team of public health and complexity science researchers and practitioners from the Centre for Public Health have shown how systems thinking can help policymakers and society achieve its goals of preventing and responding to COVID-19 outbreaks by using systems methods to make the relationships between parts of a system explicit. This can be a prelude to simulation, and can help policymakers redesign system structure to bring about beneficial outcomes. The team suggests some ways of changing causal relationships to reduce the risk of outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, using COVID-19 as an example.

  • COVID-19: consider cytokine storm syndromes and immunosuppression
    16 March 2020The Lancet

    Professor Danny McAuley, a Clinical Professor from the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast is part of collaboration of experts from universities and hospitals across the UK who have suggested that existing drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and similar diseases could be used to treat some of the most severe cases of coronavirus. Published in Lancet, the commentary on coronavirus deaths in China suggested that many of the fatalities were caused by an overactive immune response in the body that was triggered by the virus. This suggests that existing drugs designed to suppress these kind of overreaction in the immune system - known as 'hyperinflammation' or cytokine storm - have the potential to significantly reduce harm from Covid-19. Clinical trials will be needed to confirm whether these drugs are an effective coronavirus treatment.

  • Electronic Systems of Information Exchange as a Key Tool in EU Health Crisis and Disaster Management

    Decision 1082/2013 on Serious Cross-border Health Threats (Health Threats Decision) was adopted in 2013 with the aim of preparing for and responding to serious health threats. In this legislation, the European Union adopts an “all-hazards” approach which strongly relies on the exchange of information as a driver of regulatory activities. In this article, Dr Patrycja Dabrowska-Klosinska, School of Law, first demonstrates that the electronic systems of information exchange constitute a key tool in EU Health Crisis and Disaster Management (“EHCDM”). Second, it identifies the distinctive features of these mechanisms in the EU context: the reinforcement of a statutory policy shift towards securitisation of public health, the peculiarity of the EU composite administrative procedures as well as the facilitation of the quality of the sense-making activities.

  • Tracing Individuals under the EU Regime on Serious, Cross-border Health Threats: An Appraisal of the System of Personal Data Protection

    Dr Patrycja Dabrowska-Klosinska, School of Law, tackles the issue of personal data protection in case of tracing (looking for) individual persons who have been exposed to health risks pursuant to the EU Decision 1082/2013 on Serious, Cross-border Health Threats. This problem exemplifies just one among many challenges of the health-security nexus in the EU.

  • Joint Symposium of the Health and Human Rights Unit (HHRU) & Centre for Public Health (CPH) at Queen's University Belfast - "The Protection of Human Rights in Infectious Disease Control: Lessons for Global Health Governance from A Comparison of National Judicial Practice”
    June 2020Moot Courtroom, School of Law

    Hosted by Professor Frank Kee, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences and Dr Patrycja Dabrowska-Klosinska, School of Law.

Share your expertise
  • COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database

    Over the past few weeks, Parliament has seen a surge in need for access to research expertise as it engages with the COVID-19 outbreak.

    If you feel you have any expertise relating to the COVID-19 outbreak or its impacts, Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange Unit would be very grateful if you would sign up to the database. A link to the sign-up form is found here.