I joined UCLH as a consultant clinical virologist and honorary consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2010. Since 2015 I have been the clinical lead of the department of clinical virology.
I graduated in medicine at the University of Athens, Greece. I undertook my postgraduate clinical training first in paediatrics in Manchester and Imperial College, and subsequently in clinical virology at Imperial College London Hospitals, gaining full certification in both specialities.
Optimised use of diagnostics to maximise patient benefit has been at the heart of my clinical laboratory leadership programme and I lead the UCLH advanced pathogen diagnostics unit, a late translational research unit within our diagnostics labs at HSL. We are funded by the NIHR, the UCLH Levi fellowship scheme and the European Union via the H2020 programme. We develop whole genome sequencing methodologies for pathogens and analysis tools seeking to better understand how pathogens transmit in our hospital environment and how best to treat infections.
My clinical activity is focused on providing care for pregnant women with viral infections like hepatitis B and C, CMV, Zika virus. I run the antenatal infectious diseases clinic, an adult hepatitis clinic at UCLH and see children at GOSH. I sit on national and international guideline committees and chair the BVHG maternal and paediatric group. I act as an advisor to the PHE National screening programme in infectious diseases in pregnancy, and PADO, the WHO committee on paediatric antivirals.
I am an assistant professor at the Institute of Child Health and run an active research programme that focuses on:‘mother and child’ health:
I currently lead a national study on hepatitis B and the virology work packages in two large consortia: EPIICAL, a study investigating novel HIV therapeutic strategies that target the viral reservoir in early treated children and ZIKAction trying to understand vertical transmission of Zika and other arboviruses in Latin America. novel diagnostics for viruses.
My work spans two areas, exploring how best to use information generated by next generation sequencing of pathogen genomes to achieve better patient outcomes and developing new generation of early-warning sensing systems to identify disease outbreaks earlier (i-Sense, in collaboration with Prof R McKendry- London Centre for Nanotechnology)
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IH, Olavarria E. HIV-1 remission following CCR5?32/?32 haematopoietic stem-cell
transplantation. Nature. 2019 Apr;568(7751):244-248.
2: Houlihan CF, Frampton D, Ferns RB, Raffle J, Grant P, Reidy M, Hail L, Thomson
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Tong CYW, Kozlakidis Z, Hayward A, Kellam P, Pillay D, Clark D, Nastouli E, Leigh
Brown AJ; ICONIC Consortium. A high HIV-1 strain variability in London, UK,
revealed by full-genome analysis: Results from the ICONIC project. PLoS One. 2018
4: Rocca S, Zangari P, Cotugno N, De Rossi A, Ferns B, Petricone D, Rinaldi S,
Giaquinto C, Bernardi S, Rojo P, Rossi P, Pahwa S, Nastouli E, Palma P; EPIICAL
Consortium . Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Antibody Repertoire Estimates
Reservoir Size and Time of Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in Virally
Suppressed Perinatally HIV-Infected Children. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2018
5: Busby E, Whale AS, Ferns RB, Grant PR, Morley G, Campbell J, Foy CA, Nastouli
E, Huggett JF, Garson JA. Instability of 8E5 calibration standard revealed by
digital PCR risks inaccurate quantification of HIV DNA in clinical samples by
qPCR. Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 26;7(1):1209.