Biomedical scientist receives £1.1m to help combat typhoid

Dr Dan Humphreys 500

Biomedical Science researcher Dr Daniel Humphreys has been awarded a £1.1m Future Leader Fellowship from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to combat multidrug-resistant typhoid and chronic carriage in humans. 

The four year fellowship is part of a £98m investment by the Government to support those working at the cutting edge of the next scientific discoveries.

“I was completely over-the-moon to receive such a prestigious award,” said Dr Humphreys.

“When I joined the University of Sheffield in 2016, I took a risk and moved my research in a new direction by studying typhoid, which is a major poverty driver affecting the world’s most vulnerable communities.

“The long-term fellowship goal is to better understand the basis of typhoid and chronic carriage in patients where the disease is endemic, and uncover diagnostic biomarkers to fuel a strategy that can help break the infection cycle and combat the burden of typhoid fever.

“In doing so, the UKRI Future Leader Fellowship aims to contribute to global efforts against multidrug-resistant typhoid and improve the health and wealth of vulnerable communities in low and middle-income countries.”

Dr Humphreys said the fellowship was the result of three-years’ work. He added: “It would not have been possible without the support of the Department, especially Professor Elizabeth Smythe, and my team members Dr Angela Ibler, Mohammed Elghazaly and Daniel Stark who continue to create new innovations in my laboratory.”

Typhoid fever is caused by the multidrug-resistant pathogen Salmonella Typhi with 11 million cases of disease and 128,000 deaths each year, exacerbated by chronic infections in humans who contaminate the food-chain and spread typhoid.

Dr Humphreys is one of 78 scientists to be awarded a share of £78m through the Fellowship scheme to help turn ideas into viable products and services.

The remaining £20 million is being allocated to 20 universities to develop new University Enterprise Zones (UEZs) across the country to provide vital specialist support to small businesses in pioneering industries – like Artificial Intelligence (AI), clean growth, smart energy and agri-food.