10 Oct 2020

COG-UK Researcher honoured by Queen for COVID-19 work

News announcement by the COG-UK Consortium

COG-UK Researcher honoured by Queen for COVID-19 work

Congratulations to Professor Emma Thomson on her royal recognition for services to the NHS during the COVID-19 response

Professor Emma Thomson, Professor in Infectious Diseases at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She has been awarded Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the NHS during the COVID-19 response.

Currently Professor Thomson is heavily involved in sequencing SARS-CoV-2 as it circulates in the UK as part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium. She is the local principal investigator for two vaccine trials running within Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

In addition to her work with COVID-19, Professor Thomson’s main research focus is on emerging infections in Uganda, working closely with the Uganda Virus Research Institute and in the UK. She has looked after patients with various serious viral infections including HIV, HCV, SARS-CoV-2 and Ebola. She and her colleagues described the first case of Ebola disease relapse in The Lancet in 2016 in the nurse who returned from Sierra Leone. Internationally, she has worked as a consultant for WHO.

Professor Thomson originally trained in medicine and parasitology at the University of Glasgow, and then specialised in infectious diseases in London. Her PhD was carried out between Imperial College London and Oxford as a Wellcome fellow before setting up her research lab at the Centre for Virus Research in Glasgow. As well as her studies in Glasgow, she also works part-time at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Further Information

For more information contact Ross Barker in the University of Glasgow Communications and Public Affairs Office on 0141 330 3535 or email

Credit for Top Image: MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and Auckland Museum, Wikimedia Commons

COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK)

The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium works in partnership to harness the power of SARS-CoV-2 genomics in the fight against COVID-19.

Led by Professor Sharon Peacock of the University of Cambridge, COG-UK is made up of an innovative collaboration of NHS organisations, the four public health agencies of the UK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and sixteen academic partners. A full list of collaborators can be found here.

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, represents a major threat to health. The COG-UK consortium was formed in March 2020 to deliver SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and analysis to inform public health policy and to support the establishment of a national pathogen sequencing service, with sequence data now predominantly generated by the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Public Health Agencies.

SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and analysis plays a key role in the COVID-19 public health response by enabling the identification, tracking and analysis of variants of concern, and by informing the design of vaccines and therapeutics. COG-UK works collaboratively to deliver world-class research on pathogen sequencing and analysis, maximise the value of genomic data by ensuring fair access and data linkage, and provide a training programme to enable equity in global sequencing.