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COVID-19 Appeal Expert advisory group

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Expert Advisory Group

Expert advisory group

COVID-19 Children’s Research Appeal

Although children are not considered to be most at risk from coronavirus, tragically, some children are still vulnerable and COVID-19 has caused severe illness and loss of life for children across the world.

The impact of this pandemic on the physical and mental health of children will be felt long into the future.

Building on our impressive track record of funding high quality research that saves and changes children’s lives, we brought together an expert advisory group of leading children’s health researchers to help guide how we best fund research in this important area.

Some of the areas that could be tackled with support are:

  • Why do some children with COVID-19 get so sick and others don’t? 

  • Can we better understand vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 in children?  

  • Does COVID-19 affect children’s brains and does the impact of the pandemic affect their mental health?

Professor David Rowitch

Professor and Head of Paediatrics, Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge.


Professor David Rowitch

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children in ways we could never have predicted. New research is urgently needed to better understand the short and long term impact of infection in the general population, and why certain children are particularly vulnerable."

Professor Clare Bryant

Professor of Innate Immunity, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge.


Professor Clare Bryant

Children have been neglected during the COVID-19 crisis and although the number of hospitalised cases are relatively low when children are infected they can be very ill. The potential long-term effects of infection in children could be very serious."

Professor Nigel Klein

Professor of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Department, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.


Professor Nigel Klein


Age difference is one of the most important factors influencing outcome from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Improving our understanding of why children respond differently, may be central to developing successful interventions.”

Professor Andrew Pollard

Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Oxford Vaccine Group University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Professor Andrew Pollard, a former Action Research Training Fellow helped develop and test the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19. Read more.

Research in the COVID-19 pandemic has rightly focused on severe disease in adults, but children are also significantly affected directly and indirectly by the disease and its consequences.”

Dr Barney Scholefield

NIHR Clinician Scientist & Honorary Consultant Paediatric Intensivist, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham.


Dr. Barney Scholefield

Children have been the quiet, forgotten bystanders in the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential we bring them to the forefront as they can help us all understand this disease better and we must improve the way we care for them during these uncertain times."

Professor Peter Fonagy

Professor and Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London; Director, UCL Partners Mental Health and Behaviour Change Programme; and Chief Executive, Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families.


Professor Peter Fonagy

Dr Shelley Riphagen

Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant at Evelina London Children's Hospital at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.


Dr Shelley Riphagen