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Derek Gatherer supervises 1 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Derek Gatherer


Derek Gatherer

Lancaster University

Furness Building



Tel: +44 1524 592900

Research overview

Test-Trace-Isolate is not a viable strategy for dealing with COVID-19.  Around 50% of cases are asymptomatic and will probably not request test, so very difficult to detect unless random population screening is truly massive.  Respiratory viruses in general produce potential contacts over a wide area, so even if all infected individuals can be detected, potential contact numbers balloon dramatically, and most will be unknown to the infected person.  Efficient contact tracing requires unproven GPS or Bluetooth technical solutions, often unavailable to the most vulnerable groups.  Even if contacts can be traced, individual isolation is relatively redundant in the context of a population already "locked down".  After lockdown ends, isolation of Bluetooth-traced potential contacts may put large sections of the population straight back into 14-day lockdown, potentially repeatedly.

Current Research

Currently active projects:

Assembly of Illumina and Nanopore sequences of Leishmania (Mundinia sub-genus) genomes.  Collaboration with Prof Paul Bates, Michelle Bates, Dr Mick Urbaniak and Dr Rod Dillon (Lancaster).  PhD student Hatim Almutairi funded by the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Research Interests

Pandemics and infectious disease in general.  What will the post-COVID-19 world look like?  Using the perspective of Social Futures (see @social_futures on Twitter) to try to answer this question.

External Roles

Media appearances:  Over 300 broadcast media appearances on the subject of infectious diseases, particularly viruses, with Sky News Channel, BBC News 24, BBC radio (local and national), LBC, TRT World, France 24, Aljazeera, CNN.  Quoted in newspapers on countless occasions.

Current Teaching

BIOL466 (MSc student research projects).  MPH student rotations.

Research Grants

Additional Information

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