She is a Professor of Paediatric Tropical Infectious Diseases at the Faculty of Medicine Imperial College, London, Director of the ICCARE Centre at the Global Centre of Health Innovation, Imperial College, London and an Honorary Fellow at MRC Clinical Trials Unit, University College, London. Over the last 15 years she has been based full-time at the East Africa, where she leads a research group whose major research portfolio includes severe malaria, bacterial sepsis and severe malnutrition in children and clinical trials in emergency care. Her team have highlighted the unique importance of emergency-care research as a highly targeted and cost-effective means of tackling childhood mortality in resource-limited sub-Saharan Africa, previously neglected as an area for specific funder or policy investment. Her group have undertaken pioneering clinical investigative research in resource-poor settings by undertaking high-quality physiological studies and clinical trials, generating the essential evidence base for patient management and informing both national and international policy. To enable such translational research to occur, she has built up a network of African sites, investing in both training and local capacity development, bringing sophisticated technologies and applying them in real-life circumstances to study common and important diseases of Africa. Her team conducted the largest trial of critically children ever undertaken in Africa, (FEAST trial) examining fluid resuscitation strategies in children with severe febrile illness, showing that fluid boluses increased mortality, which went on to win the prestigious BMJ Research Paper of the Year award.
Her team is currently running the TRACT trial, which is investigating transfusion and other treatment strategies in 4000 African children severe life-threatening anaemia. In 2017 her group will start the COAST trial (Children Oxygenation Administration Strategies Trial) which will examine the optimum oxygen saturation threshold for which oxygen should be targeted and how best to administer oxygen, by high flow or low flow, in 4200 severely ill African children. Currently, her group have active collaborations across Africa, within Europe, South East Asia and Australia.