Trudie Lang

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Trudie Lang
Alma materLondon School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine
Scientific career
FieldsGlobal Health
University of Oxford

Trudie Lang is a Professor of Global Health Research at the University of Oxford. She specialises in clinical trials research capacity building in low-resource setting, and helped to organise the trial for the drug brincidofovir during the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak.


Education and career

Lang started her career working in pharmaceutical companies, including Syntex Pharmaceuticals and Glaxosmithkline. [1] She later worked in Kenya as Head of the Kilifi Clinical Trial Facility at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme. [2] Lang then moved to the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, where she is currently Professor of Global Health Research in the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health. She was promoted to Professor in 2014 and is a Senior Research Fellow of Green Templeton College. [3] [4]


Her work has focused on improving clinical trials in low and middle-income countries, including training of clinical teams, strengthening regulatory protocols, and resource sharing. In particular, she has sought to improve research on clinical trials in complex situations such as refugee camps, natural disasters, and displacement of populations. [5]

She has led on training and capacity development programmes, including one with Palmer Masumbe Netongo, to support research within the African Coalition for Epidemic Research, Capacity, and Training. [6] She also led on a collaborative project with the University of Liverpool to improve the management of brain infections. [7] In 2014, Lang helped organise a clinical trial for the drug brincidofovir during the Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia. [8] She later helped the World Health Organization evaluate the design of a clinical trial for Ebola disease therapeutics during the 2018 outbreak. [9]

Clinical research during the 2014 Ebola outbreak

Lang was part of a team of scientists at the University of Oxford developing clinical trials for therapeutics against Ebola. She advocated against randomised controlled trials in this specific outbreak, arguing that this model was not appropriate when there was already mistrust of health systems and people were desperate to access medication. Instead the team wanted to give drugs to all Ebola patients and compare survival rates before and after the trial had started. [10] This was met with conflicting stances from the US FDA, however following a meeting with the WHO, the team's approach was approved. [11]

Lang took charge of liaising with regulators and the drug company in order to start the trial as quickly as possible. [11] She also briefed US White House officials on the progress of clinical research during the Ebola outbreak. [11] In the end the trial took less than 4 months to be organised, compared to the average 18 months expected for these kind of trials. [12]

Profesional service

Alongside her research, Lang has advised the UK government on various areas of global health. In 2015, she provided evidence to the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee inquiry on the UK's response to Ebola. [13] She highlighted the importance of being prepared to undertake research during emerging outbreaks, and the importance of coordination between research groups. She also provided information about the unique regulatory and approval process for the Ebola clinical trials.

Lang has provided expert opinion in many media outlets on topics including Ebola virus, Zika virus, epidemic management, and SARS-CoV2. [14] [15] [16] She has advocated for better: clinical trial protocols, training of researchers and coordination between research groups in order to be better prepared for future outbreaks. [12] Lang was cited as an expert in helping inform the British public during the 2020 SAR-CoV2 pandemic. [17] She has also engaged in outreach with the wider public, giving talks on malaria and emerging diseases, including Zika and Ebola. [18] [19] [20]

Lang is Director of the Global Health Network, a digital platform for researchers in global health. [21]

Related Research Articles

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. The company is a late stage biotech company that focuses on oral drugs for rare and serious diseases. BioCryst's antiviral drug peramivir (Rapivab) was approved by FDA in December 2014. It has also been approved in Japan, Korea, and China.

The United States Military HIV Research Program was initiated by the United States Congress in 1986, in reaction to the threat of lost effectiveness of U.S./Allied troops due to HIV infection. The mission of MHRP is to develop an HIV-1 vaccine, provide prevention, care, and treatment, and conduct meaningful HIV/AIDS research for the global community through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is centered at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), and has established five international research sites in Africa and Asia. MHRP also partners with the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Thailand. MHRP works closely with The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), most notably in the development of the RV144 HIV vaccine in Thailand. MHRP is the largest research program supported by the HJF.

Oxford Vaccine Group Research group of the University of Oxford

The Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) is a vaccine research group within the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford. It was founded in 1994 by Professor E. Richard Moxon, was initially based at the John Radcliffe Hospital, and moved in 2003 to its current location in the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine (CCVTM) at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England. The group, led by Professor Andrew Pollard since 2001, comprises around 75 members across a number of disciplines, including consultants in paediatrics and vaccinology, clinical research fellows, research nurses, statisticians, post-doctoral laboratory scientists, research assistants and DPhil students.

Luciana Borio Physician and public health administrator

Luciana Borio is a Brazilian-American infectious disease physician and public health administrator. She is a vice president at In-Q-Tel. She previously served as director for Medical and Biodefense Preparedness at the National Security Council, acting chief scientist of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), assistant commissioner for counterterrorism policy of the FDA, and director of FDA's Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats. She is known for her work advancing clinical trials, the development of medical countermeasures for health emergencies, and the public health responses to Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

Favipiravir Experimental antiviral drug with potential activity against RNA viruses

Favipiravir, sold under the brand name Avigan among others, is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan. It is also being studied to treat a number of other viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Like the experimental antiviral drugs T-1105 and T-1106, it is a pyrazinecarboxamide derivative.


Brincidofovir, sold under the brand name Tembexa, is an antiviral drug used to treat smallpox. Brincidofovir is a prodrug of cidofovir. Conjugated to a lipid, the compound is designed to release cidofovir intracellularly, allowing for higher intracellular and lower plasma concentrations of cidofovir, effectively increasing its activity against dsDNA viruses, as well as oral bioavailability.

ZMapp Experimental treatment for Ebola virus disease

ZMapp is an experimental biopharmaceutical drug comprising three chimeric monoclonal antibodies under development as a treatment for Ebola virus disease. Two of the three components were originally developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), and the third at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; the cocktail was optimized by Gary Kobinger, a research scientist at the NML and underwent further development under license by Mapp Biopharmaceutical. ZMapp was first used on humans during the 2014 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak, having only been previously tested on animals and not yet subjected to a randomized controlled trial. The NIH ran a clinical trial starting in January 2015 with subjects from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia aiming to enroll 200 people, but the epidemic waned and the trial closed early, leaving it too statistically underpowered to give a meaningful result about whether ZMapp worked.

rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine Vaccine against Ebola virus disease

Recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus–Zaire Ebola virus (rVSV-ZEBOV), also known as Ebola Zaire vaccine live and sold under the brand name Ervebo, is an Ebola vaccine for adults that prevents Ebola caused by the Zaire ebolavirus. When used in ring vaccination, rVSV-EBOV has shown a high level of protection. Around half the people given the vaccine have mild to moderate adverse effects that include headache, fatigue, and muscle pain.

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Galidesivir is an antiviral drug, an adenosine analog. It is developed by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals with funding from NIAID, originally intended as a treatment for hepatitis C, but subsequently developed as a potential treatment for deadly filovirus infections such as Ebola virus disease, Marburg virus disease, and Zika virus. Currently, galidesivir is under phase 1 human trial in Brazil for coronavirus.

Ebola virus disease treatment research

There is no cure or specific treatment for the Ebola virus disease that is currently approved for market, although various experimental treatments are being developed. For past and current Ebola epidemics, treatment has been primarily supportive in nature.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is a foundation that takes donations from public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations, to finance independent research projects to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases (EID).

Ansuvimab, sold under the brand name Ebanga, is a monoclonal antibody medication for the treatment of Zaire ebolavirus (Ebolavirus) infection.

Nelson Michael American infectious disease researcher

Nelson L. Michael is an American infectious disease researcher. He has served for nearly 30 years in the United States Army and been directly involved with significant advancements in understanding the pathology of and vaccine development for diseases like HIV, Zika, Ebola and more. Much of his career has been spent at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

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Jenner Institute Vaccine research institute in Oxford

The Jenner Institute is a research institute on the Old Road Campus in Headington, east Oxford, England. It was formed in November 2005 through a partnership between the University of Oxford and the UK Institute for Animal Health. It is associated with the Nuffield Department of Medicine, in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University. The institute receives charitable support from the Jenner Vaccine Foundation.

Natalie E. Dean is an American biostatistician specializing in infectious disease epidemiology. Dean is currently an assistant professor of Biostatistics at the University of Florida. Her research involves epidemiological modeling of outbreaks, including Ebola, Zika and COVID-19.

Science diplomacy is the collaborative efforts by local and global entities to solve global issues using science and technology as a base. In science diplomacy, collaboration takes place to advance science but science can also be used to facilitate diplomatic relations. This allows even conflicting nations to come together through science to find solutions to global issues. Global organizations, researchers, public health officials, countries, government officials, and clinicians have previously worked together to create effective measures of infection control and subsequent treatment. They continue to do so through sharing of resources, research data, ideas, and by putting into effect laws and regulations that can further advance scientific research. Without the collaborative efforts of such entities, the world would not have the vaccines and treatments we now possess for diseases that were once considered deadly such as tuberculosis, tetanus, polio, influenza, etc. Historically, science diplomacy has proved successful in diseases such as SARS, Ebola, Zika and continues to be relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic today.

Atoltivimab/maftivimab/odesivimab, developed as REGN-EB3 and sold under the brand name Inmazeb, is a fixed-dose combination of three monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of Zaire ebolavirus. It contains atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn and was developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

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A viral vector vaccine is a vaccine that uses a viral vector to deliver genetic material coding for a desired antigen into the recipient's host cells. As of April 2021, six viral vector vaccines have been authorized for use in human at least one country: four COVID-19 vaccines and two Ebola vaccines.


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