Sharon Peacock is Professor of Microbiology and Public Health in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. She is a former Fellow and current Honorary Fellow of St John’s College Cambridge, and an Honorary Consultant Microbiologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Sharon is a member of Council of the University of Cambridge.
Sharon has built her scientific expertise around pathogen genomics, antimicrobial resistance, and a range of tropical diseases. She was the founding director of COG-UK (the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium), formed in April 2020 to provide SARS-CoV-2 genomes to UK public health agencies and researchers. She also co-led COG-Train, an international educational initiative providing open-access learning in SARS-CoV-2 genomics, in collaboration with Wellcome Connecting Science. Prior to the pandemic, Sharon spent more than a decade on the translation of pathogen sequencing into clinical and public health microbiology, as well as using sequencing to examine the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria between humans, livestock, and the environment. She has published more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 22 book chapters, as well as raising more than £60 million GB pounds in academic research funding.
Sharon holds a Wellcome Collaborative Award that is exploring the biological basis of human carriage of Staphylococcus aureus. Around 20% of people are persistent carriers of this bacterium, which increases their risk of S. aureus infection. Why some people carry this while others never do is not understood and is being addressed through the CARRIAGE study. This programme is managed by Dr Ewan Harrison (Wellcome Sanger Institute & University of Cambridge).
Sharon is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She was awarded a DSc (Honoris causa) by the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2022, and a DSc (University of Southampton) in 2023. Sharon was awarded the Microbiology Society Unilever Colworth Prize for outstanding contribution to translational microbiology (2018); and the Microbiology Society Marjory Stephenson Prize for exceptional contributions to the discipline of microbiology (2023). She was awarded a CBE for services to Medical Microbiology in 2015, and in 2021 received the Medical Research Council Millennium Medal.
Sharon is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Cambridge University Hospitals where she is also the Senior Independent Director. She is also a Trustee of the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust.
- Ludden C, Coll F, Gouliouris T, Restif O, Blane B, Blackwell GA, Kumar N, Naydenova P, Crawley C, Brown NM, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Defining nosocomial transmission of Escherichia coli and antimicrobial resistance genes: a genomic surveillance study. Lancet Microbe. 2021;2(9):e472-e480.
- Gouliouris T, Coll F, Ludden C, Blane B, Raven KE, Naydenova P, Crawley C, Török ME, Enoch DA, Brown NM, Harrison EM, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Quantifying acquisition and transmission of Enterococcus faecium using genomic surveillance. Nat Microbiol. 2021;6(1):103-111.
- Coll F, Raven KE, Knight GM, Blane B, Harrison EM, Leek D, Enoch D, Brown NM, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Definition of a genetic relatedness cut-off to exclude recent transmission of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a genomic epidemiology analysis. Lancet Microbe. 2020;1(8):e328-e335.
- The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium. An integrated national scale SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance network. Lancet Microbe. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(20)30054-9.
- Gaccioli F, Lager S, de Goffau MC, Sovio U, Dopierala J, Gong S, Cook E, Sharkey A, Moffett A, Lee WK, Delles C, Venturini C, Breuer J, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GCS. Fetal inheritance of chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6 predisposes the mother to pre-eclampsia. Nat Microbiol. 2020;5(7):901-908.
- de Goffau MC, Lager S, Sovio U Gaccioli F, Cook E, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GCS. Human placenta has no microbiome but can contain potential pathogens. Analysis of bacterial DNA in the human placenta of women with normal and adverse pregnancy outcome. Nature. 2019;572(7769):329-334.
- Harrison EM, Ba X, Coll F, Blane B, Restif O, Carvell H, Köser CU, Jamrozy D, Reuter S, Lovering A, Gleadall N, Bellis KL, Uhlemann AC, Lowy FD, Massey RC, Grilo IR, Sobral R, Larsen J, Rhod Larsen A, Vingsbo Lundberg C, Parkhill J, Paterson GK, Holden MTG, Peacock SJ, Holmes MA. Genomic identification of cryptic susceptibility to penicillins and β-Lactamase inhibitors revealed in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Nature Microbiol. 2019;4(10):1680-1691.
- Gouliouris T, Raven KE, Moradigaravand D, Ludden C, Coll F, Blane B, Naydenova P, Horner C, Brown NM, Corander J, Limmathurotsakul D, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Detection of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium hospital-adapted lineages in municipal wastewater treatment plants indicates widespread distribution and release into the environment. Genome Res. 2019;29:626-634.
- Coll F, Harrison EM, Toleman MS, Reuter S, Raven KE, Blane B, Palmer B, Kappeler ARM, Brown NM, Török ME, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Longitudinal genomic surveillance of MRSA in the UK reveals transmission patterns in hospitals and the community. Science Transl Med. 2017;9(413).
- Chewapreecha C, Holden MT, Vehkala M, Välimäki N, Yang Z, Harris SR, Mather AE, Tuanyok A, De Smet B, Le Hello S, Bizet C, Mayo M, Wuthiekanun V, Limmathurotsakul D, Phetsouvanh R, Spratt BG, Corander J, Keim P, Dougan G, Dance DA, Currie BJ, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Global and regional dissemination and evolution of Burkholderia pseudomallei. Nature Microbiol. 2017;2:16263.
- Raven KE, Reuter S, Gouliouris T, Reynolds R, Russell JE, Brown NM, Török ME, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing defines the population structure and evolution of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. Nature Microbiol. 2016;1:15033.
- Limmathurotsakul D, Golding N, Dance DA, Messina JP, Pigott DM, Moyes CL, Rolim DB, Bertherat E, Day NP, Peacock SJ, Hay SI. Predicted global distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei and burden of melioidosis. Nature Microbiol. 2016;1(1):15008.
- Chetchotisakd P, Chierakul W, Chaowagul W, Anunnatsiri S, Phimda K, Mootsikapun P, Chaisuksant S, Pilaikul J, Thinkhamrop B, Piphitaporn S, Susaengrat W, Toondee C, Wongrattanacheewin S, Wuthiekanun V, Thaipadungpanit J, Day NP, Limmathurotsakul D, Peacock SJ. Trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole versus trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole plus doxycycline as oral eradicative treatment for melioidosis (MERTH): a multicentre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2014;383:807-814.
- Uhlemann AC, Dordel J, Knox J, Raven KE, Parkhill J, Holden MT, Peacock SJ, Lowy FD. Molecular tracing of the emergence, diversification, and transmission of S. aureus sequence type 8 in a New York community. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014;111:6738-43.
- Harris SR, Cartwright EJP, Török ME, Holden MT, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Ellington MJ, Quail MA, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for analysis of an outbreak of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a descriptive study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2013;13:130-6.
- Reuter S, Ellington MJ, Cartwright EJ, Köser CU, Török ME, Gouliouris T, Harris SR, Brown NM, Holden MT, Quail M, Parkhill J, Smith GP, Bentley SD, Peacock SJ. Rapid bacterial whole-genome sequencing to enhance diagnostic and public health microbiology. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:1397-404.
- Bryant J, Grogono DM, Greaves D, Foweraker J, Roddick I, Inns T, Reachers M, Haworth CS, Curran MD, Harris SR, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J, Floto RA. Whole-genome sequencing to identify transmission of Mycobacterium abscessus between patients with cystic fibrosis: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet. 2013;381:1551-60.
- Köser CU, Holden MTG, Ellington MJ, Cartwright EJP, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Hsu LY, Chewapreecha C, Croucher NJ, Harris SR, Sanders M, Enright MC, Dougan G, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Fraser LJ, Betley JR, Schulz-Trieglaff OB, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Rapid whole-genome sequencing for investigation of a neonatal MRSA outbreak. New Engl J Med. 2012;363:2267-2275.
- Chantratita N, Rholl DA, Sim B, Wuthiekanun V, Limmathurotsakul D, Amornchai P, Thanwisai A, Chua HH, Ooi WF, Holden MT, Day NP, Tan P, Schweizer HP, Peacock SJ. Antimicrobial resistance to ceftazidime involving loss of penicillin-binding protein 3 in Burkholderia pseudomallei. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108:17165-70.
- Harris SR, Feil EJ, Holden MT, Quail MA, Nickerson EK, Chantratita N, Gardete S, Tavares A, Day N, Lindsay JA, Edgeworth JD, de Lencastre H, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Bentley SD. Evolution of MRSA during hospital transmission and intercontinental spread. Science. 2010;327:469-74.