Sharon Peacock is Professor of Public Health and Microbiology 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.
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 Marjorie 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, and a Trustee of the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust.
- Aggarwal D, Page AJ, Schaefer U, Savva GM, Myers R, Volz E, Rambaut A, Ellaby N, Platt S, Groves N, Gallaghar E, Tumelty NM, Le Viet T, Hughes G, Chen C, The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, Peacock SJ, Chand M, Harrison EM. Genomic assessment of quarantine measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 importation and transmission. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):1012.
- 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 cutoff to exclude recent transmission of meticillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus: a genomic epidemiology analysis. Lancet Microbe. 2020;1(8):e328-e335.
- Ludden C, Raven KE, Jamrozy D, Gouliouris T, Blane B, Coll F, de Goffau M, Naydenova P, Horner C, Hernandez-Garcia J, Wood P, Hadjirin N, Radakovic M, Brown NM, Holmes M, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. One Health genomic surveillance of Escherichia coli demonstrates distinct lineages and mobile genetic elements in isolates from humans versus livestock. mBio. 2019;10(1).
- 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).
- 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.