Josh D’Aeth, Research Postgraduate, School of Public Health

“We looked at how the NHS could best manage capacity during peaks in infection, as well as how to optimally schedule elective care for non-COVID-19 patients” 

“I came to Imperial in 2017, after completing my undergraduate degree in Biology. During my undergrad, I’d really enjoyed learning about infectious disease evolution, so the Imperial 1 + 3 PhD programme on the epidemiology, evolution and control of infectious disease seemed ideal to me.  

“After completing a Master’s in my first year, my PhD now focuses on antibiotic resistance, looking for patterns in how it evolves and spreads through different bacterial species. In particular, I’ve focused on how interactions between species, particularly with those that don’t tend to cause disease, can be important drivers of antibiotic resistance spread.  

“Last year, I also had the opportunity to work as part of the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. I  focused on hospital capacity and treatment scheduling work. In this, we looked at how the NHS could best manage capacity during peaks in infection, as well as how to optimally schedule elective care for non-COVID-19 patients. I think the immediacy of the work made it both quite challenging and rewarding at the same time.   

“It was great to work as part of a wider team of amazing people. Working on a PhD at times can be quite solitary. So to be able to collaborate on a problem as pressing as COVID-19 with brilliant people from not only my department, but the wider School of Public Health and Imperial College Business School too, was an excellent experience.   

“With the effects of lockdown, the stuff I do in my spare time has changed a bit. Pre-pandemic I enjoyed climbing and playing squash, previously playing for the Medics’ squash team at Imperial. During lockdown I’ve managed to get back into reading and have fallen in love with basketball! There’s a court close to my house that has been open throughout the pandemic. So that, coupled with binge-watching The Last Dance – a mini-series about Michael Jordan’s career – means most mornings I’ll be out shooting (but mainly missing!) some hoops.”

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