Penta UK Foundation is a newly established independent UK charity registered on the 22nd of October, 2019.
Penta UK seeks to strengthen the overarching Penta network in the UK specifically to promote research into infectious diseases in children, support research focussed on its scientific priorities of infectious diseases, and carry out training and educational programs to help facilitate these goals.
The charity is composed of a vibrant network of experts and investigators generating solutions for children’s health, notably infections. Through the promotion of impactful research on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of infections in children and pregnant women as well as through training and education programs for clinical providers and researchers, Penta UK strives to improve the health and standard of care of patients in the UK.
Penta UK promotes quality research into infectious diseases through the allocation of grants. Currently there are no active grants. The charity is actively seeking out funding opportunities.
Our vision is to be an integral part of the Penta Network at the forefront of clinical science that improves prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infection in children.
Our mission is to support excellent research, training and education that helps health systems achieve optimal outcomes for children.
Karina Butler is a Paediatrician and UCD Clinical Professor of Paediatrics and Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Children’s Health Ireland (CHI). She heads the Rainbow Clinic, the National Centre for paediatric HIV medicine in Ireland. In NIH she was involved in some of the earliest trials of antiretrovirals in children. She has been working with the Penta network for 25 years. Her research has focused on antiretroviral therapy in children and has included work on vertical transmission of HIV and HCV. Interests include paediatric HCV, congenital CMV infection. She chairs the National Immunisation Advisory Committee of Ireland and has served on a number of national advisory committees.
Micheal has a research interest in optimising antimicrobial prescribing in children. He is the joint Chair of Penta. He was the previous Chair of the ESPID Research Committee. In the UK, he Chairs the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Infection Committee. He is the Chief Advisor on anti-infectives to the Children’s British National Formulary. He also Chairs the Department of Health’s advisory committee, Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection, which advises the UK government on antimicrobial use and resistance. He has published 220 papers on the optimal use of antimicrobials in children. He was the Chief Investigator of ARPEC, and is the CI of NeoVanc Project and of CAP-IT in the UK.
Claire Thorne is a Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the Population, Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department, UCL Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK. Claire’s research has focused on the epidemiology of viral infections with respect to maternal and child health, with a particular emphasis on HIV, viral hepatitis and Zika virus. Claire leads the UK and Ireland National Surveillance of HIV in Pregnancy and Childhood and hepatitis B and C surveillance and cohort studies in the UK and Ukraine, and co-leads the European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration and PENTAHep (an international paediatric HCV clinical network). She is a Board Member of the Penta Foundation; a member of the Scientific Committee of the Penta ID Network; and an Advisory Board member of the International Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. Claire serves on technical working groups for WHO and UNICEF, and is a Member of the Regional Committee for Validation of Elimination of MTCT of HIV and/or syphilis in the WHO Region. She has been a member of the Scientific Committee for the International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics since 2009. Claire is a member of the International Advisory Board of Lancet HIV, Editorial Panel of Journal of Viral Eradication and Editorial Board of HIV Medicine. She teaches on the introduction to epidemiology and the immunisation and infectious diseases modules of the MSc in Paediatrics and Child Health at UCL and has extensive experience of supervising PhD and MSc students.
Carlo is the President of Penta Foundation and Full Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Padua (Italy). Head of the paediatric HIV clinical trial unit of Padua Hospital, he is author of more than 220 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Diana is a paediatrician and Professor of Epidemiology and Clinical Trials at MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London. Over the last 30 years Di has set up and coordinated a network of clinical trials and cohorts across Europe, Thailand and South America mainly within paediatric HIV infection. This work expanded to Sub-Saharan Africa in the early 2000s where she has undertaken large multi-country trials to address strategy questions in adult and paediatric HIV, more recently expanding to India and South Asia, and into other diseases including tuberculosis, malaria and bacterial infections.
Di is a founder member of Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA), now Penta and is vice-chair of the Penta Foundation Board. She has served on Wellcome Trust and MRC research boards as well as WHO advisory and guideline committees. In 2019 she was presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of York and in 2020 was made a fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.
Irja Lutsar MD, PhD is a Professor in Clinical Microbiology and head of department at the University of Tartu, Estonia. She gained her medical and PhD degree at the University of Tartu, Estonia and is qualified paediatric infectious diseases specialist. In 1995 to 1998 she was a research fellow in paediatric infectious diseases at the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, USA and in 1999 to 2004 she worked as a director in clinical development at Pfizer Ltd, UK.
Her research interests include antibiotic pharmacokinetics/dynamics, neonatal infections, fungal infections and antibiotic resistance. She has been leading investigator in more than 20 clinical trials in children including studies evaluating pharmacokinetic properties of antibiotics in premature neonates. Irja Lutsar has more than 150 publications in peer reviewed international journals and about 10 book chapters in various areas of the paediatric infectious diseases. She is the member of the Paediatric Committee at the European Medicines Agency since 2007 and has been active member of ESPID since 1993 being a board member in 2010-2012. She has received numerous research grants at national and international level.