Professor Calum Semple receives OBE at Windsor Castle

The University’s Professor Calum Semple has received his OBE from the Prince of Wales at an investiture ceremony held at Windsor Castle today.

Professor Semple was recognised in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to the COVID-19 response. Having dedicated most of his career to studying disease outbreaks, including HIV, MERS and Ebola, he has been a leading expert during the COVID-19 crisis.

As a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Professor Semple has played a key role in advising the UK Government on COVID-19. He is also Chief Investigator of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK), which has collected, distributed and analysed thousands of COVID-19 samples from UK hospital patients to inform the outbreak response and improve patient care.

Professor Semple, who is Professor of Child Health and Outbreak Medicine at the University and a consultant respiratory paediatrician at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, said: “I am delighted to be honoured by this award and wish to express my profound gratitude for the support of my clinical research colleagues. They include dedicated research nurses, volunteer medical students and my collaborators at our great hospitals and universities.

“It is sobering to reflect on the impact of HIV, Ebola and now COVID-19 on people’s health, societal wellbeing and the economies of affected countries. This has driven my work with ISARIC to prevent illness and death from infectious disease outbreaks. This award suggests we have succeeded in some measure.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, said: “Everyone in the University of Liverpool community applauds the award of an OBE to Professor Calum Semple. His work as a member of SAGE throughout the COVID-19 emergency has brought him to the attention of the entire nation and we all have many reasons to be hugely grateful to him for his work both as a scientist and an outstanding communicator of that science to a wider public. We are proud that he has been so honoured.”