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  • COVID-19

COVID-19 and Immune Responses

COVID-19 poses a significant threat to the global public health, however the importance of implementing population level interventions (such as lockdowns) in relation to mortality is poorly understood.1 During the webinar Prof Johnston assesses data from five countries (including the UK) to explore the impact of timely lockdown implementation on preventing COVID-19 related deaths.1

Prof Johnston also discusses the observation that hospital and ICU admissions related to COVID-19 appear to be more common in males than females,2 and presents unpublished data exploring whether innate immune responses to COVID-19 are possibly impaired in males when compared to female innate responses.

Risk factors for severe outcomes and emerging data on existing treatments such as antivirals for COVID-19 are also discussed in this webinar.


1. Johnston et al. The importance of timing of a population level intervention on COVID-19 mortality. 2020. 04.19.20071845; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.19.20071845.

2. Jin et al. Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality. April 2020. Front. Public Health; https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00152.

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Professor Sebastian Johnston

Professor Johnston is currently Professor of Respiratory Medicine & Allergy at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and Honorary Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine and Allergy at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust, London. He is also director of the Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, the Clinical Academic Training Lead for Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College & Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust, as well as an NIHR Senior Investigator and the Asthma UK Clinical Professor.

Professor Johnston is the only Adult Respiratory Clinical Researcher in Europe to have held a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant and recently won his second ERC Advanced Investigator Grant. Notable discoveries that have emerged from Professor Johnston’s past work include establishing the viral aetiology of asthma exacerbations, discovering novel mechanisms of susceptibility to virus infection in asthma and discovering novel and effective treatment approach for acute exacerbations of asthma. He has been working on respiratory virus research for more than 30 years and is of course gripped by the present SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.