Cheryl Gibbons

Former Research assistant


Final Year PhD student, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh

My PhD investigates different aspects of MRSA epidemiology in Scotland through the statistical analysis of several public health databases. A large part of my work focuses on understanding, explaining and relating the changing spatial and temporal trends of bacteraemia rates, antimicrobial resistance patterns and antimicrobial prescribing in primary and secondary care. This work is in collaboration with the Scottish MRSA reference laboratory (SMRSARL) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS).

I am also involved in other MRSA-related activities in our group including whole genome sequencing and phylogenetics of community-associated MRSA projects with Dr. Melissa Ward, the mathematical modelling of hospital infections through hospital networks with Dr. Bram van Bunnik, and a study of zoonotic disease (including MRSA) in Kenyan slaughterhouse workers led by PhD student Annie Cook.

My PhD is supervised by Prof. Mark Woolhouse and Dr. Margo Chase-Topping of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Centre of Immunity, Infection and Evolution (CIIE) at the University of Edinburgh, and Prof. Ross Fitzgerald of the Roslin Institute and University of Edinburgh. I am funded through the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliances (SULSA) and Zoetis (previously Pfizer Animal Health).

Prior to my PhD, I worked as a research assistant under Prof. Eric Fèvre (Zoonotic and Emerging Diseases group, previously University of Edinburgh, currently University of Liverpool) on the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)-funded and Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM)-led project, Burden of Communicable Diseases in Europe (BCoDE). I remain a member of the BCoDE consortium.

I was also involved with BioPOD, the podcast for the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences from April 2011 – Dec 2013. My roles included chairperson (Sept 2011 – Dec 2013), and editor and producer (July 2012 – Dec 2013).


2011 – 2015: University of Edinburgh, SULSA and Zoetis-funded PhD student
2008 – 2009: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), MSc Control of Infectious Disease.
Project: Measuring malaria transmission intensity (as a proxy for disease burden) in school children in the Western Kenyan highlands. Supervisor: Prof. Chris Drakeley
2001 – 2005: University of Edinburgh, BSc (Honours) Biological Science: Microbiology and Infection


Ward MJ, Gibbons CL, McAdam PR, van Bunnik BAD, Girvan EK, Edwards GF, Fitzgerald JR, Woolhouse MEJ. Global transmission and antibiotic resistance dynamics of S. aureus CC398 in humans and livestock. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2014)

Gibbons CL, Mangen MJ, Plass D, Havelaar AH, Brooke RJ, Kramarz P, Peterson KL, Stuurman AL, Cassini A, Fevre EM, Kretzschmar MEE: Measuring underreporting and under-ascertainment in infectious disease datasets: a comparison of methods. BMC Public Health (2014), 14(1):147.

Plass D, Mangen M-JJ, Kraemer A, Pinheiro P, Gilsdorf A, Krause G, Gibbons CL, van Lier A, McDonald SA, Brooke RJ, Kramarz P, Cassini A, Kretzschmar MEE: The disease burden of Hepatitis B, Influenza, Measles and Salmonellosis in Germany – first results of the Burden of Communicable Diseases in Europe Study. Epidemiology and Infection (2014), 2:1-12.

Plass D, Mangen M-JJ, Havelaar AH, Gibbons CL, Haagsma J, Jahn B, Lai T, van Lier A, Longhi S, McDonald SA et al: The incidence-based and pathogen-based disability-adjusted life-years approach for measuring infectious disease burden in Europe: the Burden of Communicable Diseases in Europe (BCoDE) project. Meeting abstracts -The Lancet (2013), 381, S114

Mangen M-JJ, Plass D, Havelaar AH, Gibbons CL, Cassini A, Mühlberger N, van Lier A, Haagsma JA, Brooke RJ, Lai T, de Waure C, Kramarz P, Kretzschmar MEE on behalf of the BCoDE consortium. The pathogen- and incidence-based DALY approach: an appropriate [corrected] methodology for estimating the burden of infectious diseases. PLoS One (2013), 8(11)

Kretzschmar MEE, Mangen M-JJ, Pinheiro P, Jahn B, Fèvre EM, Longhi S, Lai T, Havelaar AH, Stein C, Cassini A, Kramarz P for the BCoDE consortium. New Methodology for Estimating the Burden of Infectious Disesaes in Europe. PLoS Medicine (2012), 9 (4): e1001205


Contact details| E-Mail: | c.l.gibbons -AT- | Tel: 0131-650-5445
Office: Ashworth 1, room 138

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