Meet the CIDG team - Dr Samuel Johnson

Dr Samuel Johnson 

Research Associate

Sam Johnson is a medical doctor and joined the CIDG editorial base in January 2017. He came to Liverpool, (adopted homeland of Mohammed Salah!) in 2016 to study for the Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTM&H).  

He quickly developed an interest in emerging infectious diseases, and is currently authoring a review of the use of ribavirin in Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever and is providing methodological support to a World Health Organization (WHO) team producing guidelines in health protection. During his time at the CIDG he has worked on Cochrane Reviews in HIV and malaria for WHO guideline panels and contributed to reviews in TB vaccine development and mass drug administration in lymphatic filariasis.  He also had the privilege of working closely with the WHO guideline review committee secretariat contributing to the day-to-day work of assuring the quality and rigour of guidance issued by WHO and doing research into guideline development methods.

His greatest joy during his time at LSTM was teaching DTM&H and Masters students, instilling a healthy scepticism of medical research and debunking some of the dread young doctors have in interpreting and apprasing scientific papers. He also enjoyed Paula and Phil’s never-ending supply of chocolate and cake (a bit too much).

He is incredibly privileged to work with the amazing team at CIDG doing research used at the highest levels of global health and would recommend the experience to any and all who are considering broadening their horizons and questioning everything they ever thought they knew about medicine. 

1.     What drew you to CIDG originally?

The opportunity to do research into infectious diseases of global importance and learn more about epidemiology, policy and evidence-based medicine. 

 2.     How would you describe your job at CIDG to a child?

I help doctors figure out what is the best way to make poorly people feel better.

 3.     What gets you out of bed on a workday?

The opportunity to work and contribute to discussions about infectious diseases and evidence-based medicine at a global level. The opportunity to learn every day about a million different things from statistics to study design, how to present and teach to writing up research and reports. Most importantly to work with a lovely group of people who have all welcomed, guided and mentored me in so many different ways. 

 4.     What has been your most exciting achievement with CIDG?

Presenting my work to WHO panels making decisions on clinical management of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever in Berlin and setting global health security priorities in Adelaide. 

 5.     What has your experience with CIDG added to your CV?

A huge amount! Research, international presentations, teaching, professional and personal development. I can’t overstate the benefits I have gained from 18 months with CIDG. My CV used to be pretty bare but now it has Cochrane reviews and work for WHO plastered all over it. 

 6.     If you were stranded on a desert island with only one Cochrane review to read, which would you choose and why?

Probiotics for treating acute infectious diarrhoea… I feel like it may come in useful…

 7.     What advice would you give to new starters at CIDG?

Don’t expect answers to be given to you on a plate. You’re going to have to figure out effective and innovative ways of doing things with the support of content and methodological experts. Every review is different with its own unique challenges. 

Make the most of the opportunities that will come your way.

Be open to other people’s experience and expertise. 

Learn the art of effective teleconference calls! 

Don’t despair when inevitably your PRISMA diagram doesn’t add up.

 8.     What is your guilty pleasure?

The never ending supply of chocolate and cake that Phill and Paula supply the office with! 

 9.     What three words would you use to describe your role at CIDG?

Busy. Collaborative. Myth-busting

 10.     What two attributes are most important in your job?

Enthusiasm to learn and develop in an ever evolving field.

The ability to collaborate and work with experts in different fields.  

 11.     Which type of animal do you think would make a good Cochrane Editor?

An inquisitive shrew

The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Deirdre Walshe (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise. 

The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.