Staff profile

Dr Isaac Thom Shawa

Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology

Isaac Shawa at the front of a lecture theatre at the University of Derby.


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology at the University of Derby. My current role focuses on teaching and research across both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. I was awarded a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue Medical Microbiology studies at the University of Liverpool. I hold a PhD in Medical Microbiology/Virology obtained at the University of Plymouth in collaboration with Imperial College London through a PhD scholarship funded by the MRC/NHS Trust. I received a Postdoctoral Research Associate Award (PDRA) funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Teaching responsibilities

I am responsible for leading a Medical Microbiology course within our Biomedical and Forensic Sciences department offered to both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I design, deliver and implement the module requirements that include summative and formative assessments, providing timely feedback/feedforward, as well as pastoral care. The modules I teach on include:

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7

Professional interests

I am interested in Medical Microbiology and Viral Immunology research. Much effort nationally and internationally will be dedicated to the development and establishment of professional networks and collaborations that involve winning grants. Winning research grants and attracting PhD, Postdoctoral Researchers, and Research Interns is something in contemplation. Furthermore, I would like to achieve the Academic Fellowship of the Higher Education Act.

Research interests

I am broadly interested in host-viral interactions in understanding the viral pathogenesis and their elicited immune responses. During my PhD studies, I conducted research at Imperial College London at the South Kensington campus. This offered me a great opportunity to gain useful research skills in a world-class research institution. During this time, I developed some additional skills in metabonomics. The programme involved some practical aspects in Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS) techniques including data analysis and interpretation. My PhD work mainly focussed on the different strategies to identify characteristics of hepatitis C virus (HCV) resistance and possible immunological mechanisms that protect the HCV-exposed uninfected population. In it, I explored the involvement of viral-lipid interaction, as well as the role of innate immune response in conferring resistance to individuals who get exposed to HCV but remain uninfected. Over the years, I have gained essential transferrable skills in Immunology utilizing Cell culture, ELISPOT, ELISA and Luminex methods. During my PDRA award funded by the Wellcome Trust, I investigated rotavirus-specific B cell subsets in under-five children presenting with gastroenteritis at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. I gained some basic hands-on immunological phenotyping skills using FlowJo for analysis of Flow Cytometry (BD LSRFortessa) data.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Malawi College of Medicine, an opportunity that enhanced my professional development skills. While working at the University of Malawi, I performed several duties that included but were not limited to:

I also conducted and completed two important consultancy services that were funded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the European Union (EU) as follows:

When the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was reported in Malawi, I was involved in COVID-19 molecular diagnostics, and community services (that included provision of professional guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic); debunking the COVID-19 vaccination myths through Television and Radio interviews.

International experience

Additional interests and activities

Editorial Board Member - BMC Infectious Diseases 


In the media

RESEARCH ARTICLES - Manuscripts submitted

  1. Autoantibodies to apolipoprotein A-I in hepatitis C virus infection: a role in disease progression? IN PRESS (Clinical Infectious Diseases)
  2. Unsafe sexual practices prior to incarceration, and early childhood transmission are potential high-risk factors of Hepatitis B and HIV infection among prisoners in Blantyre, Malawi. IN PRESS (BMC Public Health "Epidemiology of Viral Hepatitis")
  3. Factors affecting COVID-19 vaccine uptake in populations with higher education: Insights from a cross-sectional study among university students in Malawi. IN PRESS (BMC Infectious Diseases)


1. Antiviral properties of cannabidiol (CBD). IN PRESS (ELSEVIER - ELSA)

Recent publications






Book Authorship

Shawa, I.T., 2019. Hepatitis B and C viruses. In Hepatitis B and C. IntechOpen.