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Dr Fiona Cresswell

Fiona Cresswell profile photo

Dr Fiona Cresswell (PhD MBChB BSc MRCP DTMH DipGUM DFSRH PGCertEpi)

Senior Lecturer (Hons Cons)

Areas of expertise: HIV; STIs, brain infections; global health

Research areas: HIV; tuberculous meningitis; STIs

Other relevant positions: Faculty of East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Member of Early Career; Research Advisory Board for Wellcome Open Research; Chair of British Association in Sexual Health and HIV guidelines on HIV post-exposure

Preferred gender pronouns: She/her

Twitter handle: @cresswell_fiona


Fiona is a physician in HIV and sexual health with experience in infectious diseases and tropical medicine from a decade of clinical work in East Africa. She trained in Epidemiology and completed a clinical PhD in Global Health at London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Her ongoing research focusses on reducing morbidity and mortality from advanced HIV disease in sub-Saharan Africa through improved HIV treatment and management of opportunistic infections. Fiona continues to mentor clinicians and aspiring academics in Uganda and is also involved in guideline development having chaired the 2021 British Association of Sexual Health and HIV national guideline on HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and she is on the writing group of the International TB Meningitis Consortium guidelines.  


In 2016, Fiona joined the brain infections research group at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala, Uganda and began a Wellcome-funded Clinical PhD Fellowship through London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Fiona's PhD research focussed on HIV-related tuberculous meningitis (TBM). She conducted a phase II trial of high-dose rifampicin in TB meningitis and showed that it is safe to increase the dose of rifampicin by 3.5-fold in HIV-associated TBM. Fiona is a site principal investigator in the HARVEST international TB meningitis multi-country phase III trial investigating the clinical impact of high dose rifampicin in TB meningitis. Fiona also continues to investigate novel diagnostics for TB meningitis.

Fiona is also interested in the role that injectable antiretroviral therapy can play in maintaining viral suppression, averting poor HIV outcomes or HIV transmission, and identifying ways to accurately target long-acting ART in Africa through precision medicine. She is chief investigator of a phase III multi-country clinical trial called IMPALA – Improving HIV outcomes in Africa with Long-acting Antiretrovirals - which is being led by MRC/UVRI-LSHTM Uganda Research Unit and is site principal investigator for the CARES – Cabotegravir and Rilpvirine Efficacy and Safety study- at the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda. Fiona is leading on a UK-wide observational cohort study of real-world use of cabotegravir and rilpivirine (CORAL study) which is coordinated by the Department of Global Health and Infection at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. 



Fiona is faculty on the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at LSTHM and the East African DTM&H. She also teaches medical students at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. 

Selected publications

CRESSWELL F, Asanati K, Bhagani S, Boffito M, Delpech V, Ellis J, Fox J, Furness L, Kingston M, Mansouri M, Samarawickrama A, Smithson K, Sparrowhawk A, Rafferty P, Roper T, Waters L, Rodger A, Gupta N; UK guideline for the use of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis 2021. HIV Medicine (2022) 23 (5), 494-545 10.1111/hiv.13208. 

CRESSWELL FV, Lamorde M; Implementation of long-acting antiretroviral therapy in low-income and middle-income countries. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS (2022) 10.1097/COH.0000000000000732. 

Nuwagira E, Huppler Hullsiek K, Jjunju S, Rutakingirwa M, Kasibante J, Tadeo KK, Kagimu E, Tugume L, Ssebambulidde K, Musubire AK, Bangdiwala A, Muzoora C, Meya DB, Boulware DR, Bahr NC, CRESSWELL FV; Diagnostic and Prognostic Value of Cerebrospinal Fluid Lactate and Glucose in HIV-Associated Tuberculosis Meningitis. Microbiology Spectrum (2022) 10 (4), e0161822 10.1128/spectrum.01618-22. 

Odongpiny ELA, CRESSWELL F, Arinaitwe A, Nakate V, Kyenkya J, Lamorde M, Waitt C, Meya D, Kiragga A; High willingness to use injectable antiretroviral therapy among women who have been lost to follow-up from HIV programmes: A nested cross-sectional study. HIV Medicine (2022) 23 (4), 319-323 10.1111/hiv.13260. 

Pastick KA, Kagimu E, Dobbin J, Ssebambulidde K, Gakuru J, Milln J, Nakabuye B, Meya DB, Boulware DR, CRESSWELL FV, Bahr NC; Pregnancy-Related Tuberculous Meningitis and Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome: A Case Series and Systematic Review. Open Forum Infectious Diseases (2022) 9 (10), ofac513 10.1093/ofid/ofac513. 

Quinn CM, Kasibante J, Namudde A, Bangdiwala AS, Kabahubya M, Nakasujja N, Lofgren S, ELLIOTT A, Boulware DR, Meya DB, CRESSWELL FV; Neurocognitive outcomes of tuberculous meningitis in a primarily HIV-positive Ugandan cohort. Wellcome Open Research (2022) 6, 208 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16967.2. 

Ramachandran PS, Ramesh A, CRESSWELL FV, Wapniarski A, Narendra R, Quinn CM, Tran EB, Rutakingirwa MK, Bangdiwala AS, Kagimu E, Kandole KT, Zorn KC, Tugume L, Kasibante J, Ssebambulidde K, Okirwoth M, Bahr NC, Musubire A, Skipper CP, Fouassier C, Lyden A, Serpa P, Castaneda G, Caldera S, Ahyong V, DeRisi JL, Langelier C, Crawford ED, Boulware DR, Meya DB, Wilson MR; Integrating central nervous system metagenomics and host response for diagnosis of tuberculosis meningitis and its mimics. Nature Communications (2022) 13 (1), 1675 10.1038/s41467-022-29353-x. 

Skipper CP, Hullsiek KH, CRESSWELL FV, Tadeo KK, Okirwoth M, Blackstad M, Hernandez-Alvarado N, Fernández-Alarcón C, Walukaga S, Martyn E, Ellis J, Ssebambulidde K, Tugume L, Nuwagira E, Rhein J, Meya DB, Boulware DR, Schleiss MR, ASTRO-CM and RifT Study Teams; Cytomegalovirus viremia as a risk factor for mortality in HIV-associated cryptococcal and tuberculous meningitis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases (2022) 122, 785-792 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.07.035. 

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