A DATABASE expert from Wirral is playing a key role in a ground-breaking coronavirus study.

Nicole Maziere, 30, normally works as a data systems developer at the Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, based at the University of Liverpool, where she uses specialist computer software to keep track of blood and tissue samples from cancer patients on clinical trials.

But with some cancer research work temporarily paused, she has volunteered to lend her skills to an international clinical study into the virus, also taking place at the university, which aims to better understand how it is spread.

It is led by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC), a UK wide group of doctors and scientists, who are trying to find out who is most severely affected by Covid-19 and why some people have better outcomes than others.

Nicole said: "The work I normally do in cancer clinical trials is very transferable into this new setting.

"Many of the cancer trials involve hundreds of patients and we have to be very disciplined in the way we use these samples.

"It's important that all data is meticulously collected, and the computer system we use is a way of keeping this information well organised."

Professor Calum Semple from the University of Liverpool is the Chief Investigator for the CCP in England, Wales and Scotland at the University of Liverpool. Co-ordinated at the University of Liverpool, this work brings together scientists from other universities including Edinburgh, Oxford, Bristol and Glasgow.

He said: "This research has been set up to respond to an urgent national need.

"This would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of all the members of the scientific community who have stepped forward to collaborate and share their skills.

"The support of Cancer Research UK has been instrumental in delivering this research, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”

Cancer Research UK has seen a heroic surge of activity amongst its research community to tackle Covid-19.

As cancer scientists, its highly skilled workforce a have a range of specialist skills needed for this kind of work.

Nicole continued: "Research into cancer remains our priority and by helping the global effort to tackle Covid-19, we will get back to beating cancer as soon as possible. We hope this study will help increase our understanding of Covid-19, including its impact on cancer patients."

Nicole grew in up Greasby and attended Upton Hall School before going on to study Psychology and Forensic Science at Liverpool John Moore’s University.

She joined the Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre in May 2017.