Professor Clive Loveday

Professor Clive Loveday trained as a scientist with a first degree in microbiology and pharmacology (1969) and a doctorate microbiology/immunology from The Middlesex Hospital, University of London (1973).

He trained as a medical practitioner at The Middlesex Hospital and graduated in 1980, by which time he had also gained a wide experience in clinical research, and had published 13 peer-reviewed papers during his studies.

He undertook a higher professional training in primary health care (1982-4) during which time the HIV/AIDS pandemic was identified and he determined to specialise in this field.

He was appointed Lecturer in HIV/AIDS at The Middlesex Hospital/UCL in 1985 and with Professor Weller and Dr Carne undertook the clinical care of a large cohort of patients with HIV/AIDS. During this period he collaborated in a number of sentinel studies: the first UK AZT monotherapy trial(1986), the efficacy of gamma interferon in chronic HBV infection and associated sero-reversion (1987), the use of long-term gancyclovir maintenance therapy to control clinical CMV retinitis progression (1987), eight anonymized sero-epidemiology surveys between 1982 and 1993 in the London GUM population defining a rising prevalence of HIV/AIDS in gay men, infection of heterosexual patients and the appearance of HTLV-1, HIV-2 and HCV in these populations, identifying the clinical markers defining disease progression in HIV/AIDS, the involvement of circulating immune complexes in HIV/AIDS, the role of humoral antibodies in HIV-1 pathogenesis and the progressive increase in complement levels associated with disease stage, and the role of p24Ag as a surrogate marker of antiretroviral drug response.

In 1988 to expand his clinical research experience he moved to the Division of Virology in The Middlesex Hospital as District AIDS Officer funded by the Wellcome Trust. He led a team of four scientists in a clinical research program evolving new technologies to support patient care. Initially he developed novel-ELISA assays to quantify p24 and RT antigens and antibodies. Then applied these four assays in patient cohorts to determine the interrelationship of these markers and their predictive value in defining disease stage and progression.

The development of PCR provided new and exciting options for the real-time study of microbial infections. His research group developed applications for PCR to support HIV patient care. They developed the first quantitative viral load and resistance assays in the world to be used in the clinical management of patients with HIV/AIDS (1990).

These assays were used widely in MRC and commercial clinical trials to provide unique efficacy data, including:

  •  MRC Concorde, Alpha and Delta trials (1990-94)
  • Glaxo NUCB3001/2 studies of the efficacy of AZT/3TC relative to AZT alone in drug naïve and experienced patients
  • in a range of confidential monotherapy evaluations for pharmaceutical companies.

In 1993/4 the group used the technology to demonstrate the rapid decline in plasma HIV-1 RNA load to nadir within days during anti-retroviral monotherapy which led to an understanding of the dynamics of HIV-1 turnover. Further, he defined rates of loss of wild-type viruses associated with sub-optimal anti-retroviral therapy that defined the importance of resistance to HIV-1 pathogenesis (1994/5).

In 1996 he was appointed to the first chair in Retrovirology at The Royal Free Hospital Medical School. His department developed molecular virology support within the School to quantify viral load, resistance and subtype speciation to meets the needs of patients in the Departments of HIV/AIDS, Haemophilia, Paediatrics and Occupational Health in the RFH Trust. These efforts pioneered the provision of real-time viral load and resistance measures locally and nationally for enhanced patient care.

These efforts provided the basis for a wealth of national and international clinical research data to expand the understanding of HIV/AIDS.

In 1997 he discovered a high prevalence of HIV-1 non-B viruses in local patients and using an MRC-funded research programme has characterised over 1700 patients to assist in their best future clinical care. In addition, the group collaborated in team efforts with MRC, EuroSIDA and other academic research teams to expand the understanding of HIV/AIDS and its management.

In 2001, to maintain the integrity and excellence of this translational research in HIV/AIDS he devolved his clinical care and research efforts to an independent, academic, charitable trust: The International Clinical Virology Centre (ICVC), Buckinghamshire (www.icvc.org.uk).

The support of NHS patients care and associated research and development continues to date. In addition, the ICVC has undertaked training programmes for virology technical staff, academics and health care professionals and is establishing a clinical interface to support the needs of patients with viral infections.

Recently he has served as the lead clinical virologist/principal investigator in MRC Forte, ERA, PERA, Initio and TILT trials, a series of EuroSIDA cohort studies, and the European CATCH trials. He has contributed to over 150 peer-reviewed publications and over 200 presentations at international peer-reviewed conferences.

Currently Professor Loveday in the Clinical Director of the ICVC Charitable Trust, Lead Consultant in GUM/HIV at Brookeside Clinic, Aylesbury NHS PCT, Honorary Consultant at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London NHS Trust with responsibility for HIV/AIDS therapy, on the South Buckinghamshire register as a Flexible Career Grade GP and is Honorary Professor to the Department of Sexual Health, Thames Valley University.