Dr Daniel Pan

NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow/Honorary Specialist Registrar in Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine

Dr Daniel Pan

School/Department: Respiratory Sciences, Department of


Address: Office 524 Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building Leicester Royal Infirmary LE1 5WW




Dr Daniel Pan is a PhD Candidate, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Respiratory Sciences, NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and Development Centre for Population Health. He is also an honorary Specialist Registrar at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. 

Dan studied Medicine at Imperial College London, and then training in general medicine in Yorkshire, London and the East Midlands.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dan led work that comprehensively demonstrated that COVID-19 was disproportionately affecting ethnic minority groups, and the  potential  mechanisms behind these differences in clinical outcomes. He is part of the UK-REACH study team -a national study led by the University of Leicester that has one of the largest and most comprehensive longitudinal datasets on healthcare worker health, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, in the world. 

The main aim of Dan's research is to build the evidence base for improving the clinical management and diagnosis of those with respiratory virus infections. As part of his PhD he leads the COVID-MASK study - a programme aims to find the best ways to protect healthcare workers from acquiring and transmitting viruses (including patients with novel emerging infections looked after by the local clinical infectious diseases unit) within the workplace.  Within COVID-MASK, Dan led the first study to detect and quantify exhaled SARS-CoV-2 longitudinally in exhaled breath using facemask sampling, and quantify its associations with household transmission. COVID-MASK has recruited over 600 participants since 2020.

Dan has served led guidance for WHO on the ethnic disparities in health due to COVID-19. His work has been used as debate within the UK House of Commons. He is NIHR trainee representative for the East Midlands. In 2021, Dan was named by Forbes' magazine as one of Europe's top '30 under 30' innovators in healthcare for his research and clinical contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2024, Dan was awarded a Turner-Warwick lectureship from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) for his work on transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and its implications for healthcare workers. He has given the Turner-Warwick Lecture twice, in two different subject areas (Cardiology and Infectious Diseases). Dan holds honorary research associate positions at the Oxford Big Data Institute and the Hong Kong School of Public Health.


I am an academic trainee in infectious diseases and general internal medicine, and am interested in translational aspects of respiratory infection.

The major focus of my research work to date has been in COVID-19; its disproportionate effect in ethnic minority groups and the transmission dynamics of the virus, SARS-CoV-2. The longitudinal viral load kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 in different compartments, such as saliva, nasopharynx and exhaled breath, and how these relate to how infectious someone may be to others (their infectivity) remains unclear. My previous work and that of co-workers has drawn attention to the importance of quantifying infectivity accurately – so that interventions, such as antivirals, or self-isolation can be implemented or de-escalated in a more personalised approach. Furthermore, we have shown the importance of disentangling the risk factors for infection (ie, exposure to a pathogen) from the risk factors for developing severe disease once infected (which may be more biological) for disproportionately affected subgroups such as those from ethnic minority groups.

I am now a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, within the Centre for Population Health and Department of Respiratory Sciences. In my PhD, I aim to develop new tools to refine the risk stratification of the infectivity of individuals with acute SARS-CoV-2, using a combination of epidemiological and laboratory approaches. The work has 3 components.

1) Evaluation of existing tools (lateral flow assays, nasopharnygeal swabs, saliva sampling) for evaluation of infectivity

2) Assessment of the feasibility and ability of facemask sampling (which samples virus in exhaled breath) for evaluation of infectivity

3) Mathematical modelling to map out intra-host viral load and relation to infectivity. 

My continuing interest is in further understanding of host infectivity for SARS-CoV-2 and implications for possible therapeutic strategies. My strengths as an investigator are as a clinical scientist. 

For a list of my publications, please visit my ORCID ID


My PhD research is supervised by Professor Manish Pareek, Professor Mike Barer, Professor Laura Gray at the University of Leicester and externally, Professor T Déirdre Hollingsworth from the University of Oxford.


My position at the University of Leicester involves teaching on the Special Study Module for Infectious Diseases – this is for medical students at the University of Leicester as part of their final year curriculum. I have been involved for the administration of the course, from student selection to arrangement of the teaching timetable, as well as teaching the students in most aspects of infectious diseases for the undergraduate medical curriculum.  I also regularly teach and mentor students on the Global Health and Humanitarian Course ran by Médecins Sans Frontières; students from this course sit the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

I have throughout his career to date had a teaching commitment.  I am experienced in teaching medical students and membership candidates in both general medicine and infectious diseases. I regularly lecture candidates for the MRCP and take groups of medical students regularly when on clinical duty.  I have previously established formal weekly teaching sessions for the junior medical staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary and have continued to take an active interest in teaching students and postgraduates in my present job, as well as nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary team. 


Press and media

Please get in touch for media enquiries, expert opinion, interviews, images or video.


  • Innovative Teacher of the Year – Hull York Medical School 2017
  • Best Oral Presentation – Rwandan International Scientific Week 2017
  • Best Moderated Poster – European Society of Cardiology World Congress 2018
  • Turner-Warwick Lectureship (Yorkshire) – Royal College of Physicians 2019
  • Best Oral Presentation – Royal Society of Medicine 2021
  • ‘30 under 30’ innovators in Science and Healthcare – Forbes magazine 2021
  • Winter Meeting Conference Grant for highest scoring abstract – British Thoracic Society 2021
  • Travel Grant for top 100 abstracts from ESCMID Young Scientist– European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 2022
  • Travel Grant for outstanding abstract submitted to a conference – British Infection Association 2022
  • ‘COVID-19 changemaker’ nominated as an individual who went the extra mile to support others during COVID-19 – University of Leicester 2022
  • Travel grant for outstanding abstract submitted to a conference - Healthcare Infection Society 2023
  • Distinction MRes in Clinical Sciences, University of Leicester 2023. Highest overall score and score for dissertation in cohort
  • Travel Grant for outstanding abstract submitted to Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2023 - Microbiology Society
  • Turner-Warwick Lectureship (East Midlands) - Royal College of Physicians 2023

Media coverage

My research has been the topic of multiple news outlets, including the BBC.


2023     University of Leicester, MRes in Clinical Sciences

2020     Royal College of Physicians, Speciality Certificate Examination, Acute Medicine

2019     Royal College of Physicians, Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

2019     Royal College of Physicians, MRCP

2018     University of York, Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research and Statistics

2015     Imperial College London, MBBS

2013     Imperial College London, BSc (Medical Sciences)

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