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Dr Rob Shorten

GMC/GDC Number

CS16251 (HCPC)



Microbiology - Consultant Clinical Scientist


BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FRCPath

Specialty Areas
Professional Memberships
Other Professional Roles/Awards/Esteem Markers

Chair of the Microbiology Professional Committee of the Association for Clinical Microbiology and Laboratory Medicine
Member of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens


Dr Shorten is a Consultant Clinical Scientist in microbiology who has previously worked and trained at Manchester Foundation Trust and The Royal Free. He has broad experience in the management of infectious diseases, and infection prevention and control. He is the departmental lead for research, the pathology lead for clinical audit, and oversees the training of Clinical Scientists in microbiology.

Dr Shorten holds an honorary research associate contract with University College London, where he has contributed to teaching undergraduate and post-graduate courses. His research interests have included tuberculosis, including completing a PhD at UCL in the field of molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as other papers in the areas of laboratory diagnostics, and viral haemorrhagic fevers. 

Dr Shorten has joined the NIHR Research Scholars Programme for 2022-23, with an interest to further pursue a joint clinical / academic role in areas such as antimicrobial stewardship, diagnostic stewardship, environmental sustainability, and the management of penicillin allergy.  

Previous experience with high consequence infectious diseases and laboratory containment facilities, including working at the High Level Isolation Unit at the Royal Free and also in Sierra Leonne the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak allowed Dr Shorten to develop strong expertise in this area. He is a current member of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens, and has contributed to key aspects of national guidance regarding the safe processing of samples during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Languages Spoken

Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers in a large teaching hospital in the North West of England: a period prevalence survey.
Shorten RJ, Haslam S, Hurley MA et al.BMJ Open 2021;11:e045384. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045384

Q fever-the superstition of avoiding the word "quiet" as a coping mechanism: randomised controlled non-inferiority trial.
Brookfield CR, Phillips PPJ, Shorten RJ. BMJ. 2019 Dec 18;367:l6446. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l6446.

An unusual presentation of Legionella pneumonia in a returning traveller.
Shorten RJ, Norman J, Sweeney LC. BMJ Case Rep. 2019 Aug 15;12(8)

A sputum sample processing method for community and mobile tuberculosis diagnosis using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay.
Gliddon HD, Shorten RJ, Hayward AC, Story A. ERJ Open Res. 2019 Feb 1;5(1).

The risk of transmission of a Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Infection in a UK Laboratory.
RJ Shorten & E Wilson-Davies. PLoS Negl Trop Dis – 2017. 11(5): e0005358

Ebola Virus Disease: an update on epidemiology, symptomatology, laboratory findings, diagnostic issues, and infection prevention and control issues for laboratory professionals.
Colin S. Brown, Stephen Mepham, Robert J. Shorten. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine 28-Apr-2017

Rectal swab screening for the detection of carriage of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
RJ Shorten, P Ashcroft & AR Dodgson. J Hosp Infect. 2016 Oct;94(2):131-2.

Genetic variation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from a London outbreak associated with drug resistance.
Giovanni Satta, Adam A Witney, Robert J Shorten, Magdalena Karlikowska, Marc Lipman, Timothy D McHugh. BMC Med. 2016 Aug 16;14(1):117.

Diagnostics in Ebola virus disease in resource-rich and resource–limited settings.
Robert J Shorten, Colin S Brown, Michael Jacobs, Simon Rattenbury, Andrew J Simpson, Stephen Mepham. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Oct 27;10(10)

Therapeutic drug monitoring of antimicrobials.
Balakrishnan I, Shorten RJ. Ann Clin Biochem. 2016 May;53(Pt 3):333-46.

Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing of M. tuberculosis directly from clinical samples.
Brown AC, Bryant JM, Einer-Jensen K et al. J Clin Microbiol. 2015 May 13.

A Rapid and Sensitive Diagnostic Screening Assay for Detection of Mycobacteria Including Mycobacterium tuberculosis Directly from Sputum without Extraction.
J Cross, C Anscombe, TD McHugh, I Abubakar, RJ Shorten, N Thorne, and C Arnold. International Journal of Bacteriology, vol. 2015, Article ID 593745, 8 pages, 2015.

The value of "inform and advise" guidance in a case of extensive tuberculosis transmission.
Kumar K, Shorten R, Capocci S, Solamalai A, Goodburn A, Cropley I, McHugh TD, Lipman M. J Infect. 2013 Aug;67(2):158-60

When is an outbreak not an outbreak? Fit, divergent strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis display independent evolution of drug resistance in a large London outbreak.
​​​​​​ R. J. Shorten, A. C. McGregor, S. Platt, C. Jenkins, M. C. I. Lipman, S. H. Gillespie, B. M. Charalambous and T. D. McHugh J Antimicrob Chemother 2012

Blood culture bottle culture of pleural fluid in pleural infection.
Menzies SM, Rahman NM, Wrightson JM, Davies HE, Shorten R, Gillespie SH, Davies CW, Maskell NA, Jeffrey AA, Lee YC, Davies RJ. Thorax. 2011 Aug;66(8):658-62. doi: 10.1136/thx.2010.157842. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

The Clinical Application of a Rapid Lung-Orientated Immunoassay in Individuals with Possible Tuberculosis.
Breen RA, Barry SM, Smith CJ, Shorten RJ, Dilworth JP, Cropley I, McHugh TD, Gillespie SH, Janossy G, Lipman MC. Thorax. 2008

Evaluation of liquid culture for quantitation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in murine models.
O'Sullivan DM, Sander C, Shorten RJ, Gillespie SH, Hill AV, McHugh TD, McShane H, Tchilian EZ.  Vaccine. 2007 Oct 17

Is there a relationship between Mycobacterium  tuberculosis strain type and TB paradoxical reaction?
F M R Perrin, R J Shorten, R A M Breen, S H Gillespie, M C Lipman and T D McHugh. Thorax. 2005 Aug;60(8):706-7

Rifampicin resistance in tuberculosis outbreak, London, England.
laire Jenkins, Alleyna P. Claxton, Robert J. Shorten, Timothy D. McHugh and Stephen H. Gillespie. Emerging Infectious Diseases 11; 6. June 2005.

Molecular strain typing of M. tuberculosis isolates from a suspected outbreak involving a faulty bronchoscope. Letter. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2005 Sep;61(1):86-7.

Mycobacterium  tuberculosis lineage: A naming of the parts. McHugh TD, Batt SL, Shorten RJ, Gosling RD, Uiso L, Gillespie SH. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2005 May;85(3):127-36.

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01772 716565

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