ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Protocol
  • Project: Preparedness
  • Lead: Prof MG Semple, Prof JK Baillie
  • Start date: 1 August 2013
  • PSH Theme: Outbreak Infrastructure

Global research preparedness for the next outbreak


  • Discovered the likely pathogen behind the outbreak of life-threatening hepatitis in children, 2022
  • Led UK academic sector in delivering observational research during Covid pandemic
  • Provided the protocol used for the first definition of Covid, in Wuhan, 2020

The ISARIC Comprehensive Clinical Characterisation Collaboration (4C) is focused on driving the scientific understanding of human infectious disease in new outbreaks or threats to public health. ISARIC4C is the link between scientists, public health agencies, and NHS teams across the UK.

The ISARIC4C team have the skills and expertise to answer important and urgent questions about new outbreaks and infections that will help not only patients in the UK, but worldwide.

ISARIC4C was at the core of the UK’s response to COVID-19 and the outbreak of unexplained hepatitis in children.

ISARIC4C has two components:

  1. pre-approved “sleeping” research protocols and laboratory infrastructure to obtain consent, clinical data and biological samples from patients during new outbreaks of public health concern accross the whole UK;
  2. established computational infrastructure, governance and open data access procedures to collate, link and share data with bona fide researchers.