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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Estee Torok

Dr Estee Torok

Department of Medicine

Current research focuses on translating microbial genomics into clinical practice, and also involved in clinical research in S. aureus, HIV, and tuberculosis.

Estee Torok is accepting applications for PhD students.

Estee Torok is available for consultancy.

University of Cambridge
Department of Medicine
Box 157, Level 5
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Hills Road
Cambridge CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom


Dr Török qualified in Medicine from the Universities of Oxford and London. She completed her postgraduate medical training in Oxford and then spent a year as a Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, Imperial College doing hepatitis C research. She received her specialist training in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology in Oxford. From 2004 to 2008 she was a Wellcome Research Training Fellow at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, where she did her PhD research in HIV and tuberculosis.


In 2009 Dr Török was appointed as a Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and set up two new clinical services – a bacteraemia consult service and an outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) service. In 2011 she joined Professor Peacock’s research group at University of Cambridge as a Senior Research Associate and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology. In 2014 she was awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Health Foundation. 

Research themes

Pathogen Biology and Evolution:
Bacterial Pathogens:
Viral Pathogens:
Connections in Asia:
  • Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Departments and Institutes

Wellcome Sanger Institute:
Visiting Scientist
Centre for Pathogen Evolution:
Consortium Member
Senior Research Associate and Specialty Director for Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine
Public Health England:
Honorary Consultant in Microbiology
Addenbrooke's Hospital:
Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

Research Interests

Dr Török’s current research focuses on translating microbial genomics from a research tool into clinical practice to improve the diagnosis of infectious diseases, infection control and public health. She has extensive clinical research experience in infectious diseases in the UK and in south-east Asia, and is involved in national and international studies of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. She also has interests in medical education and public engagement.


Key Publications

  1. Saunderson RB, Gouliouris T, Nickerson EK, Cartwright EJ, Kidney A, Aliyu SH, Brown NM, Limmathurotsakul D, Peacock SJ, Török ME. Impact of routine bedside infectious diseases consultation on clinical management and outcome of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in adults. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015 (in press).
  1. Ellington MJ, Reuter S, Harris SR, Holden MT, Cartwright EJ, Greaves D, Gerver SM, Hope R, Brown NM, Török ME, Parkhill J, Köser CU, Peacock SJ. Emergent and evolving antimicrobial resistance cassettes in community-associated fusidic acid and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 Feb 19. pii: S0924-8579(15)00064-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2015.01.009. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Köser CU, Javid B, Liddell K, Ellington MJ, Feuerriegel S, Niemann S, Brown NM, Burman WJ, Abubakar I, Ismail NA, Moore D, Peacock SJ, Török ME .Elucidation of drug-resistance mechanisms is crucial for development of new anti-tuberculosis agents. Lancet. 2015 Jan 24;385(9965):305-7.
  3. Davies A, Scott S, Badger B, Török ME, Peacock SJ. Public perceptions of bacterial whole-genome sequencing for tuberculosis. Trends Genet. 2015 Feb;31(2):58-60.
  4. Török ME. Tuberculous meningitis – advances in diagnosis and treatment . Br Med Bull. 2015 Feb 18. pii: ldv003. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. Jones LS, Carvalho MJ, Toleman MA, White PL, Connor TR, Mushtaq A, Weeks JL, Kumarasamy KK, Raven KE, Török ME, Peacock SJ, Howe RA, Walsh TR. Characterisation of plasmids in extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter species from India and Pakistan. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Nov 24. pii: AAC.03242-14.
  6. Hepburn L, Prajsnar TK, Klapholz C, Moreno P, Loynes CA, Ogryzko NV, Brown K, Schiebler M, Hegyi K, Antrobus R, Hammond KL, Connolly J, Ochoa B, Bryant C, Otto M, Surewaard B, Seneviratne SL, Grogono DM, Cachat J, Ny T, Kaser A, Török ME, Peacock SJ, Holden M, Blundell T, Wang L, Ligoxygakis P, Minichiello L, Woods CG, Foster SJ, Renshaw SA, Floto RA. Innate immunity. A Spaetzle-like role for nerve growth factor β in vertebrate immunity to Staphylococcus aureus. Science. 2014 Oct 31; 346(6209):641-6.
  7. Saunderson RB, Gouliouris T, Cartwright EJ, Nickerson EJ, Aliyu SH, O'Donnell DR, Kelsall W, Limmathurotsakul D, Peacock SJ, Török ME. Impact of infectious diseases consultation on the management of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in children. BMJ Open. 2014 Jul 1; 4(7):e004659.
  8. Török ME, Harris SR, Cartwright EJ, Raven KE, Brown NM, Allison ME, Greaves D, Quail MA, Limmathurotsakul D, Holden MT, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Zero tolerance for healthcare-associated MRSA bacteraemia: is it realistic? J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Aug; 69(8):2238-45.
  9. Köser CU, Fraser LJ, Ioannou A, Becq J, Ellington MJ, Holden MT, Reuter S, Török ME, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Gormley NA, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Rapid single-colony whole-genome sequencing of bacterial pathogens. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 May; 69(5):1275-81.
  10. Paterson GK, Morgan FJ, Harrison EM, Cartwright EJ, Török ME, Zadoks RN, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Holmes MA. Prevalence and characterization of human mecC methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates in England. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Apr;69(4):907-10.
  11. Kaasch AJ, Barlow G, Edgeworth JD, Fowler VG Jr, Hellmich M, Hopkins S, Kern WV, Llewelyn MJ, Rieg S, Rodriguez-Baño J, Scarborough M, Seifert H, Soriano A,Tilley R, Tőrők ME, Weiß V, Wilson AP, Thwaites GE; ISAC, INSTINCT, SABG, UKCIRG, and Colleagues. Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection: a pooled analysis of five prospective, observational studies. J Infect. 2014 Mar;68(3):242-51.
  12. Török ME. When to start antiretroviral therapy in HIV-associated Tuberculosis. Curr Resp Med Reviews 2013; 9(3): 193-9.
  13. Paterson GK, Harrison EM, Craven EF, Petersen A, Larsen AR, Ellington MJ, TörökME, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J, Zadoks RN, Holmes MA. Incidence and characterisation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from nasal colonisation in participants attending a cattle veterinary conference in the UK. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 15;8(7):e68463.
  14. Köser CU, Bryant JM, Becq J, Török ME, Ellington MJ, Marti-Renom MA, Carmichael AJ, Parkhill J, Smith GP, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for rapid identification, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and typing of extensively-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. N Engl J Med. 2013 Jul 18;369(3):290-2.
  15. Reuter S, Ellington MJ, Cartwright EJ, Köser CU, Török ME, Gouliouris T, Harris SR, Brown NM, Holden MTG, Quail M, Raven K, Parkhill J, Smith GP, Bentley SD, Peacock SJ. Rapid whole genome sequencing improves diagnostic and public health microbiology. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 15. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7734. [Epub ahead of print]
  16. Harris SR, Török ME, Cartwright EJP, Quail M, Peacock SJ, Parkhill J. Read and assembly metrics do not affect clinical utility of rapid whole genome sequencing platforms for mapping outbreaks. Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Jul 9;31(7):592-4.
  17. Cartwright EJ, Paterson GK, Raven KE, Harrison EM, Gouliouris T, Kearns A, Pichon B, Edwards G, Skov RL, Larsen AR, Holmes MA, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Török ME. Use of VITEK 2 antimicrobial susceptibility profile to identify mecC in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Clin Microbiol. 2013 May 29. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23720794.
  18. Stockdale AJ, Nkuranga J, Török ME, Faragher B, Lalloo DG. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected tuberculosis patients in rural Kenya: an observational study. Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Apr 17. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12110.
  19. Reuter S, Harrison TG, Köser CU, Ellington MJ, Smith GP, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Bentley SD, Török ME. A pilot study of rapid whole-genome sequencing for the investigation of a Legionella outbreak. BMJ Open. 2013 Jan 9;3(1).
  20. Thwaites G, Auckland C, Barlow G, Cunningham R, Davies G, Edgeworth J, GreigJ, Hopkins S, Jeyaratnam D, Jenkins N, Llewelyn M, Meisner S, Nsutebu E, Planche T, Read RC, Scarborough M, Soares M, Tilley R, Török ME, Williams J, Wilson P, Wyllie S, Walker AS; United Kingdom Clinical Infection Research Group. Adjunctive rifampicin to reduce early mortality from Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (ARREST): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2012 Dec 18;13:241.
  21. Török ME, Reuter S, Bryant J, Köser CU, Stinchcombe SV, Nazareth B, Ellington MJ, Bentley SD, Smith GP, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Rapid whole-genome sequencingfor investigation of a suspected tuberculosis outbreak. J Clin Microbiol. 2013Feb;51(2):611-4.
  22. Harris SR, Cartwright EJ, Török ME, Holden MT, Brown NM, Ogilvy-Stuart AL, Ellington MJ, Quail MA, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ. Whole-genome sequencing for analysis of an outbreak of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a descriptive study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2013 Feb;13(2):130-6.
  23. Wilkinson KA, Torok ME, Schwander S, Meintjes G. HIV-associated tuberculosis 2012. Clin Dev Immunol. 2012; 2012: 950964. doi: 10.1155/2012/950964.
  24. Török ME, Chantratita N, Peacock SJ. Bacterial gene loss as a mechanism for gain of antimicrobial resistance. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2012 Oct; 15(5):583-7.
  25. Török ME, Peacock SJ. Rapid whole-genome sequencing of bacterial pathogens in the clinical microbiology laboratory--pipe dream or reality? J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Oct;67(10):2307-8.
  26. Greaves D, Gouliouris T, O'Donovan M, Craig JI, Török ME. Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection in a patient treated for multiple myeloma. Br J Haematol. 2012 Jul;158(1):2.
  27. Tho DQ, Török ME, Yen NT, Bang ND, Lan NT, Kiet VS, van Vinh Chau N, Dung NH, Day J, Farrar J, Wolbers M, Caws M. Influence of antituberculosis drug resistance and Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage on outcome in HIV-associated tuberculous meningitis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Jun;56(6):3074-9.
  28. Thao VP, Le T, Török EM, Yen NT, Chau TT, Jurriaans S, van Doorn HR, de Jong
  29. MD, Farrar JJ, Dunstan SJ. HIV-1 drug resistance in antiretroviral-naïve individuals with HIV-1-associated tuberculous meningitis initiating antiretroviral therapy in Vietnam.  Antivir Ther. 2012; 17(5):905-13.
  30. Chapman AL, Seaton RA, Cooper MA, Hedderwick S, Goodall V, Reed C, Sanderson F, Nathwani D; BSAC/BIA OPAT Project Good Practice Recommendations Working Group. Good practice recommendations for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) in adults in the UK: a consensus statement. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 May;67(5):1053-62.
  31. Wilkinson KA, Schwander S, Torok ME, Meintjes G. Human immunodeficiency virus-associated tuberculosis. Clin Dev Immunol. 2011; 2011: 513967.
  32. Török ME, Nguyen DB, Tran TH, Nguyen TB, Thwaites GE, Hoang TQ, Nguyen HD, Tran TH, Nguyen TC, Hoang HT, Wolbers M, Farrar JJ. Dexamethasone and long-term outcome of tuberculous meningitis in Vietnamese adults and adolescents. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e27821.
  33. Török ME, Farrar JJ. When to start antiretroviral therapy in HIV-associated tuberculosis. N Engl J Med. 2011 Oct 20;365(16):1538-40.
  34. Török ME, Yen NT, Chau TT, Mai NT, Phu NH, Mai PP, Dung NT, Chau NV, Bang ND, Tien NA, Minh NH, Hien NQ, Thai PV, Dong DT, Anh do TT, Thoa NT, Hai NN, Lan NN, Lan NT, Quy HT, Dung NH, Hien TT, Chinh NT, Simmons CP, de Jong M, Wolbers M, Farrar JJ. Timing of initiation of antiretroviral therapy in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)--associated tuberculous meningitis. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jun; 52(11): 1374-83
  35. Pouplin T, Pouplin JN, Van Toi P, Lindegardh N, Rogier van Doorn H, Hien TT,  Farrar J, Török ME, Chau TT. Valacyclovir for herpes simplex encephalitis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jul; 55(7):3624-6.
  36. Thwaites GE, Bhavnani SM, Chau TT, Hammel JP, Török ME, Van Wart SA, Mai PP, Reynolds DK, Caws M, Dung NT, Hien TT, Kulawy R, Farrar J, Ambrose PG. Randomized pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic comparison of fluoroquinolones for tuberculous meningitis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jul; 55(7): 3244-53.
  37. Thwaites GE, Edgeworth JD, Gkrania-Klotsas E, Kirby A, Tilley R, Török ME, Walker S, Wertheim HF, Wilson P, Llewelyn MJ; UK Clinical Infection Research Group. Clinical management of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011 Mar;11(3):208-22.