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The King's Birthday Honours 2024 Lists have been published, marking the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK, including two researchers from MORU who have both been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Children’s Health in Cambodia and Thailand.

Prof Claudia Turner has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Children’s Health in Cambodia and Thailand. Currently Head of Clinical Research at the Cambodia-Oxford Medical Research Unit (COMRU) and Management Consultant at the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC), in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Claudia Turner is a University of Oxford Associate Professor whose research interests include neonatal healthcare in resource poor settings, healthcare implementation research, and antibiotic stewardship.

“I am thrilled and a little overwhelmed to be given this honour. My time spent in Thailand and Cambodia has been a marvellous adventure and great privilege. I have worked with some remarkable people and would not have achieved all that I did without them,” said Prof Claudia Turner.

Claudia moved to Cambodia as a paediatric consultant in 2012 to co-direct COMRU. In 2015 she became the CEO of AHC as well as continuing her research on the implementation of programmes to reduce neonatal mortality across the healthcare spectrum. During her time at AHC Claudia formalised the mission and vision of the organisation, developed the strategic direction and implemented a governance structure, the components and impacts of which were formally studied, published and shared with organisations in the region. Succession to a Cambodian led organisation was always a primary goal for Claudia and in 2022 she stepped sideways to a management consultant role to allow this to happen.

Prof Paul Turner, Professor of Paediatric Microbiology, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Children’s Health in Cambodia and Thailand. A clinical microbiologist with a focus on paediatric infection, Paul Turner has been Director of COMRU since 2012. Based at AHC in Siem Reap, Cambodia, COMRU’s research focusses on the causes and reduction of morbidity and mortality in Cambodian children.

“I am delighted to receive this honour, which reflects the dedication and hard work of a fantastic team. The work that we do in Cambodia has had positive impacts on the treatment and prevention of severe bacterial infections in children and it wonderful to have it recognised in this way,” said Prof Paul Turner.

Paul leads research on pneumococcal colonisation and disease, nasopharyngeal microbiota, paediatric invasive bacterial infection epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Emerging work foci includes development and deployment of clinically-oriented AMR surveillance in resource-limited settings and integration of bacterial whole genome sequencing data into clinical microbiology laboratories. His non-research work focusses on capacity development for diagnostic microbiology in low-resource settings.

Between 2006 and 2012, Paul worked at SMRU in Mae Sot, Thailand, where he established the diagnostic and research microbiology laboratory and did research on pneumococcal colonisation and respiratory virus infections.

Visit The King's Birthday Honours 2024 Overseas and International List on the UK Government website.