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Jo Turpitt

Senior Research Nurse

My role

Hi, I'm Jo and I am the Senior Research Nurse.

My responsibilities

As the Senior Research Nurse, I am responsible for the line management of our research practitioners in Southampton. I am also responsible for the set-up and delivery of Sexual Health trials across the Trust. Engagement is also a big part of my role, involving doctors, nurses and patients in why research is important.

My background

I started my research career in London in the late 90’s. Research in the NHS back then was a rarity and not everyday business that it is now and it was an seen as an unusual career choice as a nurse I was a Sexual Health Nurse working with HIV/AIDS patients and many young people were literally dying before our eyes. At the time there was no treatment for HIV/AIDS and many young people were dying before our eyes and as Health Care Professionals, we felt helpless. A turning point came when research showed that new drug combinations were shown to halt the progression of HIV/AIDS. Literally patients were queuing up to take part, as the only way patients could get access to these drugs was being on a clinical trial. Even though these drug combinations stopped the virus taking control, they were not without problems. People had to take numerous tablets, several times a day, with often terrible side effects.  

Why I love my job

Having worked in the Research field for almost 20 years, I have been lucky enough to be involved in many cutting edge research trials that have led to new and often life changing treatments. I have felt honoured to have been involved with so many patients who have volunteered for trials, often with no direct benefit to themselves, except for giving something back and helping future generations. Research is at the heart of evidence based healthcare and improving patient outcomes.

More about me

Outside of work, I am a mum to three kids and two Cocker Spaniels, called Arnold and Murphy. When I am not acting as a taxi service or dog walking and I have a few hours to myself, I enjoy gardening and reading.

Current projects/research studies

I am currently working on several studies, one of which is called PrEP IMPACT Trial. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis and is a way for people who do not have HIV, but who are at substantial risk of HIV infection, take HIV medicines to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV. Trials have shown that taking Prep daily can reduce the risk of getting HIV through sex by over 90%. It is thought that Prep might slow the epidemic of HIV and already we are beginning to see the number of new infections falling in the UK.


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