Microbiology themes



Viruses are obligate parasites that infect hosts in all kingdoms of life. At the Faculty of Biological Sciences, we perform fundamental research on viruses that cause disease in humans and animals, translating the knowledge gained to improve human and animal health, and enhance food security. We address a broad range of research topics including virus-cell interactions focusing on those that contribute to virus replication and persistence, viral oncology,  immunity to viruses, virus structure and the development of vaccines and anti-viral agents. Viruses currently being investigated include the hepatitis viruses, picornaviruses, a number of emerging mosquito transmitted viruses (eg Chikungunya and Zika), and oncogenic DNA viruses including Kaposi’s Sarcoma herpesvirus, human papillomavirus and polyomaviruses.

We use a variety of experimental approaches ranging from cell biology through to structural biology, including proteomics and high-throughput sequencing to address our research questions.  We work closely and share a number of research groups with colleagues in Structural biology and Cancer biology and are all members of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology. There are also extensive collaborations with colleagues in the School of Chemistry, from which we exploit structure-based drug design as a rational approach to the development of novel anti-viral chemotherapeutics.

View a list of academics in Virology

View  list of postdoctorates in Virology

View a list of PhD students in Virology

Key Researchers  
Dr John Barr
Professor Eric Blair
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Dr Thomas Edwards
Associate Professor

Structural biology of proteins from RNA viruses; Nucleocapsid proteins; `Ribonucleoprotein complexes; regulation of gene expression in RNA viruses; X-ray, EM, NMR

Dr Juan Fontana
University Academic Fellow

Virus structure, enveloped virus entry, replication factories and host-pathogen interactions; Influenza virus, herpesvirus, Bunyaviruses

Professor Mark Harris
Professor of Virology

Hepatitis C virus and Chikungunya virus: mechanisms of replication and virus-host interactions

Dr Andrew Macdonald
Associate Professor

Virus host interactions with small DNA tumour viruses

Professor Neil Ranson
Professor of Structural Molecular Biology

Structural virology of virus infection, including assembly, genome packaging and receptor binding

Professor Nicola Stonehouse
Professor of Molecular Virology

Picornaviruses replication and assembly; VLP vaccine development; use of RNA aptamers as molecular tools

Dr Andrew Tuplin
Professor Adrian Whitehouse
Professor of Molecular Virology

Omic approaches to understand how viruses manipulate the host cell to enhance virus replication