Principal Investigators & Research Fellows

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Professor David Bhella

Programme Leader (Centre for Virus Research) 

Research interests: My group apply the techniques of elecrton-cryomicroscopy and image analysis to the study of viruses, providing an exciting opportunity to visualise the process of virus infection at cellular scale and at macromoleculr resolution. I am also the CVR's public engagement champion. 


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Dr Chris Boutell 

Programme Leader (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Many human viruses utilise or suppress ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like pathways during infection, enhancing their replication. I'm interested in how viruses engage with these pathways with respect to cellular antiviral immunity, to develop novel avenues for therapeutic intervention.


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Dr Ben Brennan

Research Fellow (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Phleboviruses, Reverse Genetics, molecular determinants of host tropism, in vivo arthropod work, ticks, tick-borne disease.


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Dr Stephen Carter

Research Fellow (Centre for Virus Research) 

Research interests: Our work focusses on developing understanding of virus-host interactions by visualising them in a frozen-hydrated state at macromolecular resolution using cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). We explore the intricate structural interactions between viruses and host complexes during virus infection and immune response, which is crucial for exploiting them and uncovering new avenues for the development of therapeutics.


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Dr Alfredo Castello 

Senior Lecturer (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Understanding the roles of cellular RNA-binding proteins in virus infection


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Dr Adam Fletcher

Research Fellow: UKRI Future Leadership Fellow (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Cells are rigged with devices to prevent viral replication and the proteins that perform these functions are determinants of viral transmission. Identifying and understanding these proteins – and how they integrate into a collective cellular response – reveals core principles of antiviral immunity and offers a framework for the development of new kinds of antiviral therapy.


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Dr Ana da Silva Filipe

CVR Genomics Facility Manager (Research Fellow) (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: My current research focuses on viral hepatitis and respiratory viruses; I am also driving the development of sequencing solutions for viral emergence and discovery.


Professor Sheila Graham

Professor of Molecular Virology (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: My group investigates the links between human papillomavirus (HPV) infectious lifecyle & epithelial differentiation and how HPV-associated tumour progression is achieved. Our studies range from basic molecular & cellular virology to clinical studies in HPV testing & therapeutics.


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Dr Joe Grove 

Senior Lecturer (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Studying virus entry using a multidisciplinary toolkit encompassing basic virology, computational/mathematical analysis, structural biology, and advanced microscopy.


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Dr Antonia Ho

Clinical Senior Lecturer/Consultant in Infectious Diseases (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: As an Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases, my research focuses on the epidemiology of influenza and other respiratory viruses in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa including COVID-19.


Professor Margaret Hosie

Professor of Comparative Virology (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: My research focuses on companion animal virology and immunology with a view to understanding disease pathogenesis, correlates of immunity to infection and the development of novel approaches to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of viral diseases.


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Dr Ed Hutchinson

Research Fellow (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: influenza virus; proteomics; mass spectrometry; phosphorylation; virion composition.


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Dr Chris Illingworth

Senior Lecturer (Centre for Virus Research) 

Research interests: I work on how genome sequence data describing viral infection can better be used to understand the evolution of viruses.  The potential for viral populations to evolve rapidly means that their evolution can be observed directly; my group has developed a variety of mathematical methods to shed light on virus infection.


Professor Ruth Jarrett

Professor of Molecular Pathology (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Our group investigates the role of viruses in human leukaemia and lymphoma. Much of this work focuses on Hodgkin lymphoma and the causal links with Epstein-Barr virus. We also investigate canine lymphoma; human herpesvirus-6; and non-viral aspects of Hodgkin lymphoma pathogenesis.


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Professor Pablo Murcia

Professor (Centre for Virus Research) 

Research interests: Our work investigates the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms that underpin host switching and viral emergence through two lines of investigation, influenza emergence & the virome of disease, by integrating multiple disciplines, from classical virology to mathematical modelling.


Professor Massimo Palmarini OBE

Director of Centre for Virus Research (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Our laboratory studies the biology and pathogenesis of livestock diseases induced by emerging arboviruses such as bluetongue virus (BTV) and Schmallenberg virus (SBV).


Professor Arvind Patel 

Professor of Viral Vaccinology (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Our group study molecular aspects of hepatitis C virus infection and replication, specifically mechanisms of virus entry; neutralizing antibodies & vaccine development; virus-host interactions and identifying factors contributing to virus-associated progression of liver disease.


Dr Emilie Pondeville 

Molecular Entomologist (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Mosquitoes are vectors of arboviruses such as dengue and chikungunya. Our group is deciphering arbovirus-mosquito in vivo interactions. with this aim, we also develop genetic tools including the Gal4/UAS system, to characterize host gene function at the tissue-level.


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Professor David Robertson

Head CVR Bioinformatics (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: My research focuses on the computational study of virus evolution and infection within and between individuals, populations or different host species.


Professor Steven Sinkins

Professor in Microbiology and Tropical Medicine (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Wolbachia; Mosquito-borne viruses; Dengue; Zika; Arthropod-borne infections.


Dr Daniel Streicker

Professor of Viral Ecology (School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine)

Research interests: My work explores the ecology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases. Using rabies virus in bats, my group explores questions about when, where and how viruses jump. 


Professor Emma Thomson OBE

Clinical Senior Lecturer (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: My laboratory is focused on the study of emerging viral infections with 2 main themes - acute hepatitis C infection and new and emerging infections in sub-Saharan Africa.


Professor Brian Willett

Professor of Viral Immunology (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: Animal morbilliviruses: emerging viral pathogens in a measles-free world.


Honorary Members: 

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Professor Andrew Davison

Professor of Viral Genomics (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: I am interested in the content, function and evolution of herpesvirus genomes. My current work is on human cytomegalovirus, the leading infectious cause of abnormalities in newborn babies and a serious risk to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients.


Professor John McLauchlan

Professor of Viral Hepatitis (Centre for Virus Research)

Research interests: We examine the evolution of HCV during chronic infection and the nature of the host response. In particular, we focus on both the viral and host determinants that affect response to therapy and viral pathogenesis.


Dr Roman Biek

Reader (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Molecular ecology and evolution. Infectious disease dynamics in wild and domestic animal populations, with a focus on viral and bacterial pathogens.

Professor Sarah Cleaveland

Professor of Comparative Epidemiology (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Understanding the ecology of diseases affecting human, domestic animal and wildlife health in natural ecosystems and mitigating their impacts. Zoonoses, neglected tropical diseases, intervention science, ecosystem health research, One Health.

Professor Daniel Haydon

Director of Institute/Professor of Population Ecology and Epidemiology(Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Mathematical modelling of ecological and epidemiological processes; infectious disease ecology; design of vaccination programs; within-host pathogen dynamics; viral population genomics; antimicrobial resistance; statistical ecology; animal movement and spatial ecology; lichens.

Dr Megan MacLeod

Research Fellow (Immunology)

Research interests: Research in my lab is focussed on understanding the underlying differences between naïve and memory CD4 T cells. The major goal of our research is to understand the cellular and molecular differences that enable memory CD4 T cells to respond differently from their naïve counterparts. Thus, we will be able to open new avenues to improve their responses in vaccination and inhibit them in autoimmune diseases.

Dr Charles Masembe

Research Fellow (Makarere University, Department of Zoology)

Research interests: Dr Charles Masembe, a veterinarian, molecular epidemiologist and Associate Professor at the College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University in Uganda is collaborating with colleagues at the CVR to study the transmission dynamics of Africa swine fever virus (ASFV) in Uganda. Charles is a Wellcome Trust Fellow in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Dr Louise Matthews

Senior Research Fellow (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Mathematical modelling of the epidemiology and control of livestock and zoonotic disease. The ecology of antimicrobial resistance. Game theory applied to farmer behaviour and evolution of host immunity. Mathematics and application of diversity measures across the life sciences.

Professor Lubna Nasir

Professor of Comparative Oncoclogy (Veterinary Science and Education)

Research interests: The molecular mechanisms that promote immortalisation and transformation of animal cells as well as the identification of novel targets for therapeutic cancer intervention; role of Bovine Papillomaviruses (BPV) types 1 and 2 in the pathogenesis of equine sarcoid skin tumours.

Prof Jose Penades

Professor of Microbiology (Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation)

Associate - Life Sciences (School of Life Sciences)

Associate Academic (Biochemistry & Cell Biology)

Research interests: Staphylococcus aureus, microbial pathogenesis, pathogenicity islands, SaPIs, PICIs, bacteriophages, SOS response, horizontal gene transfer, dUTPase, signalling, viral replication, dUTP.

Dr Richard Reeve

Research Fellow (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)

Research interests: Developing the connections between different fields that use measures of diversity, from the level of the transcript to the ecosystem; use of mathematical, computational and statistical tools on underexploited biological datasets, particularly those of pathogens and vaccines. 

Dr Esther Schnettler

Research Fellow (Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine)

Research interests: Presently, research in my group focuses mainly on mosquito-borne (arbo)viruses (such as Zika virus, chikungunya virus and dengue virus) and the role of poorly characterized small RNA pathways (such as the piRNA pathway) in the antiviral response in mosquitoes. The aim is to determine the influence of these pathways on successful arbovirus transmission from the mosquito vector to a mammalian host (vector competence).

Dr Laura Spagnolo

Reader (Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology)

Research interests: My research focuses on mechanisms of genome editing and engineering. We study macromolecular complexes involved in CRISPR-Cas interference, RNA metabolism and DNA damage repair with an integrative structural biology approach.

Dr Christopher Syme

Honorary Research Fellow (Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation)

Research interests: The focus of my current research is high resolution structural studies of Zika virus and virus-antibody interactions using electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM). I also specialise in the development of techniques based on Raman spectroscopy, such as label-free CARS imaging and SERS. 

Management team

Prof Massimo Palmarini

Prof David Bhella
Associate Director

Prof Emma Thomson 
Associate Director  

Mrs Donna Macpherson
Business Manager 

Linda McMonagle
Operations Manager

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Parini Mankad
Research Manager 

Research Support Team

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Linda Rushworth
Research Support Coordinator 

Engagement and Communications Team

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Lois Mason
Engagement and Communications Officer

Prof David Bhella
Programme Leader and Public Engagement Champion 

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Sam Langford 
Public Engagement Project Manager


Administrative contacts


Donna Macpherson
Business Manager

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Sandra Lyden
PA to the Director

Admin support

Fiona Graham
HR Assistant & Office Supervisor

Admin support

Evelyn McIntosh
Finance Assistant

Admin support

Michelle Pearson
Stores Officer

Admin support

Anne Catchpole
Receptionist & Admin Assistant

Melanie Ferguson

Melanie Ferguson
Receptionist & Admin Assistant



Technical Operations & Imaging

Technical Operations & Imaging

Aude Aumeunier

Aude Aumeunier
Biological Safety Manager 

Admin support

Joyce Mitchell
CL3 Manager & Safety Co-ordinator

Admin support

Angela Elliott
CL3 Manager

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Aislynn Taggart
Technical Services Manager 

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Colin Loney
Imaging Manager

Sharon Mackay
CL3 Laboratory Technician

Linda McMonagle
Head of Operations

Ed Dornan
CL3 Technical Support


James Streetley
SCMI Facility Manager


Laboratory Support

Laboratory Support 


Donald Elliott
Laboratory Assistant

Marie Thompson
Laboratory Assistant