Dr Benjamin Brennan
- Senior Research Fellow (Virology)
We are interested in understanding how tick-borne viruses (in particular bunyaviruses) are transmitted by ticks to mammals and how the viruses overcome the immune defences of the host and arthropod. To address these questions we use both in vitro and in vivo molecular virology studies in tick and mammalian systems.
I am a former member of the laboratory of the late Prof Richard M Elliott (Bunyavirus Group), please contact me via email for requests for reagents/viruses regarding older publications.
Work in my lab is funded by a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship and focuses on how tick-borne viruses interact with their arthropod vector to facilitate transmission. In particular we study viruses belonging to the Banyangvirus and Phlebovirus genera of the Phenuiviridae family.
Recent work has involved the development of a reverse genetics system for the newly discovered Huaiyangshan banyangvirus (severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus; SFTSV), as well as studies on Heartland (HRTV) and Uukuniemi (UUKV) viruses.
In particular, my research focuses on:
- Examining the interaction of tick transmitted viruses with their arthropod vector.
- Developing tools and techniques to study the replication of tick-borne viruses in vitro in tick cell lines and in vivo in ticks.
- Investigating the roles of the viral proteins during infection of both mammalian and arthropod cells.
- Exploring the molecular determinants of virus tropism.
- Developing attenuated viruses for use as potential live-attenuated vaccines or vector control agents.Former Member of the Bunyavirus Group at CVR.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Molecular basis for Rift Valley fever phlebovirus NSs protein function
Medical Research Council
2022 - 2025
- What makes viruses tick?
2022 - 2024
- What makes phleboviruses tick? Examining the molecular interactions of tick-borne phleboviruses with their arthropod vector
2018 - 2023
- Vaccines and molecular tools for the control of the emerging bunyavirus, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
2018 - 2021
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 2017: Support Sir Henry Dale Fellowship (Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Leadership Fellow Funding)
- 2018: Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship
- 2022: Journal of General Virology Editor
- 2015 - 2020: Journal of General Virology