Research

Overview

Work within my group aims to improve our understanding of the epidemiology and antigenicity of viral zoonoses, using the results to aid development of novel methods for their control. Specific projects I am currently involved with include:

  1. Development of new pseudotyped virus assays to enable further studies into highly pathogenic viruses such as rabies/lyssaviruses, Ebolaviruses/filoviruses, henipaviruses etc.
  2. Antigenic studies of viral glycoproteins to generate optimised proteins that will elicit a broad and potent immune response.
  3. Generation of novel, broadly cross-neutralising antiviral vaccines and therapeutics.

I am a Joint Director at the Viral Pseudotype Unit (VPU), in charge of the labs in Sussex. The VPU has two constituent research and development labs: VPU (Sussex) has expertise in lyssaviruses, filoviruses and emerging viruses, while VPU (Kent) has expertise in influenza and coronaviruses.

In addition I am part of the Scientific Management Committee at DIOSynVax Ltd, where we are developing new technology that will significantly accelerate vaccine development and achieve dramatic improvements to the protection against emerging and re-emerging pathogens.

 

Current lab members

Mariliza Derveni - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Beth Auld - PhD student

Rebecca Shipley - PhD student

 

Lab alumni

Hubert Buczkowski - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Helen Webb - Research Fellow

Emma Bentley - PhD student

Rebecca Kinsley - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Lori O'Keefe - PhD student

Keith Grehan - PhD student

Nadine Sampson - MPhil student

 

Funding

The impact of my groups' work is highlighted by the range of funding bodies that have supported our work:

  • Innovate UK - current funding
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - current funding
  • Medical Research Council GCRF
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

 I would be happy to discuss potential collaboration opportunities or funding applications with interested parties.

 

Student research projects

The information on these pages provides an overview of the on-going studies within my lab. The work primarily involves molecular biology, virology and tissue culture. If you are interested in undertaking a PhD project within any of the areas mentioned please feel free to get in touch.

 

Key memberships and appointments

Member of the Scientific Management Committee at DIOS Ltd.

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Joint Director of the Viral Pseudotype Unit.

Member of the Veterinary Research Club.

Associate Editor for Biomed Central Veterinary Research.

 

Collaborators

Prof. Tony Fooks and Dr Ash Banyard at the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Drs Nigel Temperton and Simon Scott at the Viral Pseudotype Unit, University of Kent.

Prof. Jonathan Heeney at the Department of Veterinary Medicine University of Cambridge.

Prof. Miles Carroll at Public Health England, Porton Down.

Prof. James Wood at the Department of Veterinary Medicine University of Cambridge.

Dr Andrew Cunningham at the Zoological Society of London.

Dr Teresa Lambe at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford.

Drs Mark Page and Giada Mattiuzzo at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control.

Dr Janet Daly at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham.

 

Press interviews

Interest in the research studies undertaken in my group have led to over 85 interviews with mainstream national and international TV, radio and printed press. This includes filming in my lab and appearances on the BBC Breakfast sofa and BBC Radio 4's Today and PM programs.