Virologists in the school study a number of important viruses that cause diseases in humans.
Both RNA and DNA viruses are being studied including the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (Stuart Siddell and Andrew Davidson), the arthropod-borne flavivirus that causes dengue fever (Andrew Davidson), and Epstein-Barr virus, which is associated with cancers in humans (Andy Morgan). Work is also going on to understand how adenoviruses interfere with cellular systems in the nucleus of the infected cell (David Matthews) and how these changes influence aspects of the immune response (David Morgan). The molecular and cellular biology of these viruses are being investigated and, in particular, the way that they interact with the host immune response. Research spans genetic, molecular and cellular systems and includes state-of-the-art high throughput quantitative proteomics and deep sequencing approaches to analyse the host response to viral infection in a holistic fashion. This information is being used to devise new ways to control infection. This includes the development of vaccines that prevent virus infection in the first place, antiviral drugs that prevent replication of the virus after infection has taken place, and therapies that aim to contain the consequences of virus infection, for example, autoimmune reactions or cancer cells that proliferate uncontrollably.
Virology is well funded and has excellent new research facilities. We aim to provide a challenging and comprehensive training to both undergraduate and graduate students and a stimulating atmosphere in which to conduct first-class, internationally competitive research that will have an impact upon both human and animal health.