Using unique resources at NIBSC, our group carries out detailed molecular and virological investigations into the persisting RNA viruses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). This work complements the in situ based techniques applied by Debbie Ferguson’s pathology of HIV group.
We apply model systems to understand virus-host interactions and evaluate experimental vaccines and viral pathogenesis.
We develop and apply genomics-based technology and molecular analytical techniques to look into virus dynamics, virus-host interactions at the cellular level and viral evolution. Our current research interests are centred round:
We specifically investigate:
We also investigate how endogenous retro-elements are expressed in different non-human primate species important in biomedical research. In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Plymouth we aim to understand the expression of endogenous retroviruses (ERV), in vivo, their interaction with HIV/SIV and potential as novel immunotherapeutics in cancer and HIV.
Our SIV studies include using next generation sequencing to characterise selection and evolution of SIV in naïve and immune hosts. This involves using whole genome amplification and deep sequencing to investigate virus population dynamics and the earliest interactions between virus/host at the virus population level.
In studies of hepatitis C virus, we help develop the GBV-B/tamarin model to understand aspects of clinical infection and immunological responses.
With recent developments in HCV chemotherapeutics the long-term goal is to further define vaccine strategies for this important human pathogen.