Influenza virus

Understanding viruses in the laboratory to tackle them in the clinic

Study Virology at Imperial


Interested in studying Virology at Imperial College London? Our MSc Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses programme is still open for applications for 2020/21 entry.

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Wright-Fleming Institute Infection and Immunity Seminar Series

18 group leaders sit within the Section of Virology, most of whom have their laboratory and/or clinical base at the St Mary’s Campus. Their research areas stretch from understanding the molecular details of how viruses manipulate the host cell machinery and subvert immune responses, to optimizing strategies to deliver novel therapies to patients.

The viruses studied within the Section range from the small RNA viruses that cause respiratory infection to the large complex DNA viruses that lead to persistent infections and cancer. There is a strong focus on retrovirology, including strategies for HIV cure, and the early detection and treatment of diseases caused by the human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) -1.  Another major focus is to understand the evolution of the influenza virus to improve therapies and vaccines for seasonal influenza and to better predict pandemic emergence. Clinical research spans diagnosis, natural history and pathogenesis studies through early phase clinical trials to international interventions.

Research groups and centre leadership

Research groups


  • Interactions between influenza virus and different host species
  • Mechanisms and consequence of HTLV-1 integration
  • Herpes virus manipulation of the infected cell
  • Epstein Barr virus oncogenesis
  • Innate responses and therapeutic strategies against Hepatitis viruses
  • The Circadian Clock and its impact of virus infections
  • HIV cure

Section leadership


Professor Graham Taylor
Section Head, Virology

Professor Graham Taylor leads the HTLV and the HIV in pregnancy research groups, heads HTLV diagnostics within the Molecular Diagnostic Unit and is a Consultant in the National Centre for Human Retrovirology, the national service for persons infected with HTLVs.

Further information on Professor Taylor

Research leads