Imperial College London

Dr Rob White

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Non-Clinical Lecturer in Virology



+44 (0)20 7594 1124robert.e.white Website




308Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus






I have been a lecturer in the Section of Molecular Virology at Imperial College London since September 2012. My  research programme takes a genetic approach to explore the mechanisms by which Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) establishes latency, and to investigate the intersection between EBV diversity, mutation and pathogenesis. I was previously a postdoc in Professor Martin Allday's group investigating the role of the Epstein-Barr virus EBNA3 proteins in the transformation of B-cells and oncogenesis. I completed my PhD in Oxford in 2000, and then studied Herpesvirus Saimiri with Professor Adrian Whitehouse at the University of Leeds before moving to Imperial in 2003.

Regulation of the host cell transcriptome by EBV.

We (and others) have previously generated genetic mutants of the EBV nuclear antigens (EBNAs) 3A, 3B, 3C and 2. Our transcriptomic analyses of cell lines carrying these genetic variants is available at These data are a searchable by gene name, with the intention of allowing other researchers to explore our data, to identify EBV gene products that may influence phenomena they observe. Future data sets will be added as they are published or deemed non-confidential.

This resource is intended to be open to the research community, and anyone wishing to have their data added should contact me, and I will endeavour to do add it, subject to the limitations of my website programming skills.

Job/Studentship Vacancies

My lab currently has two postdoctoral positions funded to start around June-October 2019. One is a three year MRC-funded position overseen by Prof Paul Farrell, studying the functional consequences of EBV genome diversity. The second is a two year Cancer Research UK Pioneer Award (applications now closed), aimed at developing a novel therapeutic strategy for targeting the EBNA1 protein. Please direct any enquiries to me by email. I will link to the advertisements here when they become live. In addition, any individuals interested in joining my lab should contact me as far in advance as possible in case there is an opportunity to include you in a funding application.

Enquiries from prospective PhD students with independent funding (or with the potential to obtain such funding) are welcomed at any time. Funded PhD opportunities are available through schemes operated at a college-wide level, such as the Wellcome Trust-funded 'Molecular and cellular basis of infection' PhD scheme, the MRC Doctoral Training Programme (operated centrally by Imperial College Faculty of Medicine), the BBSRC-DTP scheme, and the College-funded President's PhD studentships. Note that the BBSRC and MRC schemes only provide a stipend for individuals with UK citizenship or settled status, while the Wellcome Trust and President scholarships are currently funded only for those eligible for Home/EU fees. Sources of funding for international students to come specifically to Imperial are described here. Clinical students interested in a PhD should consider the clinical schemes within the faculty of Medicine. PhD schemes typically take applications annually around November-January to begin in the following September/October.



Bridges R, Correia S, Wegner F, et al., 2019, Essential role of inverted repeat in Epstein–Barr virus IR-1 in B cell transformation; geographical variation of the viral genome, Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, Vol:374, ISSN:0962-8436

Correia S, Bridges R, Wegner F, et al., 2018, Sequence variation of Epstein-Barr virus: viral types, geography, codon usage and diseases, Journal of Virology, Vol:92, ISSN:1098-5514

Styles CT, Paschos K, White R, et al., 2018, The cooperative functions of the EBNA3 Proteins are central to EBV persistence and latency, Pathogens, Vol:31, ISSN:2076-0817

Szymula A, Palermo RD, Bayoumy A, et al., 2018, Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen EBNA-LP is essential for transforming naive B cells, and facilitates recruitment of transcription factors to the viral genome, Plos Pathogens, Vol:14, ISSN:1553-7366

Ba abdullah M, Palermo RD, Palser A, et al., 2017, Heterogeneity of the Epstein-Barr virus major internal repeat reveals evolutionary mechanisms of EBV and a functional defect in the prototype EBV strain B95-8., Journal of Virology, Vol:91, ISSN:1098-5514

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