News and events
How many antibody tests have you done?
If you've been antibody testing for work or for travel, you might have felt like you've done a lot of tests. That number will pale in comparison to the REACT team who are the undisputed royalty of the antibody test. Find out more about REACT and why they ran so many tests here. Maya, pictured in the article didn't run all 2,000,000 tests but she definitely did more than her fair share.
Nature discusses the lab's coronavirus research
Read more about the lab's research into Coronavirus entry here.
The Lab wins awards
The lab's hard work was recognized as several members have won President's Awards for Excellence. Dr Carol Sheppard scooped the President’s Award for Outstanding Assistant Supervisor, which celebrates the valuable contribution that postdocs make towards PhD student supervision. The REACT team picked up the award for outstanding research team of the year for their contribution to coronavirus research. (Maya, a member of the team pictured hard at work above.) Finally, none other than our boss, Prof. Wendy Barclay received the Leadership Award for Culture and Community. The award recognises individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and management which the lab can of course attest to. Work is now being undertaken to build an expanded trophy cabinet for the lab. Well done all!
Liv wins a poster prize
Congratulations to Liv who won a poster prize at the annual Microbiology Society conference for her poster "Visualizing influenza cRNAs reveals a role for ANP32 in vRNA to cRNA synthesis."
Jie saves the Underground
The lab's research on sampling for TfL was featured on the BBC. Congratulations to Jie who has spearheaded the project and run many, many qPCR samples. Read more about it here.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in a lot of new projects for the lab. We're doing environmental sampling in hospitals, serology, immunology, testing antivirals, basic virology, analyzing post mortems, studies looking at transmission of the virus and more!
The first papers from this research has now been published. Well done Jie, Becky Jonathan, Raul, Liv and Tom.
See all the coronavirus papers and media appearances here.
Anika defends her PhD thesis
Congratulations to Anika Singanayagam who successfully defended her thesis! Anika worked on pH stability of influenza viruses and how that affected viral transmission. See some of her published research here. Anika now returns to life on the other side of the bench as a medical registrar in Infectious Disease.
Winter Holiday Party
To celebrate the end of the year (and the decade!), we laid down our pipettes, closed our lab books and picked up a mince pie and a drink or two with the rest of St. Mary's Campus. A big thanks to Liv for organising!
Influenza Update 2019
The Influenza update meeting is a small meeting for the UK flu community to present their most recent research. This year the lab trekked a very short distance across London to the Crick. Daniel and Ecco presented talks on their research on favipiravir-resistant virus transmission in ferrets and the latest insights into ANP32 proteins. Tom and Jie presented posters on differences in host adaptation due to ANP32 and the possibility of transmission of influenza following Baloxavir treatment in ferrets. Interesting science discussion and a fun time was had by all. Many thanks to Rachel Ulferts for organising this great conference.
OPTIONS X is not a keyboard shortcut but rather the largest influenza conference in the world which is held every 3 years. Options for the Control of Influenza X was held in Singapore. Wendy and several members of the lab flew out to Singapore to showcase the lab's work. Well done to Rebecca, Ruthiran, Jay and Ada for presenting posters and for Tom who presented a talk. The posters covered the lab's recent work on baloxavir, LAIV (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine), H3N2 adaptation, ANP32, ferrets, sequencing and more.
Big congratulations to Bhakti on passing her PhD Viva! All the transfections and pulldowns were worth it in the end. Bhakti's PhD was titled "The mechanisms by which ANP32 proteins support the influenza polymerase" and a paper based off this work will be published shortly. UPDATE - the paper can be found here.
Two new papers on ANP32
Ecco and Jason were the first authors on two recent papers to come out of the lab on ANP32. Ecco showed that influenza virus needs either ANP32A or ANP32B to function in humans. Jason showed that in chickens, influenza can’t use ANP32B but can only use ANP32A. Working out the differences between ANP32A and ANP32B in chickens could allow us to edit the ANP32A gene in chickens so that they become resistant to flu! Congratulations to everyone in the lab who worked on these papers and thanks to all our collaborators.
Wendy is elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
Huge congratulations to Wendy who was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Wendy was one of just 50 top scientists to be elected to the academy this year as recognition for her outstanding research into influenza.
Wendy said, “I am delighted to have been elected to The Academy. I have had the honour of working with a fantastic group of researchers, and am lucky to have been supported by generous mentors throughout my career. I hope that I will be able to work alongside other Fellows to tackle challenges old and new, that we face from infectious diseases.”
Congratulations to Alison, a former Masters student in the Barclay Lab who graduated from Imperial. Fortunately, she is not leaving the influenza world and is off to begin a PhD at Hong Kong University with Professor Leo Poon. Good luck!
Liv runs the marathon
Running superstar Liv finished the London marathon in the fantastic time of 3 hours 43 minutes. This time will be very difficult for anyone else in lab to beat! In addition, with her sister, Liv raised over £6,000 for charity. Great job, Liv!
Becky and Liv present posters at MicroSoc 2019
Becky and Liv presented posters on their PhD work at the annual meeting of the Microbiology Society. Liv's poster was titled, "Visualising influenza virus replication using a click chemistry approach" and Becky's poster was titled, "Aberrant RNA replication products of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses."
Jonathan Brown passes his viva!
Congratulations to Jonathan Brown for passing his viva! Jonathan was a PhD student joint with NIBSC researching modern H3N2 viruses. Shown here celebrating with his PhD examiners.
International Women's Day
Rebecca was featured in a Slideshow celebrating International Women's Day at Imperial.
Rebecca wrote, "International Women’s Day is a celebration of all women, no matter their age, job status or circumstance. It's about remembering the struggles faced by women in the past, and continuing their legacy by striving for equality around the world."
Wendy talks at the World Economic Forum
Wendy was part of a team from Imperial talking at the World Economic Forum (better known as Davos.) The team from Imperial spoke about the future of vaccines as part of an IdeasLab session titled ‘Developing a Vaccine Revolution’. Wendy spoke about the lab's research in collaboration with the Roslin Institute on using CRISPR to create chickens which are resistant to influenza. This could decrease the likelihood of future influenza pandemics emerging from chickens.
Alfred Wins INVaR Poster Prize
The Barclay lab is a member of the Imperial Network for Vaccine Research (INVaR), a hub for academia and industry to network and collaborate on vaccine development and engineering, pathogen biology, immunology, epidemiology, health economics and tackling global health challenges. At the INVaR inauguration held on 24 October 2018, Alfred Ho, an Imperial-HKU Joint PhD student, was awarded best poster prize for his work on investigating the potential for antigenic escape from broadly neutralising antibodies in the highly-conserved HA stalk domain of pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.
Events to mark the 1918 influenza pandemic.
2018 marks 100 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic also known as 'Spanish Flu.' Find out more about the 1918 flu in this Imperial podcast or in this BBC article. The Barclay lab also took a trip out to the Florence Nightingale Museum to see the 1918 Spanish Flu Exhibition. It was very enjoyable and informative too!
The Barclay Lab Group complete the Seven Sisters Challenge in aid of Action Medical Research for Children.
On the 10 July, all of the members of the Barclay Lab Group completed the gruelling 13-mile Seven sisters route along the south coast from Eastbourne to Seaford. We completed this challenge in aid of the children's charity Action Medical Research which is dedicated to improving the health of babies and children. A big thank you to everyone who helped us to reach our fundraising target.
Dr Jason Long and Dr Daniel Goldhill presented their research at the 2018 Negative Strand Virus Conference in Verona
Jason and Daniel presented their research at the Negative Strand Virus Conference in Verona. Jason's talk was titled "Binding to ANP32 is required but not sufficient for influenza A virus polymerase activity." Daniel spoke about his research into resistance to favipiravir.