Influenza virus

Understanding viruses in the laboratory to tackle them in the clinic

25 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. The section has a strong track record in the response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic from the development of diagnostics, through determining the impact of viral evolution on the host response to clinical trials. Clinical research spans diagnosis, natural history and pathogenesis studies through early phase clinical trials to international interventions across a range of infections.

To hear more from the virology group follow the @ImperialInfect account.

Research groups and centre leadership

Research groups

  • Interactions between influenza virus and different host species
  • Monitoring changes in SARS-CoV-2 and the host response
  • Mechanisms and consequence of HTLV-1 integration
  • Pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of HTLV-associated diseases
  • 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
  • Molecular and Cellular Biophysics
  • Endogenous retroviruses
  • Genetics of infection
  • Clinical trials in HIV infection

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