Influenza Pathogenesis and Severity

This theme will investigate:

  • Establishing a consortium and real-time data capture/analysis capability for improved national surveillance of severe illness, enabling enhanced preparedness and rapid response to novel outbreaks
  • Whole viral genome sequencing and novel host-based prognostic biomarkers for improved prediction & manage-ment of severe disease
  • Improved interventions for treatment of severe Influenza

2 column general content block - Influenza Severity and Pathogenesis PI's

Professor Peter Openshaw


Professor Peter Openshaw leads the MOSAIC consortium, a coalition of 45 co-investigators and their research teams who came together to perform an intensive investigation of 255 patients with influenza-like illness admitted to 11 hospitals in London and Liverpool. Focused on pathogenesis and immunology, our aim is to produce an integrated explanation of severe disease based on intensive study of both host and pathogen.

Professor Maria Zambon


Professor Maria Zambon is head of the UK WHO National Influenza Centre (NIC), and has a medical and scientific role during every influenza season and during pandemics. Maria has a wide range of national and international clinical/research experience in infectious respiratory disease outbreaks and emergencies, and has a strategic and operational role in emerging respiratory infections and pandemic planning.


Influenza Surveillance and Modelling

Research objectives within this theme are:

  • To establish modelling methodology for improved estimation of respiratory disease incidence; better understanding of disease dynamics; and rapid assessment of severity and transmissibility of new emerging respiratory viruses
  • Contribute to informing NHS executive re impact (and cost-effectiveness) of roll-out of Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) from 2015 onwards 
  •  Incorporation of WGS data into Influenza surveillance

2 column general content block - Influenza Surveillance and Modelling PI's

Dr Richard Pebody


Dr Richard Pebody is the national lead for surveillance of influenza and other acute viral respiratory infections. He led the HPA epidemiological investigation of the 2009 pandemic and has been responsible for leading the development and introduction of a range of new respiratory surveillance systems since the pandemic. He is responsible for developing the surveillance programme to assess the impact and effectiveness of the forthcoming childhood influenza vaccination programme.

Dr Steven Riley


Dr Steven Riley studies the disease dynamics of viral respiratory pathogens with a methodological focus on outbreaks and pathogen focus on influenza. Recently, he has started collecting primary data in the form of influenza serology and has won a number of substantial grants to gather and / or test sera for recent and historical strains.


Influenza Immunology

 The research in this theme includes:

  • Investigation of non-invasive sampling methods for improved community surveillance of Influenza. 
  • Testing of novel and cost effective serological assays (using existing and novel sampling methods) for Influenza detection, including assays that can distinguish infection from vaccination.
  • Evaluating the T cell immunogenicity of Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV).

2 column general content block - Influenza Immunology PI's

Professor Ajit Lalvani


Professor Ajit Lalvani is Chair of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London and his work focuses on cellular immunity to two respiratory intracellular pathogens: tuberculosis and influenza. By correlating baseline circulating T cell populations with clinical outcomes in a large longitudinal immune-epidemiological cohort study over two pandemic waves, he discovered the first immune correlate of protection against symptomatic pandemic influenza.

Katja Hoschler


Katja Hoschler is an Advanced Clinical Scientist at the Respiratory Virus Unit, Virus Reference Depart-ment, Public Health England (PHE) Microbiological Services, Colindale. She is responsible for development, ap-plication and expansion of serological/biological research in the Respiratory Virus Unit at PHE.


Influenza Virology

The Influenza Virology theme will focus on ensuring a rapid public health response to new and emerging threats to health through national surveillance strategies and protecting the country from the growing problem of infections that resist treatment with antimicrobials.   This will be achieved by establishing in vitro antiviral susceptibility and viral fitness models and whole viral genome sequencing for detection of circulating variants we will develop an understanding of the mechanisms of resistance to novel antivirals and inform future surveillance strategy and influence public health policy on treatment.

2 column general content block - Influenza Virology PI's

Professor Wendy Barclay


Professor Wendy Barclay has worked in the field of influenza virology for more than 20 years. She was originally trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Peter Palese one of the foremost experts in influenza in the world. Wendy has expertise in the molecular biology of influenza virus replication including analysis of polymerase function. She was one of the first researchers in the UK to apply the technique of reverse genetics to the study of influenza.

Dr Angie Lackenby


Dr Angie Lackenby established antiviral susceptibility surveillance and research capability within PHE by developing multiple assays including enzyme and cell based assays as well asmolecular detection of resistant virus quasi-species in clinical samples. These methods are now used for evaluation of the drug susceptibility profile of samples from surveillance programs, pre- and post-treatment clinical samples, and for other clinical studies of neuraminidase inhibitor effectiveness and dosing regimens.