Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Professor of Infectious Diseases



+44 (0)20 3313 2301c.chiu Website




8N.15Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





Chris Chiu is an Infectious Diseases physician and Immunologist. He underwent his basic medical training at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and was later awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training fellowship to undertake a PhD with Charles Bangham and Margaret Callan, initially at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (University of Oxford) and then at Imperial College London, to show the transcriptional programming of early CD8 T cell responses to acute viral infection. On completion of his specialist training, he was awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist fellowship and furthered his research by working with Rafi Ahmed's group at Emory University, examining antibody, B cell and T cell responses to influenza and varicella zoster virus vaccines.

His research interests focus on pathogenesis and protective immunity in human respiratory viral infections, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and SARS-CoV-2. These are some of the most important causes of severe disease worldwide and there is an urgent need for improved vaccines and treatments for these pathogens. To discover why some people suffer life-threatening illness while others have only mild or asymptomatic infection, he has developed a set of unique experimental medicine techniques. He is an expert in human infection challenge studies and leads a group that uses infection and vaccination of volunteers as well as patient-centred research to investigate systemic and mucosal immunity against these infections. These highly specialised methods provide a unique opportunity to examine correlates and mechanisms of protection and disease severity in human beings. The work  encompasses early phase clinical vaccine trials as well as fundamental studies of human immunity, which together enhance our understanding of how respiratory viral illnesses may be prevented and accelerate the development of better vaccines.

Prof Chiu also heads the Imperial Network for Vaccine Research, which brings together investigators from across all faculties with an interest in vaccines, and is Scientific and Research Officer of the British Infection Association. His group is part of a number of international consortia, including the NIAID CIVICs programme and European Union IMI projects, and welcomes collaboration with researchers (both industry and academic) who wish to work together to pursue their shared interests.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Habibi MS, Thwaites RS, Chang M, et al., 2020, Neutrophilic inflammation in the respiratory mucosa predisposes to RSV infection., Science, Vol:370

Guvenel A, Jozwik A, Ascough S, et al., 2020, Epitope-specific airway-resident CD4+ T-cell dynamics during experimental human RSV infection, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:130, ISSN:0021-9738, Pages:523-538

Ascough S, Vlachantoni I, Kalyan M, et al., 2019, Local and systemic immunity against RSV induced by a novel intranasal vaccine: A randomised, double- blind, placebo-controlled trial, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:200, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:481-492

Fourati S, Taa A, Mahmoudian M, et al., 2018, A crowdsourced analysis to identify ab initio molecular signatures predictive of susceptibility to viral infection, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-11

Ascough SC, Paterson S, Chiu C, 2018, Induction and subversion of human protective immunity: contrasting influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:9, ISSN:1664-3224

Habibi MS, Chiu C, 2016, Controlled human infection with RSV: the opportunities of experimental challenge, Vaccine, Vol:35, ISSN:1873-2518, Pages:489-495

Jozwik A, Habibi MS, Paras A, et al., 2015, RSV-specific airway resident memory CD8+ T cells and differential disease severity after experimental human infection, Nature Communications, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-17

Habibi MS, Jozwik A, Makris S, et al., 2015, Impaired antibody-mediated protection and defective IgA B cell memory in experimental infection of adults with respiratory syncytial virus, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:191, ISSN:1535-4970

Chiu C, Openshaw PJ, 2015, Antiviral B cell and T cell immunity in the lungs, Nature Immunology, Vol:16, ISSN:1529-2908, Pages:18-26

Ellebedy AH, Krammer F, Li G-M, et al., 2014, Induction of broadly cross-reactive antibody responses to the influenza HA stem region following H5N1 vaccination in humans, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:111, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:13133-13138

Chiu C, McCausland M, Sidney J, et al., 2014, Broadly reactive human CD8 T cells that recognize an epitope conserved between VZV, HSV and EBV, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:10, ISSN:1553-7366, Pages:1-12

Li G-M, Chiu C, Wrammert J, et al., 2012, Pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine induces a recall response in humans that favors broadly cross-reactive memory B cells., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Vol:109, Pages:9047-9052

Chiu C, Heaps AG, Cerundolo V, et al., 2007, Early acquisition of cytolytic function and transcriptional changes in a primary CD8<SUP>+</SUP> T-cell response in vivo, Blood, Vol:109, ISSN:0006-4971, Pages:1086-1094

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