- Innate immunity, in particular the antiviral type I interferon system, and viral mechanisms to modulate the host responses (speciality - the avian system).
- Emerging viruses, enzootic and zoonotic, panzootic and pandemic.
- Interviewed by Nic Robinson (BBC Radio 4 Today Programme) about his Lighthouse experiences on 16th Sept (reported in The Telegraph the next day)
- Served as a lab support volunteer at the UK Lighthouse National COVID-19 [PCR] Testing Laboratory (Milton Keynes site) between May and July, for 4 weeks of 12h nightshifts and 4 weeks of 12h dayshifts. For insight into the work, see published accounts by Prof Alan McNally and Dr Neil Dufton.
- COVID-19 Seasonality: BBC Science Focus Magazine 25 Mar 2020 (discussed whether COVID-19 might become endemic and show seasonality)
- Expert reaction to questions about COVID-19 and viral load: Science Media Centre 25 Feb 2020 (discussed virus dose in relation to infection of clinical staff and host genetics in relation to rare cases of mortality amongst healthy, young victims)
- The DRREVIP sLoLa consortium is now supporting a new, community resource supporting the study of Avian (including poultry) Virology, at AvianVirusResearch.org. The website includes: features on the viruses themselves, innate immunity, vaccines (academic and commercial aspects), meeting notices, short reviews of relevant papers. Do join us in making this a valuable open resource!
- Co-organised, with Prof Venugopal Nair, the 2018 Microbiology Society's Focused Meeting on the "Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of Avian Viruses" (3 - 4th Sept 2018 at St. Catherine's College University of Oxford, UK), held immediately before the Avian Immunology Group (AIRG) 2018 meeting at the same venue, and the Microbiology Society's Focused Meeting on the "Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of Avian Viruses" at Charles Darwin House, London, 27-29th Sept 2016.
- A new website resource for avian virologists and innate immunologists, "ChISG Browser", displays data from our Vet Research paper for each ISG (including screen grabs of the RNA-seq reads from mock and IFN-treated cells mapped to the annotated Galgal4 chicken genome).
- In a new paper (Veterinary Research, 5-Aug-2016), by DRREVIP postdoc in my lab Dr Stathis Giotis, we describe the Chicken "Interferome", about 200 genes (many of which will encode anti-viral proteins) induced by chicken IFN-α, as determined and cross-validated using RNA-seq and two microarray technologies.
- "Identification of ANP32A as the host factor restricting the host range of avian influenza viruses". Nature (7-Jan-2016). Lead author Dr Jason Long (DRREVIP postdoc in Prof Wendy Barclay's lab) in collaboration with Dr Efstathios Giotis (DRREVIP postdoc in my lab). With a commentary in Nature (7-Jan-2016) 'News & Views' by Anice Lowen and the featured paper on Vince Racaniello's 'This Week in Virology' (TWiV) Episode 377: "Chicken with a side of Zika" (21-Feb-2016; from 00:40:40).
Development of improved avian cell substrates for diagnosis of emerging diseases of birds and for production of vaccine viruses (for poultry and for human vaccines), with members of the ‘Developing Rapid Responses to Emerging Virus Infections of Poultry’ (DRREVIP) BBSRC-funded, sLoLa consortium (which he coordinates) based in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh.
BOARDS & GROUPS:
Honorary Fellow of The Pirbright Institute.
Appointed Chair of the Health & Safety Executive's (HSE) Scientific Advisory Group on Genetic Modification (Contained Use) [SACGM(CU)] (2014; reappointed 2017 to date).
Microbiology Society (formerly Society for General Microbiology) Elected Member of Council and Governing Trustee (2015-2017).
Appointed member of the Houghton Trust; "Promoting research into poultry diseases" (since 2015)
Appointed member of the Health & Safety Executive's (HSE) Scientific Advisory Group on Genetic Modification (Contained Use) [SACGM(CU)] (2004-2014).
Chair of the Poxviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, ICTV (2009-2014).
Founding member of Wellcome Trust-funded UK HIV Vaccines Consortium (UK HVC), coordinator Prof Jonathan N Weber.
Ad hoc co-opted expert to DEFRA's (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE).
Journal of General Virology Editorial Board (1994-1997 and since 2009).
Member of the Pool of Experts for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Research Committees (2008-2011).
SACGM(CU)-co-opted member of HSE Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens Working Group on a Single regulatory framework for work with human and animal pathogens (2008-2009).
Microbiology Society (formerly Society for General Microbiology) Virus Group Committee (2000-2003).
Science Media Centre - regular contributor, e.g.: briefings on: avian influenza H7N9; reaction to publications on: Ebola virus, recombination between vaccine viruses and vaccine-driven evolution of pathogens; commenting on press releases: PHE on influenza vaccine efficacy.
School talks and Cafés Scientifique, including at Science Oxford, broadly on Emerging viruses and Recombinant Vaccines.
Multiple media interviews on avian influenza H5N1 and pandemic influenza H1N1.
See my Google Scholar profile
Molecular biology of mammalian viral pathogens, specifically:
• HIV (tat/TAR interactions; at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge),
• Poliovirus (analysis of the role of secondary structure of 5' non-coding RNA in neurovirulence and vaccine attenuation, using: bioinformatics, in vitro structural analysis and reverse genetics) with Prof Jeffrey Almond, in Leicester then Reading,
• Coronaviruses (in the pre-SARS & SARS-CoV-2 era) with Prof Stuart Siddell, then in Würzburg, Germany.
Before moving to Imperial, also led research into important veterinary pathogens, at the Houghton and Compton Laboratories of the Institute for Animal Health (now The Pirbright Institute), specifically:
- avian poxviruses (their molecular biology, phylogeny & as candidate recombinant vaccine vectors)
- and two emerging pathogens of poultry, which are still of global economic significance:
- a novel retrovirus (avian leukosis virus subgroup J; ALV-J) which emerged by recombination of an exogenous virus with an ancient retroviral element in the chicken genome (deriving the genome sequence of the prototypic isolate, HPRS-103; Bai J, et al. (1995). Sequence of Host-range Determinants in the ENV Gene of a Full-length, Infectious Proviral Clone of Exogenous Avian-leukosis Virus HPRS-103 Confirms That it Represents a New Subgroup (Designated J), Journal of General Virology, Vol: 76, Pages: 181-187; Bai J, Payne LN, Skinner MA (1995) HPRS-103 (Exogenous Avian-leukosis Virus, Subgroup-J) has an ENV Gene Related to those of Endogenous Elements EAV-0 and E51 and an E-Element found previously only in Sarcoma-viruses, Journal of Virology, Vol: 69, Pages: 779-784)
- a birnavirus ('very virulent' infectious bursal disease virus, vvIBDV), which probably emerged by reassortment of its two genome segments (deriving the genome sequence of the prototypic isolate, UK661; Brown MD & Skinner MA (1996) Coding sequences of both genome segments of a European 'very virulent' infectious bursal disease virus, Virus Research, Vol: 40, Pages: 1-15)
et al., 2021, Chicken cGAS senses fowlpox virus infection and regulates macrophage effector functions, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:11, ISSN:1664-3224
et al., 2020, Modulation of early host innate immune response by an avipox vaccine virus’ lateral body protein, Biomedicines, Vol:8, ISSN:2227-9059, Pages:1-21
et al., 2019, Entry of the bat influenza H17N10 virus into mammalian cells is enabled by the MHC class II HLA-DR receptor., Nature Microbiology, Vol:4, ISSN:2058-5276, Pages:2035-2038
et al., 2019, Chicken embryonic-stem cells are permissive to poxvirus recombinant vaccine vectors, Genes, Vol:10, ISSN:2073-4425
et al., 2017, Constitutively elevated levels of SOCS1 suppress innate responses in DF-1 immortalised chicken fibroblast cells, Scientific Reports, Vol:7, ISSN:2045-2322
et al., 2017, Differential gene expression in chicken primary B cells infected ex vivo with attenuated and very virulent strains of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV)., Journal of General Virology, Vol:98, ISSN:1465-2099, Pages:2918-2930
et al., 2017, Structural basis of apoptosis inhibition by the Fowlpox virus protein FPV039, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:292, ISSN:1083-351X, Pages:9010-9021
et al., 2016, Chicken interferome: avian interferon-stimulated genes identified by microarray and RNA-seq of primary chick embryo fibroblasts treated with a chicken type I interferon (IFN-α), Veterinary Research, Vol:47, ISSN:1297-9716
et al., 2016, Species difference in ANP32A underlies influenza A virus polymerase host restriction, Nature, Vol:529, ISSN:1476-4687, Pages:101-104
et al., 2015, Third Report on Chicken Genes and Chromosomes 2015, Cytogenetic and Genome Research, Vol:145, ISSN:1424-8581, Pages:78-179
Laidlaw SM, Skinner MA, 2014, Construction of Deletion-knockout Mutant Fowlpox Virus (FWPV)., Bio Protoc, Vol:4, ISSN:2331-8325
et al., 2013, Genetic Screen of a Library of Chimeric Poxviruses Identifies an Ankyrin Repeat Protein Involved in Resistance to the Avian Type I Interferon Response, Journal of Virology, Vol:87, ISSN:1098-5514
et al., 2013, Genetic Screen of a Mutant Poxvirus Library Identifies an Ankyrin Repeat Protein Involved in Blocking Induction of Avian Type I Interferon, Journal of Virology, Vol:87, ISSN:1098-5514
et al., 2013, Worldwide Phylogenetic Relationship of Avian Poxviruses, Journal of Virology, Vol:87, ISSN:1098-5514
et al., 2010, Interaction of poxvirus intracellular mature virion proteins with the TPR domain of kinesin light chain in live infected cells revealed by two-photon-induced fluorescence resonance energy transfer fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy., Journal of Virology, Vol:84, ISSN:1098-5514, Pages:12886-12894
Skinner MA, Laidlaw SM, 2009, Advances in fowlpox vaccination, Cab Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, Vol:4, Pages:1-10
et al., 2007, mda-5, but not RIG-I, is a common target for paramyxovirus V proteins, Virology, Vol:359, ISSN:0042-6822, Pages:190-200
et al., 2006, Avipoxvirus phylogenetics: identification of a PCR length polymorphism that discriminates between the two major clades, Journal of General Virology, Vol:87, ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:2191-2201
et al., 2006, Safety of recombinant fowlpox strain FP9 and modified vaccinia virus Ankara vaccines against liver-stage P. falciparum malaria in non-immune volunteers, Vaccine, Vol:24, ISSN:0264-410X, Pages:3026-3034
et al., 2005, Enhanced T cell-mediated protection against malaria in human challenges by using the recombinant poxviruses FP9 and modified vaccinia virus Ankara, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:102, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:4836-4841
et al., 2005, Fowlpox virus as a recombinant vaccine vector for use in mammals and poultry, Expert Review of Vaccines, Vol:4, ISSN:1476-0584, Pages:63-76
Laidlaw SM, Skinner MA, 2004, Comparison of the genome sequence of FP9, an attenuated, tissue culture-adapted European strain of Fowlpox virus, with those of virulent American and European viruses, Journal of General Virology, Vol:85, ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:305-322
et al., 2002, Identification and characterization of three immunodominant structural proteins of fowlpox virus, Journal of Virology, Vol:76, ISSN:0022-538X, Pages:9844-9855
Boulanger D, Smith T, Skinner MA, 2000, Morphogenesis and release of fowlpox virus, Journal of General Virology, Vol:81, ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:675-687
et al., 1996, Expression of bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase in avian and mammalian cells by a recombinant fowlpox virus, Journal of General Virology, Vol:77, ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:963-967
Brown MD, Skinner MA, 1996, Coding sequences of both genome segments of a European 'very virulunt' infectious bursal disease virus, Virus Research, Vol:40, ISSN:0168-1702, Pages:1-15
BAI J, PAYNE LN, SKINNER MA, 1995, HPRS-103 (EXOGENOUS AVIAN-LEUKOSIS VIRUS, SUBGROUP-J) HAS AN ENV GENE-RELATED TO THOSE OF ENDOGENOUS ELEMENTS EAV-0 AND E51 AND AN E-ELEMENT FOUND PREVIOUSLY ONLY IN SARCOMA-VIRUSES, Journal of Virology, Vol:69, ISSN:0022-538X, Pages:779-784
et al., 1995, SEQUENCE OF HOST-RANGE DETERMINANTS IN THE ENV GENE OF A FULL-LENGTH, INFECTIOUS PROVIRAL CLONE OF EXOGENOUS AVIAN-LEUKOSIS VIRUS HPRS-103 CONFIRMS THAT IT REPRESENTS A NEW SUBGROUP (DESIGNATED J), Journal of General Virology, Vol:76, ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:181-187
Brown MD, Green P, Skinner MA, 1994, VP2 sequences of recent European 'very virulent' isolates of infectious bursal disease virus are closely related to each other but are distinct from those of 'classical' strains., Journal of General Virology, Vol:75 ( Pt 3), ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:675-680
SOMOGYI P, FRAZIER J, SKINNER MA, 1993, FOWLPOX VIRUS HOST-RANGE RESTRICTION - GENE-EXPRESSION, DNA-REPLICATION, AND MORPHOGENESIS IN NONPERMISSIVE MAMMALIAN-CELLS, Virology, Vol:197, ISSN:0042-6822, Pages:439-444
et al., 1990, HIV-1 TAT PROTEIN STIMULATES TRANSCRIPTION BY BINDING TO A U-RICH BULGE IN THE STEM OF THE TAR RNA STRUCTURE, EMBO Journal, Vol:9, ISSN:0261-4189, Pages:4145-4153
et al., 1990, HIV-1 REGULATOR OF VIRION EXPRESSION (REV) PROTEIN BINDS TO AN RNA STEM-LOOP STRUCTURE LOCATED WITHIN THE REV RESPONSE ELEMENT REGION, Cell, Vol:60, ISSN:0092-8674, Pages:685-693
et al., 1989, HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS-1 TAT PROTEIN BINDS TRANS-ACTIVATION-RESPONSIVE REGION (TAR) RNA INVITRO, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:86, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:6925-6929
et al., 1989, NEW MODEL FOR THE SECONDARY STRUCTURE OF THE 5' NON-CODING RNA OF POLIOVIRUS IS SUPPORTED BY BIOCHEMICAL AND GENETIC DATA THAT ALSO SHOW THAT RNA SECONDARY STRUCTURE IS IMPORTANT IN NEUROVIRULENCE, Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol:207, ISSN:0022-2836, Pages:379-392
et al., 1987, STUDIES ON THE GENETIC-BASIS OF ATTENUATION OF THE SABIN TYPE-3 POLIOVIRUS VACCINE, Biochemical Society Symposium, ISSN:0067-8694, Pages:85-90
et al., 1983, Coronavirus mRNA synthesis involves fusion of non‐contiguous sequences, EMBO Journal, Vol:2, ISSN:0261-4189, Pages:1839-1844