Imperial College London

Dr Rob White

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 1124robert.e.white Website




308Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus






I am a Senior Lecturer in the Section of Virology at Imperial College London, where I have been working since September 2003, first as a postdoc in Professor Martin Allday's group investigating the role of the Epstein-Barr virus EBNA3 proteins in the transformation of B-cells and oncogenesis, and then leading a research group since September 2012. My research programme takes a genetic approach to explore the mechanisms by which Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) establishes latency, and to investigate the intersection between EBV diversity, mutation and pathogenesis. I completed my PhD in Oxford in 2000, and then studied Herpesvirus Saimiri with Professor Adrian Whitehouse at the University of Leeds before moving to Imperial in 2003.

Regulation of the host cell transcriptome by EBV.

We (and others) have previously generated genetic mutants of the EBV nuclear antigens (EBNAs) 3A, 3B, 3C,  2 and -LP. Our transcriptomic analyses of cell lines carrying these genetic variants is available at These data are a searchable by gene name, with the intention of allowing other researchers to explore our data, to identify EBV gene products that may influence phenomena they observe. Future data sets will be added as they are published or deemed non-confidential.

This resource is intended to be open to the research community, and anyone wishing to have their data added should contact me, and I will endeavour to do add it, subject to the limitations of my website programming skills.


I am the module lead (Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution) and academic tutor for the long-running MSc in the Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of Viruses. I am also deputy Module Lead for the Second Year Immunology and Inflammation (IMI) module of the BSc in Medical Biosciences (BMB), and an academic tutor to a cohort of BMB students. I also teach about oncogenic and persistent viruses on several other courses across Imperial College.

Job/Studentship Vacancies

My lab does not currently have any funded vacancies. However, any individuals interested in joining my lab should contact me as far in advance as possible in case there is an opportunity to include you in a funding application.

Enquiries are welcome from second year Undergraduates who wish to undertake a summer studentship in my lab. Please contact me by Christmas (or shortly thereafter) if you wish to apply for funding from the Microbiology Society to support the placement.

Enquiries from prospective PhD students with independent funding (or with the potential to obtain such funding) are welcomed at any time. Funded PhD opportunities are mainly available through schemes operated at a college-wide level. This includes the MRC Doctoral Training Programme (operated centrally by Imperial College Faculty of Medicine), the BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme, and the College-funded President's PhD studentships. Clinical students interested in undertaking a PhD should consider the clinical schemes centred around the Wellcome Trust 4i programme within the Faculty of Medicine.

Note that the BBSRC and MRC schemes (as for all UKRI studentships) now offer up to 30% of awards to international students , with the rest going to students with UK citizenship, settled status, or (some) Irish nationals. The President scholarships in the Faculty of Medicine are currently funded only for those eligible for Home fees. Other studentships available for international students to come specifically to Imperial are described here. PhD schemes typically take applications annually around November-January to begin in the following September/October.



Wongwiwat W, Fournier B, Bassano I, et al., 2022, Epstein-Barr virus genome deletions in Epstein-Barr virus-positive T/NK cell lymphoproliferative diseases, Journal of Virology, Vol:96, ISSN:0022-538X, Pages:1-15

Farrell PJ, White RE, 2022, Do Epstein-Barr virus mutations and natural genome sequence variations contribute to disease?, Biomolecules, Vol:12, ISSN:2218-273X

Bridges R, Correia S, Wegner F, et al., 2019, Essential role of inverted repeat in Epstein-Barr virus IR-1 in B cell transformation; geographical variation of the viral genome., Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, Vol:374

Szymula A, Palermo RD, Bayoumy A, et al., 2019, Correction: Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen EBNA-LP is essential for transforming naive B cells, and facilitates recruitment of transcription factors to the viral genome, Plos Pathogens, Vol:15, ISSN:1553-7366

Correia S, Bridges R, Wegner F, et al., 2018, Sequence variation of Epstein-Barr virus: viral types, geography, codon usage and diseases, Journal of Virology, Vol:92, ISSN:1098-5514

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