Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Action Medical Research Chair Virology. Head of Department



+44 (0)20 7594 5035w.barclay




416Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





I joined Imperial College in May 2007, moving with my research group from the University of Reading where I had previously been based since 1995.  I had graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and had undertaken my PhD at the Common Cold Unit, Salisbury under the joint supervision of Dr David Tyrrell and Dr Fred Brown, studying the human immune response to rhinovirus.  I acquired molecular virology skills as a postdoctoral fellow first in the laboratories of Professor Jeff Almond at Reading and then working with Dr Peter Palese at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

My expertise is in the field of respiratory viruses, in particular influenza viruses. My studies aim to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the pathogenesis, host range restrictions and transmissibility of influenza viruses. The approach includes the generation of recombinant viruses with defined mutations. This strategy has contributed to the production of novel influenza pandemic vaccines. In principle, the work employs the most appropriate virus strains and relevant cell or animal models. Primary influenza clinical strains are obtained through a long-standing collaboration with the Health Protection Agency, and viruses are studied on primary human airway cells and in ferrets.  Translational aspects include analysing mode of action and resistance mechanisms of antiviral compounds, and characterization of novel cell substrates and attenuated virus backbones for influenza vaccines.  The laboratory is funded by MRC, BBSRC, the Wellcome Trust and commercial bodies.

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Zhou J, Singanayagam A, Barclay WS, 2023, Is it possible to generalise superspreading individuals or events of SARS-CoV-2? - Authors' reply., Lancet Microbe

Whitaker M, Davies B, Atchison C, et al., 2023, SARS-CoV-2 rapid antibody test results and subsequent risk of hospitalisation and death in 361,801 people, Nature Communications, Vol:14, ISSN:2041-1723

Kugathasan R, Sukhova K, Moshe M, et al., 2023, Deep mutagenesis scanning using whole trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike highlights the importance of NTD-RBD interactions in determining spike phenotype., Plos Pathog, Vol:19

Zhou J, Singanayagam A, Goonawardane N, et al., 2023, Viral emissions into the air and environment after SARS-CoV-2 human challenge: a phase 1, open label, first-in-human study, The Lancet Microbe, Vol:4, ISSN:2666-5247, Pages:e579-e590

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