Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Medicine

Action Medical Research Chair in Virology



+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 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 virus. 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.




Barclay WS, 2019, Receptor bats for the next flu pandemic, Nature, Vol:567, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:35-36

Lindsey BB, Singanayagam A, Tregoning JS, et al., The impact of an updated pandemic H1N1 strain on shedding and immunogenicity to Russian-backbone live attenuated influenza vaccine among children in The Gambia: an open-label, observational, phase 4 study, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, ISSN:2213-2600

Dunning J, Blankley S, Hoang LT, et al., 2019, Progression of whole-blood transcriptional signatures from interferon-induced to neutrophil-associated patterns in severe influenza (vol 19, pg 625, 2018), Nature Immunology, Vol:20, ISSN:1529-2908, Pages:373-373

James J, Smith N, Ross C, et al., 2019, The cellular localization of avian influenza virus PB1-F2 protein alters the magnitude of IFN2 promoter and NF kappa B-dependent promoter antagonism in chicken cells, Journal of General Virology, Vol:100, ISSN:0022-1317, Pages:414-430

Lesch M, Luckner M, Meyer M, et al., 2019, RNAi-based small molecule repositioning reveals clinically approved urea-based kinase inhibitors as broadly active antivirals, Plos Pathogens, Vol:15, ISSN:1553-7366

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