Microscopic image of heptatis C cells in a liver sample. Credit: University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology/Peter Anderson

Viral Immunity Group

The Viral Immunity Group is focused on understanding the host-pathogen interaction of human RNA viruses (hepatitis C, norovirus, dengue, influenza, SARS CoV-2). We have made several seminal discoveries in the topics of virus transmission and characterisation of protective immune responses against these RNA viral infections. We takes a “systems” approach to investigate virus and host determinants of protection from RNA viruses using cutting-edge methods, particularly including full viral genome sequencing and assays to characterise the surface phenotype and to sequence the single cell transcriptomes of virus-specific B cells (scRNAseq). We have also developed several assays to assess whether the antibodies produced by these antigen-specific B cells can protect against infection. The group aims to shift the current paradigm of our understanding of the genesis of protective antiviral immunity and provide new insights into vaccine design. The group works closely with clinicians to provide access to unique human cohorts and specimen sets.