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PhD Research

Compromised hosts as reservoirs of persistent viral infections.

The Virome in Immune compromised persons

Stubbsx250sPhD student, Sam Stubbs, UK 

This project aims to understand the role of the compromised host on the acquisition and persistence of specific populations of viruses and their impact on concurrent disease. Specifically we use NGS and a custom bioinformatics pipeline to define the “Virome” (a resident population of viruses) in patient cohorts and healthy controls. The Virome specra are compared to the type of immune deficiency whether primary (a genetic inborn error in immune pathways), acquired (due to infection, i.e. HIV/AIDS, measles) or induced (i.e. therapy to treat a condition such as cancer or autoimmunity). The hypothesis is that the specific virome and population of viruses that persist in a compromised host impacts on the disease pathogenesis and may provide a reservoir for viral variants.


October 2013 – present
Funding: Medical Research Council
Supervisors: Professor Jonathan L Heeney