Virology MPhil/PhD/MD

Major code: VRMR (MPhil), VRPR (PhD), VRMD (MD)

About us

Institute of Infection and Global Health

Liverpool has had a leading international reputation in infection research, tropical medicine and global health for more than 150 years.

The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health was established to bring together leading medical, veterinary and basic science researchers from across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.  It also complements other strengths in Liverpool, including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine, the Medicines for Children Research Network, and the Wellcome Trust Tropical Centre with its associated PhD programme. We also enjoy close and active collaboration with NHS colleagues through the Liverpool Health Partners Academic Health Science System.

The Institute has 101 full-time academic staff, including 21 professors, as well as 39 professional services staff and 90 research students. Our annual budget is £4.2 million, and £6.6 million was awarded in new research income this year.

Click here for information about our research themes

Staff research interests

Dr Neil Blake

Mechanisms used by viruses to evade recognition by the human response, in particular immune evasion of the MHC Class I antigen processing pathway.

Dr Steve Christmas

Natural killer cells in immunity to cytomegalovirus and tumours. T cell subpopulations in cytomegalovirus infection, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney transplantation.

Dr Nigel Cunliffe

Gastrointestinal Infections. Rotavirus disease burden and epidemiology. Rotavirus vaccines. Norovirus.

Dr Dean Everett

Understanding pneumococcal diversity and population structure and its impact on the evolution of drug resistance using whole genome sequencing, Respiratory viral pathogen diversity, spread and evolution.

Dr Brian Flanagan

Inflammation, immunity and infection in the respiratory tract. RSV disease; the role of neutrophils; cytokines chemokines and their receptors; B cell differentiation and antibody production.

Dr Sareen Galbraith

Immunopathology of flavivirus infection and use for development of novel human treatments. Molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis of flaviviruses. Development of alphavirus vectors as vaccines and gene therapy agents

Dr Mike Griffiths

Exploration of the host response to infection of the nervous system, with a focus on viral encephalitis. Develop models of CNS infection to identify markers of disease progression and assess novel treatments. Discovery of molecular markers to assist clinical diagnosis and prognosis and gain insight to pathogenesis.

Dr Naeem Khan

T cell biology. Effector functions of T cells and changes during ageing (immunosenescence). Recognition of virus-derived antigens. Persistent virus infections and interactions with the immune system.

Dr Andrew Kirby

Diagnosis and management of viral gastroenteritis, principally that caused by Norovirus. Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and glycopeptide resistance in S. aureus.

Dr John Smalley

Microbiology of black (haem)-pigmenting anaerobes (BPAs) and the pathogenic mechanisms through which they initiate and maintain periodontal (gum) disease in diabetes. Haemas a virulence up regulatory factor in BPAs, the role of their secreted proteases in the haem acquisition process and in dysregulation of host defences.

Professor Tom Solomon

Neurological disease caused by infections. Improve disease recognition and diagnosis. Improve understanding of pathogenesis via study of host and pathogen mechanisms of disease..

Professor James Stewart

Molecular biology of gammaherpes viruses, including the Epstein-Barr virus. Pathogenesis of and host response to virus infections particularly in the respiratory tract. The role of neuropeptides in modulating the host response to infection.

Professor Cheng Hock-Toh

Translational (bench-to-bedside) research in the field of sepsis. Focus on the crosstalk between inflammation and coagulation.

Dr Craig Winstanley

Use of genomics and molecular techniques to study Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, specifically their evolution, population behaviour and pathogenicity. Particularly, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Campylobacter.

Dr Qibo Zhang

CD4 T cell immunity and B cell antibody responses to microbial pathogens and vaccine antigens; mucosal immunity to respiratory pathogens and vaccine immunology; novel immunological adjuvants; regulation of adaptive immune responses by TLR ligands.

Dr Steve Christmas

The University of Liverpool provides a close-knit and friendly academic community, enthusiastic students and great experts.

How long have you worked at the university?

I've been working here for 22 years.

Are you mainly involved in teaching/research?

About 60% teaching/, 40% research.

What’s your research about?

I've had a long standing interest in human T cells and NK cells in relation to reproduction, cancer, autoimmunity, transplantation and more recently viral infection. 

What modules do you teach on which programmes?

I'm currently teaching several modules on the MSc in Human Immunity (groups of 6-14). I also provide lectures to undergraduate medical, dental and life science students (groups of 12-500) and am a problem-based learning tutor to medical students.

What do you love most about the University of Liverpool?

The University of Liverpool provides a close-knit and friendly academic community with enthusiastic students.

Why should prospective students study a postgraduate qualification here?

Good facilities, great experts, lively social life.

What are the benefits?

Broad training in a friendly environment, good student support.

What does your department/subject, in particular, offer a prospective student?

Enthusiastic and approachable staff, good foundation in research.