Photo of Professor James Stewart

Professor James Stewart PhD

Chair of Molecular Virology Infection Biology & Microbiomes


Personal Statement

I have an international reputation in the field of virus-host interactions. I trained as a molecular biologist, applying molecular techniques to study virus/host interactions, specifically the immune response. A large part of my career has been spent studying pathogenesis and virus-host interactions, with a particular focus on the herpesvirus family. One of the most important aspects of my work was establishing the link between active EBV infection and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and then showing that this a consequence of the normal biology of this group of viruses.
With Tony Nash, I developed murine gammaherpesvirus in mice as a means of studying authentic host-virus interactions, exploiting the power of virus reverse genetics and KO mouse technology.
More recently my research has moved to focus on virus-host interactions in the respiratory tract, using other respiratory pathogens such as influenza A virus and RSV. I have developed an integrative toolkit and pathway with which to do this. I use conventional and molecular techniques to analyse the course of virus infection combined with big data techniques and informatics to relate the function of viral determinants with host defence responses. The ultimate aim is to translate this into novel interventions and vaccines.
I teach Veterinary, Medical and Life Science students up to Masters level. I am also external examiner for Edinburgh University (Bsc (Hon) Infectious Disease) and Imperial College London (MSc Virology). I have been examiner for 34 PhD theses both in the UK and internationally.
My Laboratory currently consists of 3 PDRAs and 9 PhD students. I have previously supervised 25 PhD students to completion many of whom are now academics, group leaders, or working in Industry.
At Liverpool I have previously been Head of School and currently Chair the University Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body. I am Academic Editor for PLoS ONE, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Animal Health Trust and have served on UK research council funding and review panels since 2004. I have also appeared on UK National TV giving expert opinion on Influenza vaccination.

Prizes or Honours

  • Adjunct Professor (Northwest A&F University, China, 2019)
  • Adjunct Professor (University of Georgia, Athens, USA, 2010)

Funded Fellowships

  • Royal Society University Research Fellow (The Royal Society (London), 1997)