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The Viral Immunology Unit has relocated in the state of the art NDM Research Building on the Old Road Campus, it focuses on studying the immunity response to virus infection, facilitating the development of vaccination strategies, testing new HIV-1 immunogens and new viral vectors to be tested in clinical studies.

The Unit comprises:

  • Dr Persephone Borrow, which concentrate on vaccination strategies capable of eliciting HIV-1 bNAbs via the induction of CD4 T cell responses that provide optimal help for the development of appropriate B cell responses in viral infections by HIV-1.
  • Professor Lucy Dorrell, who act on developing immunotherapy for HIV-1 infection which will reduce dependence on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by limiting the viral escape and enhance immune control of HIV-1 replication.
  • Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones works closely with clinicians and epidemiologists to study immune responses in clinical cohorts in Kenya, West Africa, Zimbabwe and China, as well as in the UK and has a long-standing interest in the second strain of HIV, HIV-2, which is found predominantly in W. Africa and leads to a high proportion of long-term non-progressors (LTNPs).
  • Professor Sir Andrew McMichael whose HIV vaccines have completed five small phase I clinical trials and one large phase I/II clinical trials in London and Oxford. The group now focuses on improving immunogenicity and working out assays for measuring immune responses that are likely to be protective against HIV infection.
  • Dr Dimitra Peppa, whose research interests focuses on the role of NK cells in HIV immunopathogenesis and regulation of adaptive responses. Their main research goal is to optimise, direct, or specifically target NK cells in therapeutic and preventative interventions that will allow us to overcome the current barriers to eliciting effective immunity to HIV.