Collaborators





Colaboration in the office



Dr Leo James

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

Dr Leo James
CPSF6 peptide enitre


Leo is a biophysicist and crystallographer with whom we take a structure function approach to our favourite biological questions.

Rasaiyaah, J., C. P. Tan, A. J. Fletcher, A. J. Price, C. Blondeau, L. Hilditch, D. A. Jacques, D. L. Selwood, L. C. James, M. Noursadeghi and G. J. Towers. 2013. HIV-1 evades innate immune recognition through specific co-factor recruitment. Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12769

Bichel, K., A. J. Price, T. Schaller, G. J. Towers, S. M. Freund, and L. C. James. 2013. HIV-1 capsid undergoes coupled binding and isomerization by the nuclear pore protein NUP358. Retrovirology 10:81.

Price, A. J., A. J. Fletcher, T. Schaller, T. Elliot, K. Lee, V. N. Kewalramani, J. Chin, G. J. Towers, and L. C. James. 2012. CPSF6 defines a conserved capsid interface that modulates HIV-1 replication. PLoS pathogens 8:e1002896

Caines, M. E., K. Bichel, A. J. Price, W. A. McEwan, G. J. Towers, B. J. Willett, S. M. Freund, and L. C. James. 2012. Diverse HIV viruses are targeted by a conformationally dynamic antiviral. Nat Struct Mol Biol 19:411-416.

Ylinen, L. M., Price, A. J., Rasaiyaah, J., Hue, S., Rose, N. J., Marzetta, F., James, L. C. & Towers, G. J. 2010. Conformational Adaptation of Asian Macaque TRIMCyp Directs Lineage Specific Antiviral Activity. PLoS Pathogens 6: e1001062

Mallery, D. L., W. A. McEwan, S. R. Bidgood, G. J. Towers, C. M. Johnson, and L. C. James. 2010. Antibodies mediate intracellular immunity through tripartite motif-containing 21 (TRIM21). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107:19985-19990.

Price, A. J., F. Marzetta, M. Lammers, L. M. J. Ylinen, T. Schaller, S. J. Wilson, G. J. Towers and L. C. James. 2009. Active site remodelling switches HIV specificity of antiretroviral TRIMCyp. Nature Struct Mol Biol 16: 1036-42





Dr Stéphane Hué

Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London

Dr Stephan Hue
Phylogenetic trees on Stephan's computer screen


We collaborate with Stéphane to consider the genetics of host and virus using phylogenetic and positive selection techniques.

Schaller, T., K. E. Ocwieja, J. Rasaiyaah, A. J. Price, T. L. Brady, S. L. Roth, S. Hue, A. J. Fletcher, K. Lee, V. N. Kewalramani, M. Noursadeghi, R. G. Jenner, L. C. James, F. D. Bushman, and G. J. Towers. 2011. HIV-1 Capsid-Cyclophilin Interactions Determine Nuclear Import Pathway, Integration Targeting and Replication Efficiency. PLoS Pathog 7:e1002439

Gupta, K. R., S. Hué, T. Schaller, E. Verschoor, D. Pillay and G. J. Towers. 2009. Mutation of a single residue renders human tetherin resistant to HIV-1 Vpu-mediated depletion. PloS Pathogens 5:e1000443

Ylinen, L. M., Price, A. J., Rasaiyaah, J., Hue, S., Rose, N. J., Marzetta, F., James, L. C. & Towers, G. J. 2010. Conformational Adaptation of Asian Macaque TRIMCyp Directs Lineage Specific Antiviral Activity. PLoS Pathogens 6: e1001062

Fletcher AJ, Hué S, Schaller T, Pillay D, Towers GJ. Hare TRIM5α restricts divergent retroviruses and exhibits significant sequence variation from closely related lagomorpha TRIM5 genes. J Virol. 2010 Dec;84(23):12463-8. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01514-10. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Hué S, Gray ER, Gall A, Katzourakis A, Tan CP, Houldcroft CJ, McLaren S, Pillay D, Futreal A, Garson JA, Pybus OG, Kellam P, Towers GJ. Disease-associated XMRV sequences are consistent with laboratory contamination. Retrovirology. 2010 Dec 20;7(1):111. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-7-111.

Katzourakis A, Hué S, Kellam P, Towers GJ. Phylogenetic analysis of murine leukemia virus sequences from longitudinally sampled chronic fatigue syndrome patients suggests PCR contamination rather than viral evolution. J Virol. 2011 Oct;85(20):10909-13. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00827-11. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Schaller T, Hué S, Towers GJ. An active TRIM5 protein in rabbits indicates a common antiviral ancestor for mammalian TRIM5 proteins. J Virol. 2007 Nov;81(21):11713-21. Epub 2007 Aug 29.





Dr Mahdad Noursadeghi

Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London

Dr Mahdad Noursadeghi
Removing samples from the -80 degree storage. Image courtesy of Nick David (http://www.nickdavid.co.uk/)


We collaborate with Maddy to understand how HIV-1 interacts with the innate immune system. Maddy helped us set up replication experiments in primary monocyte derived macrophages. Plus Maddy owns a speedboat.

Towers GJ, Noursadeghi M. Interactions between HIV-1 and the cell-autonomous innate immune system. Cell Host Microbe. 2014 Jul 9;16(1):10-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2014.06.009.

Mlcochova P, Watters SA, Towers GJ, Noursadeghi M, Gupta RK. Vpx complementation of 'non-macrophage tropic' R5 viruses reveals robust entry of infectious HIV-1 cores into macrophages. Retrovirology. 2014 Mar 21;11:25. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-11-25.

Rasaiyaah, J., C. P. Tan, A. J. Fletcher, A. J. Price, C. Blondeau, L. Hilditch, D. A. Jacques, D. L. Selwood, L. C. James, M. Noursadeghi and G. J. Towers. 2013. HIV-1 evades innate immune recognition through specific co-factor recruitment. Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12769

Hughes R, Towers G, Noursadeghi M. Innate immune interferon responses to human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection. Rev Med Virol. 2012 Jul;22(4):257-66. doi: 10.1002/rmv.1708. Epub 2012 Feb 22. Review.

Tomlinson, G. S., H. Booth, S. J. Petit, E. Potton, G. J. Towers, R. F. Miller, B. M. Chain, and M. Noursadeghi. 2012. Adherent human alveolar macrophages exhibit a transient pro-inflammatory profile that confounds responses to innate immune stimulation. PloS one 7:e40348.

Schaller, T., K. E. Ocwieja, J. Rasaiyaah, A. J. Price, T. L. Brady, S. L. Roth, S. Hue, A. J. Fletcher, K. Lee, V. N. Kewalramani, M. Noursadeghi, R. G. Jenner, L. C. James, F. D. Bushman, and G. J. Towers. 2011. HIV-1 Capsid-Cyclophilin Interactions Determine Nuclear Import Pathway, Integration Targeting and Replication Efficiency. PLoS Pathog 7:e1002439

Tsang, J., B. M. Chain, R. F. Miller, B. L. J. Webb, W. Barclay, G. J. Towers, D. R. Katz, and M. Noursadeghi. 2009. HIV-1 infection of macrophages is dependent on evasion of innate immune cellular activation. AIDS 23:2255-63

Ylinen LM, Schaller T, Price A, Fletcher AJ, Noursadeghi M, James LC, Towers GJ. Cyclophilin A levels dictate infection efficiency of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 capsid escape mutants A92E and G94D. J Virol. 2009 Feb;83(4):2044-7. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01876-08. Epub 2008 Dec 10.





Prof Paul Kellam

Wellcome Sanger Institute and University College London

Counting plaques (image courtesy of Wellcome trust images).
Removing samples from the -80 degree storage


Paul holds joint positions at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and at UCL. Paul's lab is interested in host virus interactions revealed through understanding host and pathogen genetic variation.

Katzourakis, A., S. Hue, P. Kellam, and G. J. Towers. 2011. Phylogenetic analysis of murine leukemia virus sequences from longitudinally sampled chronic fatigue syndrome patients suggests PCR contamination rather than viral evolution. J. Virol 85:10909-10913.

Garson, J. A., P. Kellam, and G. J. Towers. 2011. Analysis of XMRV integration sites from human prostate cancer tissues suggests PCR contamination rather than genuine human infection. Retrovirology 8:13

Hué S, Gray ER, Gall A, Katzourakis A, Tan CP, Houldcroft CJ, McLaren S, Pillay D, Futreal A, Garson JA, Pybus OG, Kellam P, Towers GJ. 2010. Disease-associated XMRV sequences are consistent with laboratory contamination. Retrovirology 7:111.

Pardieu, C., Vigan, R., Wilson, S.J., Calvi, A., Zang, T., Bieniasz, P.D., Kellam, P., Towers, G.J. and S. J. D. Neil. 2010. The RING-CH ligase K5 antagonizes restriction of KSHV and HIV-1 particle release by mediating ubiquitin-dependent endosomal degradation of tetherin. PLoS Pathogens 6: e1000843





Dr Ravi Gupta

Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London

Dr Ravi Gupta
Removing the PBMC layer following the density centrifugation to isolate monocytes. Image courtesy of Nick David (http://www.nickdavid.co.uk/)


Ravi is a clinical Virologist and Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow. Ravi is interested in how host virus interactions influence disease outcome in patients.

Gupta, R. K., Kohli, A., McCormick, A. L., Towers, G. J., Pillay, D.,and C. M. Parry. 2010. Full length HIV-1 Gag determines protease inhibitor susceptibility within in vitro assays. AIDS 24:1651-5

Gupta, R. K. and G. J. Towers. 2009. A tail of tetherin: How pandemic HIV-1 conquered the world. Cell Host and Microbes 5: 393-5

Gupta, K. R., S. Hué, T. Schaller, E. Verschoor, D. Pillay and G. J. Towers. 2009. Mutation of a single residue renders human tetherin resistant to HIV-1 Vpu-mediated depletion. PloS Pathogens 5:e1000443

Gupta, R. K., P. Mlcochova, A. Pelchen-Matthews, S. J. Petit, G. Mattiuzzo, D. Pillay, Y. Takeuchi, M. Marsh, and G. J. Towers. 2009. Simian immunodeficiency virus envelope glycoprotein counteracts tetherin/BST-2/CD317 by intracellular sequestration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106: 20889-20894




Prof Mark Marsh

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, London

Prof Mark Marsh
Herpes Simplex particles at the cell surface at 49000x magnification ( Image courtesy of Annegret Pelchen-Matthews)


Mark is a cell biologist with whom we collaborate to understand host virus interactions. We love Annegret Pelchen-Matthew’s beautiful electron microscopy.

Blondeau, C., A. Pelchen-Matthews, P. Mlcochova, M. Marsh, R. S. Milne, and G. J. Towers. 2013. Tetherin Restricts Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and is Antagonised by Glycoprotein. Journal of virology, 2013 Sep 25

Gupta, R. K., P. Mlcochova, A. Pelchen-Matthews, S. J. Petit, G. Mattiuzzo, D. Pillay, Y. Takeuchi, M. Marsh, and G. J. Towers. 2009. Simian immunodeficiency virus envelope glycoprotein counteracts tetherin/BST-2/CD317 by intracellular sequestration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106: 20889-20894





Dr Waseem Qasim

Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital

Isolating monocytes from human blood. Image courtesy of Nick David (http://www.nickdavid.co.uk/)
Plating cells in Tissue Culture


We collaborate with Waseem on developing novel gene therapy based approaches to treat HIV infection in children.

Chan, E., T. Schaller, A. Eddaoudi, H. Zhan, C. P. Tan, M. Jacobsen, A. J. Thrasher, G. J. Towers, and W. Qasim. 2012. Lentiviral Gene Therapy Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1, Using a Novel Human TRIM21-Cyclophilin A Restriction Factor. Human gene therapy. 23:1176-85



Dr Julia García Prado

IrsiCaixa, Institut de Reserca de la Sida, Barcelona

Dr Julia Garcia Pedro
Plating cells in a 10cm dish


We collaborate with Julia to understand the biology of HIV antigen presentation.

Kløverpris HN, Payne RP, Sacha JB, Rasaiyaah JT, Chen F, Takiguchi M, Yang OO, Towers GJ, Goulder P, Prado JG. 2013. Early antigen presentation of protective HIV-1 KF11Gag and KK10Gag epitopes from incoming viral particles facilitates rapid recognition of infected cells by specific CD8+ T cells. Journal of Virology 87(5):2628-38




Dr Richard Jenner

University College London

Dr Richard Jenner
Dr Richard Jenner


We collaborate with Richard to understand the role of host factors in influencing HIV-1 integration targeting.

Schaller T, Ocwieja KE, Rasaiyaah J, Price AJ, Brady TL, Roth SL, Hué S, Fletcher AJ, Lee K, KewalRamani VN, Noursadeghi M, Jenner RG, James LC, Bushman FD, Towers GJ. HIV-1 capsid-cyclophilin interactions determine nuclear import pathway, integration targeting and replication efficiency. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002439.





Prof Dave Selwood

Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, UCL

Prof David Selwood
Cyclosporine chemical structure


Dave is a medicinal chemist  with a focus on cyclosporines. We collaborate with Dave to develop non immunosuppressive analogues of Cyclosporine that might be used as inhibitors of HIV-1 replication. These molecules are also useful tools for the study of primate lentiviral biology.

Rasaiyaah, J., C. P. Tan, A. J. Fletcher, A. J. Price, C. Blondeau, L. Hilditch, D. A. Jacques, D. L. Selwood, L. C. James, M. Noursadeghi and G. J. Towers. 2013. HIV-1 evades innate immune recognition through specific co-factor recruitment. Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12769




Dr Helen Rowe

Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London

Dr Helen Rowe
KRAB-zinc finger proteins, KAP1 and ESET are necessary for de novo DNA methylation of Endogenous retroviruses. This process is sequence-specific and takes place in mouse ES cells and during early mouse development.


Helen works on the control of gene expression by endogenous retroviral sequences. Endogenous retroviruses are not junk and play critical roles in recruiting DNA binding complexes including TRIM28/KAP1 to regulate gene expression, particularly during mouse development.




Dr Richard Milne

Department of Virology, UCL Medical School

Dr Richard Milne
Plating cells in a 10cm tissue culture dish


Richard is interested in Herpes Viruses and how they interact with their hosts. Richard also teaches virology to undergraduate and postgraduate students throughout UCL. Greg and Richard organise a public engagement programme for school children.

Blondeau, C., A. Pelchen-Matthews, P. Mlcochova, M. Marsh, R. S. Milne, and G. J. Towers. Tetherin Restricts Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and is Antagonised by Glycoprotein J.Virol. 2013 Sep 25



Dr Neil Berry

Division of virology, NIBSC

Dr Neil Berry
Foci of viral infection in vaccinated SIV infected NHP


We collaborate with Neil and his colleagues at the National Institute for Biological Standards, part of the MHRA, to understand the correlates of protection of live attenuated vaccination of non-human primates with simian immunodeficiency virus. Neil has found that a live attenuated vaccine provides particularly effective protection from homologous and heterologous lentivirus challenge. Our work has considered the role of restriction factors and the innate immune system generally in protection with the view to developing an HIV-1 vaccine that produces a similar protective response.

Ferguson D, Mattiuzzo G, Ham C, Stebbings R, Li B, Rose NJ, Mee ET, Smith D, Page M, Cranage MP, Almond N, Towers GJ, Berry NJ. Early biodistribution and persistence of a protective live attenuated SIV vaccine elicits localised innate responses in multiple lymphoid tissues. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 27;9(8):e104390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104390. eCollection 2014.

Mattiuzzo G, Rose NJ, Almond N, Towers GJ, Berry N. Upregulation of TRIM5α gene expression after live-attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus vaccination in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques, but TRIM5α genotype has no impact on virus acquisition or vaccination outcome. Gen Virol. 2013 Mar;94(Pt 3):606-11. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.047795-0. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Berry NJ, Marzetta F, Towers GJ, Rose NJ. Diversity of TRIM5α and TRIMCyp sequences in cynomolgus macaques from different geographical origins. Immunogenetics. 2012 Apr;64(4):267-78. doi: 10.1007/s00251-011-0585-x. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Berry N, Ham C, Mee ET, Rose NJ, Mattiuzzo G, Jenkins A, Page M, Elsley W, Robinson M, Smith D, Ferguson D, Towers G, Almond N, Stebbings R. Early potent protection against heterologous SIVsmE660 challenge following live attenuated SIV vaccination in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023092. Epub 2011 Aug 10.



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Page last modified on 20 oct 14 19:25 by Jane Lorna Elizabeth Turner