Towers Lab


Previous Virtual Virology Seminars

Virtual virology regularly features inspiring talks from members of prominent virology labs. See below for some previous titles:

Date: Wednesday 20 March 2024
Host: Prof Wendy Barclay and her lab, Imperial College London

Amalie Rasmussen - Identifying the cellular regulators of Influenza A virus genome replication

Dorothee Reuss - Modelling the outcome of coinfections with SARS-CoV2 and seasonal influenza viruses

Jay Zhou - Experimental challenge of humans and animals – what have we learnt about respiratory virus transmission?


Date: Wednesday 21 February 2024
Host: Prof Greg Towers and Towers Lab UCL
Title: Uppers and downers: drugs for viral modulation

Kate Morling - Novel HIV-1 capsid inhibitors drive innate immune sensing.

Lydia Newton - Cyclophilin A-degrading PROTACs inhibit HIV-1. 

Dara Annett - CycloVect inhibits IFITM3 and enhances stem cell gene therapy.

Date: Wednesday 24 Janruary 2024
Host: Professor Mala Maini and lab from UCL
Title: Antiviral immunity at the UCL Institute of Immunity & Transplantation

Leo Swadling - Cross-reactive T cell specificity in SARS-CoV-2 outcome 

Lucy Cooper - Interferon regulation of B cell antiviral immunity 

Mariana Diniz - Immunotherapy to optimise therapeutic vaccination in HBV 

Alan Zhuang - Circadian regulation of HBV and other viruses


Date: Wednesday 13 December 2023
Host: Professor Mike Malim and lab from KCL
Title: Innate Immunity, Viral Evasion and Host Disruption 

Rocio Martinez-Nunez - UPF1 restricts rhinovirus replication and is required for the antiviral response

Hannah Mischo - Through the backdoor— viral interference with mRNA expression

Rui Galao - A case study on the longest known chronic SARS-CoV-2 infection in a immunocompromised individual in UK

Melissa Kane (University of Pittsburgh) - Effects of the cyclophilin homology domain of RanBP2 on HIV-1 infection and Mx2 activity


Date: Wednesday 13 September 2023
Host: Professor Ravi Gupta and lab University of Cambridge

Petra Mlcochova - Much Ado About the Cell Cycle: Cyclin D3 restricts SARS-CoV-2 envelope incorporation into virions and inhibits viral spread 

Bo Meng - SARS-CoV-2 spike N-terminal domain modulates viral entry and fusogenicity   

Nerea Irigoyen - The translational landscape of Zika viruses, more than just a polyprotein 


Date: Thursday 5th March 2020
Host: Prof Paul Lehner (Cambridge) and his lab
Title: Viral Silencing and Immune Evasion

Marta Seczynska - What do we know about HUSH-mediated transcriptional repression?
Liane Dupont - Are unintegrated human lentiviruses silenced by HUSH?
Dan Greaves - Locus-specific Proteomics Identifies Latent EBV-specific Silencers


Date: Thursday 30th Jan 2020
Host: Jason Mercer (UCL) and his lab.
Title: Introduction: “The Ins and Outs of Poxvirus Infection”

Laura Pokorny: Studying vaccinia virus binding and fusion using a minimal model system

Susanna Bidgood: The Poxvirus Lateral Body Proteome: Characterising enigmatic structures

Moona Huttunen: Vaccinia virus hijacks ESCRT-mediated multivesicular body formation for virus egress

Artur Yakimovich: Viruses versus Machines: Deep Learning to Analyze Host-Pathogen Interactions


Date: Thursday 28th November 2019

Host: Prof Ian Humphries, Dr Rich Stanton, Dr Eddie Wang and others

Title: CMV Research in Cardiff


Date: Thursday 31st October

Host: Dr Clare Jolly

Title: Introduction: HIV and CD4+ T cells

Ann-Kathrin Reuschl:  HIV turns T cells into remainers

Dejan Mesner:  The enigma of lentiviral Nef

Tafhima Haider:  The tale of the Env cytoplasmic tail


Thursday 16 May 2019

Host: Prof Ian Goodfellow, Cambridge

Title: Noroviruses - the perfect pathogen

Luke Meredith - Generation of novel tools for the study of immune responses to noroviruses and viral entry pathways
Jia (Luca) Lu - Noroviruses subvert the core stress granule component G3BP1 to promote viral VPg-dependent translation
Myra Hosmillo - Utilisation of intestinal organoids as tool to study human noroviruses


Thursday 28 March 2019

Host: Dr John Briggs, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,  Cambridge.

Title: Assembly, maturation and evolution of retroviruses - insights from cryo-EM.


Thursday 28 February 2019

Host: Prof Stuart Neil, KCL

Title: 'TRIM25 and ZAP – antiviral suppression of CpG dinucleotides in RNA viruses'

Chad Swanson: 'Introduction: suppression of CpGs in RNA virus genomes'

'TRIM25 and ZAP target the Ebola virus ribonucleoprotein complex':

  • Rui Pedro Galao: 'TRIM25 and ZAP mediate interferon-induced restriction of Ebola virus'
  • Harry Wilson: 'Mechanistic insights into the targeting of the EBOV vRNP by TRIM25'

Irati Antzin Anduetza: 'Context and position dependent Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by CpG dinucleotides in the viral genome'

Mattia Ficarelli: 'Identification of an essential cofactor for ZAP-mediated suppression of HIV-1 containing clustered CpG dinucleotides'


Thursday November 22nd 2018

Host: Dr Serge Mostowy, LSHTM

Sina Krokowski: Septins recognise and entrap dividing bacterial cells for delivery to lysosomes
Julia Pfanzelter (The Francis Crick Institute): Septins suppress the release of vaccinia virus from infected cells
Vincenzo Torraca: Use of zebrafish to study septin-mediated cellular immunity
Vanessa Sancho-Shimizu (Imperial College London): Herpes encephalitis: a human genetics perspective


Thursday September 13th 2018

Subject: 'Real-time molecular epidemiology for outbreak response'

Ian Goodfellow – University of Cambridge: Setting up field laboratories in outbreak conditions – a personal perspective.
Kirstyn Brunker -  University of Glasgow: Field-deployable genomic surveillance to guide rabies elimination.
Andrew Rambaut – University of Edinburgh: Genomic epidemiology of outbreaks and epidemics – insights from the Ebola virus epidemic.
Nick Loman – University of Birmingham: Future perspectives, ARTIC, nanopore sequencing.


Thursday May 17th 2018

Host: Dr Leo James

Title: 'How does HIV carry out reverse transcription inside the closed capsid?'

David Jacques, UNSW Sydney:  When too many structures is barely enough: What (we think) we’ve learned by comparing HIV and SIV capsids.

Till Böcking, UNSW Sydney:   How to tweak HIV capsid stability: Control of uncoating kinetics revealed by single-molecule imaging

Donna Mallery, MRC LMB, Cambridge:   IP6 is an HIV pocket factor that regulates capsid assembly and disassembly


Thursday March 15th 2018

Host: Prof Mala Maini, University College London

Dr Laura Pallett: 'Targeting liver-resident T cells'

Alice Burton: 'Can we harness the B cell response to HBsAg?'

Dr Kerstin Stegmann: 'Do NK cells have antiviral potential in HBV?'

Dr Mariana Diniz: 'Immunotherapeutic strategies in the adeno-HBV model'


Thursday January 18th 2018

Host: Early Career Investigators Session:

Will McEwen - University of Cambridge

Dalan Bailey - The Pirbright Institute

Katrina Lythgoe - University of Oxford

Will McEwen: Redirecting the antiviral Fc receptor TRIM21 against toxic host proteins

Dalan Bailey: Structure guided identification of a pathogen with pandemic potential

Katrina Lythgoe: Evolution of chronic viruses within and between hosts


Thursday November 16th 2017

Host: Early Career Investigators Session:

Chris Illingworth - Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge

Naomi McGovern - Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge

Petra Mlcochova - Division of Infection and Immunity, UCL

Chris Illingworth: Evolution on sub-phylogenetic timescales: Measuring influenza reassortment within a human host

Naomi McGovern: Human mononuclear phagocytes - from foetus to adult

Petra Mlcochova: A novel aspect of Macrophage biology: learning from the great opportunist HIV-1


Thursday July 20th 2017

Host: Prof Mike Malim, King's College London

Darja Pollpeter: “Deep sequencing of HIV-1 reverse transcripts reveals the multifaceted anti-viral functions of APOBEC3G”

Luis Apolonia: “Host proteins involved in early steps of HIV-1 infection”

Matt Dicks: “Unraveling the mechanism of MX2 mediated inhibition of HIV-1”


Thursday May 18th 2017

Host: Early Career Investigators

Pierre Maillard, University College London: "Unmasking the antiviral activity of RNA interference in mammalian cells".

Carlos Maluquer de Motes, University of Surrey: "Poxviruses and the ubiquitin system: Cullin' innate immunity".

Ben Longdon, University of Exeter: "Virus host shifts".


Thursday March 23rd 2017

Host: Prof Judy Breuer, University College London

Prof Judy Breuer. “Genes trees and variants; making biological sense of viral genomics”

Juliana Cudini. "Within host viral diversity; comparing CMV with RNA viruses"

Chris Ruis. "Hiding in plain site: What drives norovirus pandemics?"

Dan Depledge. "The Forever War - New insights into host and viral transcriptomics during alphaherpesviral latency"


Thursday 23rd February 2017

Host: Prof Martin Allday, Imperial College London

Dr Kostas Paschos:  “Combining ChIP-­‐seq data and gene expression profiles reveals general principles of EBNA3-­‐mediated gene regulation during EBV latency.”

Dr Quentin Bazot:   “Inhibition of cyclin-­‐dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKI) by EBNA3A and EBNA3C in EBV-­‐infected/transformed B cells: mechanisms and biological consequences.”

Christine Styles:  “EBNA3A and EBNA3C have co-­‐evolved to epigenetically suppress the B cell-­‐to-­‐plasma cell differentiation pathway, favouring persistence in memory B cells.”


Thursday 19th January 2017

Host: Prof Jan Rehwinkel, University of Oxford

Jan Rehwinkel: "Introduction – Nucleic Acid Sensing by Innate Receptors"

Jonathan Maelfai: "Sensing of viral and endogenous Z-RNA by ZBP1/DAI induces necroptosi"

Antonio Gregorio Dias Junio: "Zika virus and type I interferons"


Thursday 15th December 2016

Host: Dr Marcus Dorner, Imperial College, London.

Marcus Dorner: “Studying human-tropic infectious diseases using human xenograft models and tissue engineering”

Ana Maria Ortega-Prieto:  “Evaluating single-cell host/pathogen interactions in 3D microfluidic human liver cultures”

Jessie Skelton: “Innate immune responses to HIV infection in humanised mice”


Thursday 17th November 2016

Early career investigator session:

Joe Grove, UCL
Goedele Maertens, Imperial College.
Trevor Sweeney, University of Cambridge

Joe Grove: "Why is hepatitis C virus entry so complex?"

Goedele Maertens: "Host determinants of delta-retroviral integration"

Trevor Sweeney: "Understanding the translation landscape at the host pathogen interface"


Thursday 20th October 2016

Hosts: Peter Stockley, University of Leeds and Reidun Twarock, University of York

Introduction: "Novel RNA regulated assembly mechanisms in single-stranded RNA viruses"

Peter Stockley: "Probing packaging signal mediated assembly mechanisms in viruses infecting bacteria, plants and man"

Reidun Twarock: " The mechanism and evolutionary consequences of packaging signal mediated assembly and further extensions to Hepatitis B virus and HIV"


Thursday 22nd Sept 2016

Host: Prof Wendy Barclay, Imperial College London

Jason Long: "Defining Host range barriers that limit avian influenza polymerase in human cells"

Wendy Barclay and Hui Li: "Understanding the severity of zoonotic avian influenza viruses"

Daniel Goldhill: "Measuring the error rate of influenza polymerase to track pandemic evolution"

Anika Singanayagam: "The balance between pH stability of influenza HA protein, transmission and virulence"

Wendy Barclay and Rebecca Frise: "Counting influenza transmission"


Thursday 21st July 2016

Host: Michael Way and Antonio Postigo, Francis Crick Institute

Dr Antonio Postigo: “Vaccinia induces a cytoplasmic DNA damage response to facilitate replication”

Dr Xenia Snetkov: “The role of endocytic signalling networks in the release of Vaccinia virus”


Thursday 16th June 2016

Host:  Prof Greg Towers, Infection and Immunity, UCL

Dr Jane Rasaiyaah:  HIV-1 Capsid regulates DNA synthesis by forming a regulated electrostatic nucleotide channel

Dr Katsia Bichel: Use of solution state NMR to understand how HIV-1 Capsid-cofactor interactions regulate infectivity

Dr Maria T. Rodriguez Plata: HIV-1 infection and innate sensing in primary CD4+ T cells

Dr Becky Sumner: HIV-1 Vpr antagonises innate sensing of viral DNA


Thursday 19th May 2016

Host: Dr Ravi Gupta, Infection and Immunity, UCL

Dr Ravi Gupta: 'HIV-1 Drug Resistance following global scale up of antiretroviral therapy'

Dr Katherine Sutherland: 'Mechanisms of resistance to HIV protease inhibitors'

Dr Petra Mlcochova: 'SAMHD1 regulation by cell cycle explains HIV-1 Vpx independent replication in macrophages'


Thursday 25th February 2016

Host: Peter Cherepanov, Francis Crick Institute

Peter Cherepanov: “Role of chromatin structure in retroviral integration"- Introduction

Dan Maskell: The mechanism of nucleosome capture by the retroviral preintegration complex

Paul Lesbats: Role of capsid in integration of spumaviruses


Thursday 21st January 2016

Host: Dr Ian Taylor, Francis Crick Institute

Dr Ian Taylor: Introduction: "Structural biology of retrovirus assembly, restriction and cellular defense evasion”

Neil Ball: Structural insights into PFV Gag assembly

Sarah Caswell: Structural and mechanistic investigation of SAMHD1 retroviral restriction

David Schwefel: Counteraction of SAMHD1 restriction by the accessory protein Vpx


Thursday 19th November 2015

Host: Dr Jason Mercer, LMCB UCL

Dr Jason Mercer: The Double Life of the Vaccinia Dual Specificity Phosphatase H1

Corina Beerli:  Vaccinia virus induced cell motility

Rob Gray: VirusMapper: modelling vaccinia structure with super-resolution microscopy


Thursday 22nd October 2015

Host: Prof Gavin Screaton, Imperial College

Prof Gavin Screaton: Study of Dengue Virus infection: toward antiviral and vaccine design


Thursday 28th May 2015

Host: Professor Paul Lehner, University of Cambridge.

Nick Matheson:  Mapping the plasma membrane proteome in HIV infection

Dick van den Boomen:  CMV encoded US2 and US11 as viral degradation hubs for immunoreceptors

Iva Tchasovnikarova:  Genetic screens identify a novel epigenetic repressor complex


Thursday 26 March 2015

Host: Prof Charles Bangham, Imperial College

Prof Charles Bangham: HTLV-1 – regulation of clonality and latency.

Michi Miura: Applying CRISPR to test the function of CTCF in HTLV-1

Hiroko Yaguchi and Anat Melamed: HTLV-1 modifies higher-order structure of host chromatin



Thursday 26 February 2015

Host: Dr Stuart Neil, King’s College London School of Life Science and Medicine

Dr Toshana Foster: Innate antiviral restriction of HIV-1 entry

Dr Gregory Berger: Modulation of proinflammatory signaling and DNA repair pathways by lentiviral Vpr proteins

Ms Julia Weinelt: Differential antiviral activities of human tetherin isoforms


Thursday 22 January 2015

Host: Prof Gavin Wilkinson, Cardiff University

Rich Stanton: HCMV - building a wildtype virus

Peter Tomasec: MEGAproteomics! All the cool kids are doing it

Ian Humphreys: Cytokine Regulation of Immunity to Cytomegalovirus


Thursday 20 November 2014

Host: Prof Ian Goodfellow, University of Cambridge.

Dr Armando Arias: Favipiravir, a broad-range antiviral nucleoside, can drive virus extinction in vivo through increased mutagenesis.

Dr Ed Emmott: Norovirus modulates cellular protein translation to impair the immune response to viral infection

Dr Lucy Thorne: Harnessing the Cellular miRNA machinery to Probe Norovirus Tropism


Thursday 15 May 2014

Host: Mike Mailm, Dept of Infectious Diseases, King's College London.

Katie Doores: The HIV glycan shield as a target for broadly neutralizing antibodies

Els Henckaerts: Molecular mechanisms of a nonpathogenic virus

Maria Teresa Catanese: The cell biology of HCV infection: entry and persistence 


Thursday 20 March 2014,

Host: John Sinclair, Division of Medicine, University of Cambridge

Joint title: Human cytomegalovirus latency: host/cell interactions and identification of novel targets with a view to eliminating latently infected cells

Prof John Sinclair: Setting the scene

Dr Emma Poole: Changes in cellular gene expression during latency

Dr Mark Wills: Immune responses to latent infection

Prof John Sinclair: Therapeutic targeting of latent infection


Thursday 16 January 2014

Host: Geoff Smith, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge

Prof Geoffrey Smith: How does vaccinia virus form a plaque?

Dr Rebecca Sumner: Innate immune evasion mechanisms of vaccinia virus and their contribution to virulence and immunogenicity

Dr Michela Mazzon: Reprogramming of cell metabolism by vaccinia virus: a mechanism and role for the stabilisation of the transcription factor HIF-1α


Thursday 20 June 2013

Host: Steve Goodbourn, Division of Basic Medical Sciences, St. George's (University of London)

Prof Steve Goodbourn: Interfering with interferon; viruses fight back

Dr Craig Ross: Structure of interferon-inducing PAMPs generated by paramyxovirus infections

Dr Kay Childs: Regulation of RNA helicases by paramyxovirus accessory proteins