What are we doing?
We are working to understand the underlying processes that drive the emergence and spread of human infectious diseases. Our goal is to develop new medical therapies to cure chronic viral infections.
Why is it important?
New infections still present a threat to humanity. Novel pathogens often infect humans, but it is not yet well understood why only some pathogens acquire the ability to spread efficiently to other humans. With greater insight into how infections spread across populations, we can improve our progress in developing new and effective treatments to cure infectious disease.
How are we different?
We use both experimental and modelling work to learn about how viruses evolve and spread. By combining mathematical modelling with clinical practice to examine pathogen behaviour, we are better able to anticipate and prepare for the challenges posed by novel infections. As ever more anti-viral drugs are being approved and new, cheap ways of reading host and virus gene sequences let us “watch” as events unfold inside infected people, it becomes possible to permanently clear infection and so cure patients. We will use this better understanding of viral clearance to develop therapies that are tailored to individual patients.
Success in the 2012 Oxford Martin School funding round has enabled the Institute for Emerging Infections to launch a new research stream aiming to cure Hepatitis C (HCV) and sustainably suppress HIV replication. Find out more