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Infection Biology


Infectious disease causes death and suffering for billions of people and their animals. Losses to agricultural crops and livestock are valued at billions of pounds and significantly contribute to shortages in food supply. Infectious disease can threaten biodiversity and conservation. New diseases will inevitably emerge and current diseases will spread with potentially devastating effects as a direct consequence of human activities and climate change: pandemic influenza and ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) are recent examples.

Infection is a fundamental biological process. Every species can act as host to a large number of possible infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and larger species such as lice and worms, many of which are pathogenic. In response, hosts invest resources to protect themselves against pathogens, and have many genes and proteins involved in complex networks to generate immunity and eliminate infection. Pathogens have to compete with other microbial populations and survive in the environment, as well as combat host responses.

We study infections in order to know how to control disease more effectively and efficiently, and generate capacity to respond to emerging disease threats. The Infection theme in the School of Life Sciences conducts research at all levels of organisation, from the structure of molecules through cellular processes to populations. We aim to understand the fundamental biological principles underpinning different types of infection and to use this knowledge to improve methods to control, and reduce the impact of, infectious disease.

We also participate in cross department, interdisciplinary Warwick Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research (WIDER) and the Global Research Priority on Science and Technology for Health

Associated Academic Staff

Dr Emma Anderson HIV-1 and HIV-2 replication
Dr Hans-Gerhard Burgert Adenovirus immune invasion
Dr Yin Chen Microbial amine metabolism
Dr Christophe Corre Discovery of new antibiotics from actinomycetes
Dr Orin Courtenay Epidemiology and ecology of infectious diseases, leishmaniasis
Professor Chris Dowson Epidemiology, evolution and biochemistry of antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence
Professor Andrew Easton Molecular biology and pathogenesis of negative strand viruses
Professor David Evans The molecular biology of RNA virus replication and evolution
Dr Elizabeth Fullam Nutrient transport and metabolism in pathogenic bacteria
Professor Vilmos Fulop * Trypanosomiasis- Sleeping sickness and Chagas disease
Professor Laura Green Infectious disease epidemiology and animal welfare
Professor David Hodgson * Improving antibiotic synthesis; Phage therapy
Dr Deirdre Hollingsworth Infectious disease dynamics: epidemiology and modelling
Professor Eric Holub Translational genetics of plant innate immunity
Professor Matt Keeling Infectious disease epidemiology in humans and animals
Dr Keith Leppard Virus interactions with stress and innate immune pathways
Professor D James Nokes Epidemiology and control of viral pathogens of humans
Dr Kevin Purdy Microbial ecology
Dr David Roper Bacterial cell wall biosynthesis
Professor David Scanlan Viruses of marine microbes
Dr Graham Teakle Plant disease resistance genetics
Dr John Walsh Plant – virus interactions at the molecular, cellular, whole plant and population levels
Dr Liz Wellington Pathogen ecology and bacteria in soil; survival, activities and interactions
* Emeritus Professor