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Current projects in the lab

1) HIV envelope immunogenicity. Funded by the MRC this project examines the possibilities for improving the immunogenicity of the HIV envelope protein for the purpose of generating more neutralising antibody. There is already a literature that shows this is possible but in our view many experiments combine too many new technologies at one time (e.g. DNA vaccine AND novel Env configuration AND immune enhancer). Realistically these will never be licensed in the near term as they need to clear too many regulatory hurdles. Our work centres on making recombinant forms of Env similar to those already trialled as vaccines but with modifications that may result in better antibody induction. The work is collaborative with Quentin_Sattentau's lab in Oxford. We are also investigating the relationship between Env conformation and function in a long standing collaboration with Emmanuel Fenouillet and Rym Barbouche at the Insititut Jean Roche in the Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseilles. Lead researchers are HongYing Chen and Xiaodong Xu. Additional involvement by Louise Wilson and Sylvia Rua. 

2) European Microbicide Project. Aka EMPRO, a European commission framework six consortium working to develop improved microbicides specifically aimed at HIV. EMPRO has its own web site where you can find out more about this worthy and interesting project. Louise Wilson and Sylvia Rua are the researchers involved.

3) Influenza projects. Projects recently funded by the MRC with the aim of impacting the current H5N1 situation and those that will follow it. We have two main aims - to investigate receptor usage by several different haemagglutinin proteins and to develop faster more reliable diagnostics. We also have an interest in the possibility of novel vaccines. This work is joint with Wendy Barclay's group.

4) Prion antibodies. Defra and MRC funding now ended previously allowed the isolation of 4 novel single chain (scFv) antibodies to the prion protein. Their novelty is that that they appear to react with prion variants that existing monoclonals bind to only poorly. Current Defra funded work is rebuilding these scFvs into full length antibodies for a more complete investigation of their properties.   

For recent projects now closed click here



School of Biological Sciences

University of Reading, Whiteknights

Reading RG6 6AH UK

Tel/Fax/Message: +44 118 378 8902