Professor Jonathan Ball coordinates an international translational hepatitis C virus (HCV) research program. Major achievements include: (i) identification and characterisation of potent and broadly neutralising murine and human monoclonal antibodies; these antibodies and their epitopes are the subject of several patents, (ii) identification of glycoprotein domains and residues critical for receptor binding, entry and infectivity, and (iii) the generation of new methods and the construction of tools for HCV glycoprotein research. The virology group also has an active interest in HIV pathogenesis and prevention. Ongoing studies focus on viral factors that influence sexual transmission. This work has led to (i) the discovery that selective transmission of CCR5-tropic HIV is not due to selective expression of CCR5 in the female and male genital tract, and (ii) that different anatomical sites (e.g. brain and semen) harbour HIV strains that exhibit unusual phenotypic properties not represented by strains circulating in the periphery.
For further details: Professor Jonathan Ball