Characterising the host response to an emerging Ebola virus variant from West Africa
Andrew trained as a Biomedical Scientist in Newcastle upon Tyne before joining the Health Protection Agency at Porton Down, researching next generation Anthrax vaccines. Andrew served as a molecular virologist in the Rare & Imported Pathogens Laboratory at Porton Down, and working in Professor Roger Hewson’s laboratory engaged in the diagnosis and research of viral haemorrhagic fevers and imported viral infections.
Prior to commencing his Health Protection Research Unit doctoral research training, his scientific work took him to Central Asia, to North Africa and West Africa. He was awarded the medal for services in West Africa in 2015 for his diagnostic work in Guinea during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
Andrew is now undertaking post-doctoral clinical training in Clinical Microbiology at University Hospitals, Birmingham and Bart’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in London.
West Africa was in the grips of an Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, caused by the emerging Makona variant of Ebola virus. Transcriptomics and proteomics are techniques used to study the way our bodies and cells react to infection. We used these powerful techniques to investigate the ways in which the emergent Makona variant of Ebola virus from West Africa affects the immune and inflammatory response. Infection with the Makona variant was compared with other types of Ebola virus, and other similar viruses which are thought to be less deadly, in order to identify changes in our cells that may be important in disease. We investigated the effects of Ebola virus in patients, including a unique longitudinal analysis of the way a patient’s immune system is affected by Ebola virus infection. This thesis presents evidence that the Makona variant of Ebola virus is not as unique as first believed and has helped identify the reasons that Ebola virus infection causes such severe disease in human patients.
- Julian Hiscox – NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, University of Liverpool
- Roger Hewson – NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Public Health England
- Miles Carroll - NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Public Health England
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