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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Laurence Tiley

Dr Laurence Tiley

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Virology

Fellow of Queens' College

Graduate Tutor

Biological Safety Officer

-Influenza virus


-Antiviral drugs

Laurence Tiley is accepting applications for PhD students.

Laurence Tiley is available for consultancy.

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 339554

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:

Departments and Institutes

Cambridge Infectious Diseases:

Research Interests

My group investigates strategies for inhibiting the replication of influenza virus. Current our applied research is  funded by the BBSRC and is focused on: the development of genetically modified chickens carrying transgenes that interfere with the virus replication cycle;  the  enhancement or impairment of natural antiviral gene activity in chicken cells (e.g Mx and interferon gene expression); and improving vaccine production in chicken eggs. We recently reported the development of a line of chickens that produces an RNA decoy molecule that misdirects the virus polymerase and prevents the onward chicken.jpgtransmission of infection between chickens. Our primary objective is to produce chickens that are intrinsically resistant to infection by influenza viruses, to reduce the risk of  emergence of  new pandemic strains and eliminate the economic and animal welfare consequences of  avian influenza virus. This work is being done in collaboration with scientists at the Roslin Institute , The Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Animal Health Trust.  

Our other areas of basic research are:

  1. Investigating the interaction of the viral polymerase with the genome RNAs to determine how this controls virus replication, transcription and packaging.
  2. Barcoded influenza viruses for studying cell culture and in-host replication and transmission dynamics.
  3. Determinants of avian to swine cross-species adaptation of influenza virus.

Main External collaborators

  • Prof.  Helen Sang, Roslin Institute, Edinburgh
  • Prof. Bruce Whitelaw, Roslin Institute, Edinburgh
  • Prof. Paul Digard, Roslin Institute, Edinburgh
  • Dr Debra Elton, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket
  • Prof.  Ian Brown, AHVLA Weybridge.
  • Dr Michael Skinner, Imperial College London
  • Prof. Steve Goodbourn, St George's University of London
  • Prof Wendy Barclay, Imperial College London
  • Dr Camilla Benfield,  RCVS London
  • Dr Bryan Charleston, Pirbright Laboratory.

Research Supervision

Post-doc: Dr Jon Lyall. Transgenic suppression of avian influenza virus.

Post-doc: Eyal Maori. Enhancing chicken eggs for research and vaccine production

M.Phil student: JinQi Fu. Investigating influenza virus transmission dynamics using barcoded viruses.


  • Influenza
  • Virology
  • Transgenics
  • Disease resistance
  • Host tropism

Collaborators outside this directory

Key Publications

  • Bexfield NH, Watson PJ, Heaney J, Heeney JL, Tiley L. 2014 Canine hepacivirus is not associated with chronic liver disease in dogs. J Viral Hepat. 21(3):223-228. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12150. 
  • Bourret V, Croville G, Mariette J, Klopp C, Bouchez O, Tiley L, Guérin JL. 2013. Whole-genome, deep pyrosequencing analysis of a duck influenza A virus evolution in swine cells. Infect Genet Evol. 18:31-41. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2013.04.034.
  • Turrell, L., Lyall, J.E., Tiley, L.S., Fodor, E. and Vreede, F.T. 2013. The role and assembly mechanism of nucleoprotein in influenza A virus ribonucleoprotein complexes Nature Comms. 4:1591. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2589
  • Daly GM, Bexfield N, Heaney J, Stubbs S, Mayer AP, Palser A, Kellam P, Drou N, Caccamo M, Tiley L, Alexander GJ, Bernal W, Heeney JL. 2011. A viral discovery methodology for clinical biopsy samples utilising massively parallel next generation sequencing. PLoS One. 6(12):e28879[PubMed]
  • Lyall J.E., Irvine R.M., Sherman A., McKinley T.J., Nunez A., Purdie A., Outtrin L., Brown I., Rolleston-Smith G., Sang H. and Tiley L.S. 2011 Suppression of avian influenza transmission in genetically modified chickens. Science. 331:223-226. [PubMed]
  • Benfield C.T.O., Lyall J and Tiley, LS. The cytoplasmic location of chicken Mx is not the determining factor for its lack of antivuiral activity. PLoS ONE 5:8: e12151. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012151. [PubMed]
  • Chen D-Y., Shien J-H., Tiley L.S., Chiou S-S., Wang S-Y., Chang T-J., Lee Y-J., Chan K-W. and Hsu W-L. 2010. Curcumin inhibits influenza virus infection and haemagglutination activity. Food Chemistry, 119:1346-1351 doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.011
  • Mickleburgh I, Geng F and Tiley, LS. 2009. Mesoionic heterocyclic compunds as candidate messenger RNA cap analogue inhibitors of the influenza virus RNA polymerase cap binding activity. Antivir. Chem. Chemother. 19:213-218. [PubMed]
  • Benfield C.T.O, Lyall J, Kochs G and Tiley, LS. 2008. Asparagine 631 variants of the Chicken Mx protein do not inhibit influenza replication in primary chicken embryo fibroblast cells or in vitro surrogate assays. J Virol. 82:7533-7539. [PubMed]
  • Biswas, S., Kleymann, G., Swift, M., Tiley, LS., Lyall, J., Aguirre-Hernández, J. and Field, HJ. 2008. A single drug-resistance mutation in HSV-1 UL52 primase points to a difference between two helicase-primase inhibitors in their mode of interaction with the antiviral target. J. Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 61:1044-1047. [PubMed]
  • Gog, J., Dos Santos, A.E., Dalton, R., Leclercq, I., Tiley, L.S., Elton,D., von Kirchbach, J., Naffakh, N., Escriou, N. and Digard, P. 2007. Codon conservation in the influenza A virus genome defines RNA packaging signals. Nucleic Acids Research. 35:1897-907. [PubMed]