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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Samuel Stubbs

Samuel Stubbs

The virome during immunosuppression

Supervisor - Prof Jonathan Heeney


I am a PhD student studying the role of viral pathogens in patients with suppressed immune systems through the use of next generation sequencing and molecular assays. My primary supervisor is Professor Jonathan Heeney in the Department of Veterinary Medicine. My work is funded by an MRC CASE studentship in collaboration with Novartis.

Prior to this, I was employed as a research assistant in viral discovery in Professor Heeney's laboratory. This project utilised a next generation sequencing and bioinformatic approach to search for novel viral pathogens in tissue samples from human patients with idiopathic disease.

I graduated with a BSc in Biology from Southampton University in 2009 and completed an MSc in The Control of Infectious Diseases in Animals at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 2010. I undertook my MSc research project at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright where I compared, optimised and validated a PCR-based diagnostic test for Capripoxvirus to be used by the international reference laboratory.

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:

Research Interests

My current research aims to examine the role played by viral pathogens in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients and challenge the current dogma that the impact of antibody deficiency is an increased susceptibility to bacterial, and not viral, infections.

 To do this I am investigating two points:

 1. The impact of common variable immunodeficiency on susceptibility to viral pathogens.

 2. The pathogenesis of viral pathogens in the common variable immunodeficiency setting.


  • Common variable immunodeficiency
  • Immunology
  • Viral discovery
  • Virology

Key Publications

  1. Stubbs S, Oura CA, Henstock M, Bowden TR, King, DP and Tupperainen ES. Validation of a high-throughput real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for the detection of Capripoxviral DNA (2011). J Virol Methods 179: 419-22.


  1. Daly GM, Bexfield N, Heaney J, Stubbs S, Mayer AP, Palser A, Kellam P, Drou N, Caccamo M, Tiley L, Alexander GJ, Bernal W and Heeney JL. A viral discovery methodology for clinical biopsy samples utilising massively parallel next generation sequencing (2011). PLoS One 6