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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Vaccine for Universal Protection Against Influenza Virus

The aim of our research is to develop a novel “universal flu vaccine” that protects against a wide range of influenza virus strains and is not readily evaded by virus antigenic evolution. Our strategy is to identify host cell surface proteins altered during influenza infections, which could potentially be recognised as new infection-specific antigens that can be targeted by the immune system.  


I studied at University of Leicester and graduated with a BSc (hons) in Biological Sciences (Molecular Biology). At University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I completed my PhD under the supervision of Prof John Mathers and Dr Ann Curtis, in which I researched the functions of some of the domains of the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) protein and their interactions with butyrate in colorectal tumour cell lines.

As a postdoc in Prof John Hesketh's group (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne), I worked on a project looking into the regulation of perinuclear localisation of certain cellular mRNAs, by identifying proteins involved in this process.

I have been doing research at University of Cambridge since 2005 and have worked in the laboratories of Dr Laurence Tiley (Vet Med), Dr Hugh Field (Vet Med) and Prof Chris Smith (Biochem) during this time. This research has included the following projects: Interactions between influenza RNA polymerase and its genomic RNA (Tiley), Production and characterisation of lentivector constructs (Tiley), Helicase/primase inhibitor resitance mutations in Herpes viruses (Field), PTB interactions with FAS pre-mRNA (Smith)

Since 2020, I have been working on my current project aiming to produce a vaccine for universal protection against influenza virus, with Dr Laurence Tiley.


Key publications: 

Detection and seroprevalence of morbillivirus and other paramyxoviruses in geriatric cats with and without evidence of azotemic chronic kidney disease.                                                                                  McCallum KE, Stubbs S, Hope N, Mickleburgh I, Dight D, Tiley L, Williams TL.   J Vet Intern Med. 2018 May;32(3):1100-1108.

The organization of RNA contacts by PTB for regulation of FAS splicing.
Mickleburgh I, Kafasla P, Cherny D, Llorian M, Curry S, Jackson RJ, and Smith CWJ.  Nucleic Acids Res. 2014;42(13):8605-20.

Mesoionic heterocyclic compounds as candidate messenger RNA cap analogue inhibitors of the influenza virus
RNA polymerase cap-binding activity.
Mickleburgh I, Geng F, and Tiley L. Antivir Chem Chemother. 2009;19(5):213-8.

Annexin A2 binds to the localization signal in the 3' untranslated region of c-myc mRNA.
Mickleburgh I, Burtle B, Hollas H, Campbell G, Chrzanowska-Lightowlers Z, Vedeler A, and Hesketh J.  FEBS J. 2005 Jan;272(2):413-21.

Elongation factor 1 binds to the region of Metallothionein-1 mRNA implicated in perinuclear localisation.
Mickleburgh I, Chabanon H, Nury D, Fan, K, Burtle B, Chrzanowska-Lightowlers Z, and Hesketh J.  RNA. 2006 Jul;12(7):1397-1407.

Research Associate

Contact Details

Email address: 
Not available for consultancy


Collaborator profiles: 
Person keywords: 
Molecular biology