Dr Stephen Griffin

Dr Stephen Griffin


I lead the Antivirals & Viral Oncology research group. I read Natural Sciences at Girton College, University of Cambridge, graduating with a 1st class degree in 1997 and receiving the J. B. Buckley Scholarship and G. Crewdson Prize in Medical Sciences. I stayed in Cambridge to study for a PhD with Professor Andrew Lever and Dr Jane Allen in the Department of Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, characterising genome packaging in human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2). This led to the development of the first gene delivery vector based upon this virus and an associated patent. I moved to Leeds in 2001 to work with Professors David Rowlands and Mark Harris as a post-doc researching hepatitis C virus (HCV). My work identifying the function of the HCV p7 protein won the UK Society of General Microbiology (now the Microbiology Society) Sir Howard Dalton Prize in 2003, and led to my interest in virus-coded ion channels, or “viroporins”. I became an Independent Academic Fellow in 2007, and in 2010 moved my group to the School of Medicine at the St James’s University Hospital campus. In 2014 I was tenured as an Associate Professor of Viral Oncology. I am a member of the UK Microbiology Society and am currently Chair Elect of the Virus Division. I am also a member of the editorial board for the Microbiology Society’s virology journal, Journal of General Virology, as well as Frontiers in Microbiology. I am a member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) grants review panel, and act as an ad hoc reviewer for UKRI, the Wellcome Trust and other agencies.


  • Chair, LIMR Academic Council
  • Member, LIMR Senior Management Team
  • Post Graduate Research Tutor

Research interests

My research group focusses on viruses, both as causes and potentially as cures for human disease. Specifically, we aim to:

1) Understand and exploit ion channels encoded by viral pathogens, known as viroporins

2) Explore how viruses are linked to the development of human malignancies, specifically primary liver (hepatocellular- and intrahepatic cholangio- carcinomas) and brain cancers (glioblastoma multiforme)

3) Develop viruses as potential immunotherapies for the treatment of human cancer

Research Group Members

Dr Matthew Bentham (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow); Abigail Bloy (PhD Student); Hannah Beaumont (PhD Student); Emma Brown (PhD Student); Laura Edwards (PhD Student); Alexandria Kilvington (PhD Student); Daniella Lefteri (PhD Student) with Clive McKimmie; Michelle Antoni (PhD Student) with Andrew Macdonald

Key Collaborators

Leeds: Andrew Macdonald; Richard Foster; Adel Samson; Clive McKimmie; Antreas Kalli; Laura Matthews; Heiko Wurdak; Graham Cook; Liz Ilett

Elswhere: Wendy Barclay (Imperial); Alan Melcher (ICR); David Hay (Edinburgh); Wolfgang Fischer (Taipei); Sally Roberts (Birmingham); Michael Gale (Seattle); Alain Kohl (Glasgow CVR)



  • BA (HONS) CANTAB, 1st Class, University of Cambridge, 1997
  • PhD CANTAB, University of Cambridge, 2001

Professional memberships

  • Chair Elect, Virus Division, Microbiology Society
  • Grants Panel Member, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
  • Editorial Board, Journal of General Virology
  • Editorial Board, Frontiers in Microbiology

Student education

I teach on MSc courses at LIMR, Biochemistry/Microbiology/Immunology undergraduate courses at the Faculty of Biological Sciences, and Oncology for Junior Clinicians based at St James' University Hospital

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Cancer
  • Infection and antimicrobial resistance
  • Microbiology and cell biology
  • Translational and clinical research

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/389-immunotherapy:-killing-cancer-using-dead-virus">Immunotherapy: Killing Cancer using Dead Virus</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/390-virology:-unique-antiviral-therapy-targeting-zika-and-related-viruses-">Virology: Unique Antiviral Therapy targeting Zika and Related Viruses </a></li>