Professor Stephen Griffin

Professor Stephen Griffin


I read Natural Sciences at Girton College, University of Cambridge, and then stayed in Cambridge to complete my PhD in the Department of Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital with Prof Andrew Lever. I moved to Leeds in 2001 to work with Professors David Rowlands and Mark Harris as a post-doc researching hepatitis C virus (HCV). I became independent in 2007 and was tenured in 2014 as an Associate Professor of Viral Oncology in the School of Medicine. I have been a member of the Microbiology Society (formerly the Society for General Microbiology) since 1997, and recently stood down as the Chair of Virus Division (Jan 2022), having been a member of Division since 2016.

I am co-Chair of Independent SAGE. I have featured on various government committees during the COVID crisis, as well as the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus.

I regularly engage with science communication focused mainly on the pandemic, both independently and via the Science Media Centre and FullFact. Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office for availability.


  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research (LIMR) Director of Post-Graduate Research Studies
  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research (LIMR) Senior Management Team

Research interests

We work on on viruses, both as causes and as cures for human disease. Specifically, we aim to:

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

2) Explore how viruses drive human malignancies, specifically liver (hepatocellular- and intrahepatic cholangio- carcinomas) and brain cancers (glioblastoma multiforme)

3) Develop viruses as immunotherapies to treat human cancer

Research Group Members

  • Dr Russell Hughes (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow)
  • Dr Gemma Swinscoe (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow)
  • Dr Matthew Bentham (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow)
  • Amy Moran (Research Technician)
  • Hannah Beaumont (PhD Student)
  • Alexandria Kilvington (PhD Student)
  • Samantha Garcia Cardenas (PhD Student)
  • James Coburn (PhD Student)
  • Laura Edwards (PhD Student)
  • PhD Co-supervision: Miao Wang; Anya Morrison; Mengjiao Xia; Charlotte Wynn; Yonca Keskek Turk; Huijun Xu, Elliott Smith, Liam Barningham, Amani Alhazmi


  • Leeds: Andrew Macdonald; Richard Foster; Adel Samson; Clive McKimmie; Antreas Kalli; Neil Ranson, Laura Matthews; Heiko Wurdak; Graham Cook
  • Elswhere: Wendy Barclay (Imperial); Alan Melcher (ICR); Alain Kohl (Glasgow CVR)


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

Professional memberships

  • Former Chair of Virus Division and Member, Microbiology Society
  • Co-Chair, Independent SAGE
  • Grants Panel Member, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Student education

I run modules and teach on Masters and Undergraduate courses at the University and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT). These are focused on Virology, Cancer, Infectious Disease, Pharmacology and Chemotherapy.

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">LIMR Immunotherapy: Killing Cancer using Dead Virus</a></li> <li><a href="//">LIMR Virology: Unique Antiviral Therapy targeting Zika and Related Viruses </a></li>