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Department of Zoology



My research interests lie in how computational approaches can be used to understand the relationship between protein sequence, protein structure and biological function and disease. My research has focused on many aspects of computational structural bioinformatics, including both the development of new algorithms and the application of these techniques to predict the effect genetic sequence variations have on the structure, dynamics, folding and function of proteins and their involvement in the onset and proliferation of disease. I am currently applying these approaches to strain variation in the Influenza virus and other infectious diseases.


Key publications: 
  • Li et al. 2016. Selection of antigenically advanced variants of seasonal influenza viruses. Nature Microbiology 1, p.16058.

  • Burke DF & Smith DJ A recommended numbering for influenza HA subtypes. 2014 Plos One 9(11):

  • Koel BF Burke DF, Bestebroer TM, van der Vliet S, Zondag GC,Vervaet G,Skepner E, Lewis NS, Spronken MI, Russell CA, Eropkin MY, Hurt AC, Barr IG,de Jong JC, Rimmelzwaan GF, Osterhaus AD, Fouchier RA, Smith DJ. ( 2013) Substitutions near the receptor binding site determine major antigenic change during influenza virus evolution. Science 342(6161):976-9.

  • Richard M, Schrauwen EJA, de Graaf M, Bestebroer TM, Spronken MIJ, van Boheemen S, de Meulder D,Lexmond P, Linster M, Herfst S, Smith DJ, van den Brand JM, Burke DF ,Kuiken T,Rimmelzwaan GF,Osterhaus ADME,Fouchier RAM (2013) Limited airborne transmission of influenza A/H7N9 virus between ferrets Nature  (501) 7468, 560-

  • Russell CA, Fonville JM, Brown AEX, Burke DF, Smith DL, James SL, Herfst S, van Boheemen S, Linster M, Schrauwen EJ, Katzelnick L, Mosterín A, Kuiken T, Maher E, Neumann G, Osterhaus ADME, Kawaoka Y, Fouchier RAM, Smith DJ (2012) The Potential for Respiratory Droplet–Transmissible A/H5N1 Influenza Virus to Evolve in a Mammalian Host. Science 336 (6088) 1541-1547

  • Herfst S, Schrauwer EJA , Linster M, Chutinimitkul S, de Wit E, Munster VJ, Sorrell EM, Bestebroer TM, Burke DF, Smith DJ, Rimmelzwaan GF, Osterhaus ADME, Fouchier RAM (2012) Airborne Transmission of Influenza A/H5N1 Virus Between Ferrets. Science 336 (6088) 1534-1541
  • Garten RJ, Davis CT, Russell CA, Shu B, Lindstrom S, Balish A, Sessions WM, Xu X, Skepner E, Deyde V, Okomo-Adhiambo M, Gubareva L, Barnes J, Smith CB, Emery SL, Hillman MJ, Rivailler P, Smagala J, de Graaf M, Burke DF, Fouchier RA, Pappas C, Alpuche-Aranda CM, López-Gatell H, Olivera H, López I, Myers CA, Faix D, Blair PJ, Yu C, Keene KM, Dotson PD Jr, Boxrud D, Sambol AR, Abid SH, St George K, Bannerman T, Moore AL, Stringer DJ, Blevins P, Demmler-Harrison GJ, Ginsberg M, Kriner P, Waterman S, Smole S, Guevara HF, Belongia EA, Clark PA, Beatrice ST, Donis R, Katz J, Finelli L, Bridges CB, Shaw M, Jernigan DB, Uyeki TM, Smith DJ, Klimov AI, Cox NJ. (2009) Antigenic and Genetic Characteristics of Swine-Origin (2009) A(H1N1) Influenza Viruses Circulating in Humans. Science 325(5937) :197-201
Other publications: 
  • Burke DF, Worth C, Prego EM, Cheng T, Smink L, Todd J and Blundell TL (2007) Large scale bioinformatic analysis of non-synonymous SNPs. BMC Bioinformatics 8:301 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-301
  • Blundell TL, Sibanda BL, Montalvao RW, Brewerton S, Chelliah V, Worth C, Harmer N, Davies O and Burke DF (2006) Structural Biology and Bioinformatics in Drug Design: Opportunities and Challenges for Target identification and Lead Discovery Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 361(1467):413-23
  • Bujdoso R, Burke DF and Thackray A (2005) Structural differences between allelic variants of the ovine prion protein revealed by molecular dynamics simulations Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics 61(4)
  • Burke DF and Deane CM (2001) Improved Loop prediction from sequence alone. Protein Engineering 14(7) 473-478
  • Pellegrini L, Burke DF, Mulloy B and Blundell TL (2000) The structure of the Fibroblast growth factor receptor, FGF and heparin complex. Nature 407, 1029-1034
Senior Research Associate

Contact Details

Main Lecture Theatre, Austin Building
01223 (3)30933