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The Pathogen Evolution Group is dedicated to research in antigenically variable pathogens and pathogen evolution, and to contribute to basic science and critical issues in public health. The Pathogen Evolution Group conducts highly translational scientific research focused on improving our understanding and ability to predict pathogen evolution in humans and other animals, provides support to the World Health Organization (WHO) influenza vaccine strain selection process, and develops and distributes free high-quality software.

Current research topics include:

  • Advanced vaccination and immunity management strategies to protect from influenza virus infection
  • Support to Centres for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) regarding human and animal influenza surveillance
  • Research on influenza pathogenesis and host response
  • Linking antigenic and genetic variation of Dengue (fever) to individuals
  • Collaborative management platform for the detection and analyses of (re-)emerging and foodborne outbreaks in Europe
  • Providing ongoing support and advice to WHO influenza strain selection and vaccine development meetings for both Northern and Southern hemispheres

Key Publications

Derek J. Smith, Alan S. Lapedes, et al, 2004. Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus. Science, DOI 10.1126/science.1097211

Colin A. Russell, Terry C. Jones, et al, 2008. The Global Circulation of Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1154137

Björn F. Koel, David F. Burke, et al, 2013. Substitutions Near the Receptor Binding Site Determine Major Antigenic Change During Influenza Virus Evolution. Science, DOI 10.1126/science.1244730

J. M. Fonville, S. H. Wilks, et al, 2014. Antibody landscapes after influenza virus infection or vaccination. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1256427

Colin A. Russell, Judith M. Fonville, et al, 2012 The Potential for Respiratory Droplet–Transmissible A/H5N1 Influenza Virus to Evolve in a Mammalian Host. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1222526

Full list of publications


Contact Details

Group Leader

Professor Derek Smith

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

01223  (3)34872

Group Members