Professor John S. Oxford
World renowned influenza virologist
John S. Oxford, Ph.D. is Scientific Director of Retroscreen
Virology Ltd., and Professor of Virology at St Bartholomew’s and the
Royal London Hospital, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.
John has coauthored two standard texts: Influenza, the Viruses, and the Disease with Sir Charles Stuart-Harris and G.C. Schild, and most recently Human Virology, a Text for Students of Medicine, Dentistry, and Microbiology now in its third edition, He is a prolific communicator. He also makes time to give numerous interviews on BBC Radio and Television, and is a frequent contributor to the BBC News website. He has published 250 scientific papers.
His research interest is the pathogenicity of influenza, in particular the 1918 Spanish Influenza strain, which he combines with conducting clinical trials using new influenza vaccines and antiviral drugs. This research has been featured on Science TV programmes recently in the UK, USA, Germany, and Holland.
John is especially proud of Retroscreen Virology, which he established in 1989 with the help of EU funding. Retroscreen Virology has grown into Europe’s leading contract virology research company. Its work is dedicated to creating the next generation of antivirals and vaccines in the field of biomedical research. It is the only company in the UK able to conduct human influenza challenge studies in a specialized quarantine unit with A/Panama/2007/99 and A/New Caledonia/20/99 viruses and has characterized influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and B viruses. Recently the company cultivated the SARS virus in its containment laboratory and has investigated virucides and lozenges for major pharmaceutical companies.
John regards one of his most interesting and useful activities to be his participation in the EC-funded European surveillance network for vigilance against viral resistance (VIRGIL). This project aims to integrate and coordinate the activities of physicians and scientists from many institutions in 12 European countries in order to combat current and emerging antiviral drug resistance developments. The joint effort is initially directed towards three major infectious diseases: influenza and viral hepatitis B and C.
He authored Review: Influenza A pandemics of the 20th century with special reference to 1918: virology, pathology, and epidemiology, and coauthored Effectiveness of Oseltamivir in Preventing Influenza in Household Contacts: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Determinants of immunity to influenza infection in man, Evidence for host-cell selection of influenza virus antigenic variants, The H274Y mutation in the influenza A/H1N1 neuraminidase active site following oseltamivir phosphate treatment leave virus severely compromised both in vitro and in vivo, and Structural changes in the haemagglutinin which accompany egg adaptation of an influenza A(H1N1) virus.