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Role of influenza virus mini viral RNAs in human morbidity and mortality

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Arend Te Velthuis
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

RNA viruses pose a significant threat to our wellbeing and economy. One of the most threatening is the influenza A virus, which infects an estimated 13 million and kills about half a million people every winter. To infect humans, the influenza virus must replicate its genome faithfully in our cells. However, recent research has shown that viral replication can go wrong and produce small molecules, called mini viral RNAs, which affect the immune response. This project will investigate how such molecules interact with components of the innate immune response and whether they affect disease in human patients.

Funding Notes

Funding* will cover the student’s stipend at the current Research Council rate and University Fees. The studentships will be funded for three years in the first instance subject to eligibility**, with the possibility of additional funding in the fourth year depending on circumstances.

**The studentships are available to students who qualify for Home/EU fees

Applications from ineligible candidates will not be considered.


The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


1. Goldhill D.H., te Velthuis A.J.W., Fletcher R., Langat P., Zambon M., Lackenby A., Barclay WS.: The mechanism of resistance to favipiravir in influenza. PNAS. 115:11613-11618 (2018).
2. Te Velthuis A.J.W.*, Long J.C.+, Bauer D.L.V.+, Fan R., Yen,
H- L., Sharps J., Siegers J.Y., Killip M.J., French H., Oliva-Martin M.J., Randall R.E., De Wit E., Van Riel D., Poon L., Fodor E.*: Mini viral RNAs act as innate immune agonists during influenza virus infection. Nature Microbiol. 185, 1528 (2018).
3. Oymans J., Te Velthuis A.J.W.*: A mechanism for prime-realignment during influenza A virus replication. J Virol. pii: e01773-17 (2017).
4. Te Velthuis A.J.W., Fodor E.: Influenza virus RNA polymerase: insights into the mechanisms of viral RNA synthesis. Nature Rev Microbiol. 14: 479-493 (2016).
5. Te Velthuis A.J.W.*, Robb N.C., Kapanidis A.K., Fodor E.: The role of the priming loop in influenza A virus RNA synthesis. Nature Microbiol. 1:16029 (2016).

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