Professor Muhammad MunirProfessor in Virology and Viral Zoonoses
I am virologist with research experience on virus pathobiology, viral antagonism of immune responses and host factors that limit virus replication. Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of inter-species pathogenesis of viruses (i.e., zoonotic viruses). Specifically, using influenza viruses and coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, causative agent of CoVID-19), my research aims to explore host and viral RNA biology (sensing – interferon responses, epigenetics and gene regulation) and define structural and functional differences in human and animals (e.g., birds and bats), which determine the transmission dynamics of animal viruses to human.
I also study differential virus pathobology, diagnosis and vaccine developments against viruses in different animal hosts with special focus on Newcastle disease virus, a paramyxovirus causing enormous economic losses in the poultry, well-characterized vaccine vector and carrying excellent oncolytic properties. More information on this virus.
My laboratory is funded by the BBSRC, British Council, Newton Fund, and Industry, and is equipped with CL3 facilities, holding avian viruses bank, chicken eggs facilities and expanding to establish vaccine vectors bank.
I am Module Organizer for Biol121: Impacts of Microbes (UG) and Biol435: Microbes and Disease (PG). I deliver lectures on viruses in Biol122: Infection and Immunity (UG), Biol435: Environmental Pathogen (UG) and BIOL383: Innovation in Biosciences (UG). I supervise practicals for Biol121 and third year student on Biol387 Projects, and master students.
PhD Supervision Interests
I can offer PhD and MSc research projects on either molecular mechanisms of virus pathogenesis or host responses against viruses.
Please contact me for further details.
Current PhD students:
2022-2025 Omnia Khaleel, 3 year PhD studentship funded by Govt of Egypt and British Council. Project title: Smart Diagnostic Platform to Simultaneously Identify Viral Respiratory Illnesses, Main supervisor
2022-2025 Asma Nasr, 3 year PhD studentship funded by Govt of Egypt and British Council. Project title: Underpinning the Molecular Barriers to the Emergence of Novel Viruses, Main supervisor
2021-2025 Yaser Edrees, 4 year PhD studentship funded Govt of Saudi Arabia funded. Project title: Public Health Importance of Influenza, Main supervisor
2021-2024 Hejan Bozkurt, 3 year PhD studentship funded by EcoI-Health and Industry. Project title: Developing an Environmentally Friendly Diagnostic Device to Detect Respiratory Disease, Main supervisor
2021-2024 Priyanka Jyothsna, 3 year PhD studentship funded by Govt of India funded. Project title: An epigenetic control of influenza virus replication in diverse susceptible hosts. Main supervisor
2021-2024 Emma Gardiner, 3 year PhD studentship (Self-funded). Project title: Influenza Virus Induced Host Innate Immunity. Main supervisor
2020-2024 Julianne Vilela, 3 year PhD studentship funded by the British Council. Project title: Development of CRISPR/Cas9 base Novel Poultry Vaccines against Endemic Viruses Main supervisor
2020-2023 Mahmoud Bayoumi, 3 year PhD studentship funded by the British Council. Project title: Understanding the Replication Kinetics of Influenza Virus under Epigenetic Pressure and Stress. Main supervisor
2020-2023 Manar Khalifa, 3 year PhD studentship funded by the British Council. Project title: Understanding Receptor-mediated Spill-over of Rabies Virus Across Different Mammalian Hosts. Main supervisor
2020-2024 Emily Clayton, Blended (British Council, industry and self-funded). Project title: Innate Immune Sensing and Antagonism by Zoonotic Viruses. Main supervisor
2018-2022 Euan Mitchell. Viral genome destruction using the CRISPR-Cas effector Cas13. Co- supervisor, University of Edinburgh, UK
PhD Supervision Interests
The following projects are on offer: 1. Epigenetic Regulation of Viruses. 2. Roles of Interferon Regulated Genes in the Pathobiology of Influenza Virus. 3. Proteomic Approaches in Understanding Viral Antagonism of Host Responses
Inflammatory responses against viruses
15/12/2021 → 30/01/2023
Nasal Cannabinoids in Covid-19/viral pathobiology
01/08/2021 → 30/04/2022
Functional Validation and Safety of Antimicrobial Properties of an Innovative Coating Material
01/03/2021 → 28/02/2025
Evaluation of CoVID-19 Diagnostic Kits on Anonymized Human Samples
18/01/2021 → 17/01/2022
Development of CRISPR/Cas9 base Novel Poultry Vaccines against Endemic Viruses (PhD student: Julianne Vilela)
01/02/2020 → 31/03/2023
Establishing Field Data-Driven Vaccine Platform for Newcastle Disease Virus in Poultry: Step Towards Poverty Alleviation & Food security in Kenya
01/05/2018 → 30/04/2019
Effective Diagnostics and Novel Vaccine Strategies for the Control of Multiple Respiratory Viral Infections in Egyptian Poultry
01/04/2018 → 28/02/2021
Emerging and Next Generation Vaccine Strategies Against Veterinary Viruses
01/04/2018 → 28/02/2019
Low-cost Portable Molecular Diagnostic Platform for Rapid Detection of Poultry Infectious Pathogens
01/04/2018 → 31/03/2021
Dissecting Essential Roles of Chicken Interferon Stimulated Genes in the Pathobiology of Poultry Viruses
02/03/2018 → 01/03/2019
Media work on CoVID-19 pandemic
Frontiers in Microbiology (Journal)
Scientific Reports (Journal)
Frontiers in Immunology (Journal)
Hosts and Viruses (Journal)