Paul Digard


Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Current Research Interests

Replication and pathogenesis of influenza viruses.

Research Interests

Professor Digard is a virologist who has published on herpesviruses, plus strand RNA viruses and (primarily) on influenza A virus.

His laboratory is interested in the molecular and cellular biology of how influenza virus replicates, using this information to understand the basis of virus pathogenesis and host range, as well as for translational studies on antiviral drug development and virus control measures.

In recent years, the group has focused on three main areas: identifying cellular pathways and viral elements involved in genome trafficking and virus assembly, on the function of the viral RNA synthesis machinery and its role in setting host range, and in identifying novel virus polypeptides, at least three of which affect virus pathogenicity.



2006-2011Honorary Researcher, Cambridge University Hospitals Trust
2005-2011Senior Lecturer
2004-2005University Lecturer

Senior Research Associate, Funded by Wellcome Trust Value in People award


Royal Society University Research Fellow


Research Associate, Division of Virology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge


Fellow, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School






.1982-1985St John's College, University of Cambridge, U.K. M.A.(2i.) in Natural Science
1985-1989Division of Virology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge. Ph.D. in virology

Administrative Roles

PhD Student Thesis Committees


2012-presentChair: Charles Vander Broek
2012-2014Advisor: Seema Jasim
2012-presentChair: Dung Nguyen
2012-presentAdvisor: Alexander Brown

Advisor: Andrew Mason

Other Committees etc


2012-2013Promotions Committee, The Pirbright Institute
2012-2014Roslin Institute, Biological Safety Committee
2012-2014Roslin Institute Senior Management Group
2014Acting Head of Division, Infection and Immunity
2014-Roslin Institute Bioimaging Committee




1997-presentVirology option of Pathology Part II, University of Cambridge 
2000Virology MSc. course, London School of Hygiene and                                            Tropical Medicine. 
2000-2005Virology module, The Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon,                                           Portugal. 
2003-2011Wellcome Trust 4 yr PhD program: Infection and Immunity 
2005-2012Part IB Pathology, University of Cambridge 
2012-presentOne Health/Animal Biosciences MSc, University of Edinburgh 
2012-presentInfectious Diseases, BSc Honours, University of Edinbugh 

Practical Classes:


1985-1988Virology practical, Pathology IB, University of Cambridge
1993-2011Virology practical, Pathology IB, University of Cambridge.  Class organiser, 2006-2011.  Class of 500 students.
1993-1999Virology practical, Pathology II, University of Cambridge.  Class of 20 students.
2000Virology module, The Gulkenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal.  Class of 12 students

Research Projects


1993-2011Pathology Part II final year research projects, University of Cambridge
2001Biomedical Sciences BSc course, Anglia Polytechnic University
2015Infectious Diseases (Honours) final year research project, University of Edinburgh

Small Group Teaching


1986-1989, 2001-2013 Virology & parasitology supervisions, Pathology IB, University of Cambridge
1993-2011 Virology supervisions, Pathology II, University of Cambridge
2004-2011 Virology Part II data handling sessions and paper presentations, University of Cambridge
2004 Part IB Infectious Diseases in Animals & Man, University of Cambridge
2013-present 1st year BVM&S (Vet Med), The Animal Body 2, University of Edinburgh


Newspaper articles


Rebirth for killer of 40 million.  The Scotsman, p15; 23/10/00.

Can we learn from Spanish Flu? The Guernsey Evening Press, p26-27; 17/11/00.

Deadly virus has hidden dangers for mankind.  The Guernsey Press, p25, 9/3/01.  (With J. Greatorex).

Germ warfare: the true, grim facts. The Guernsey Press, p25, 19/10/01.  (With J. Greatorex).

Is death waiting in the wings?. The Guernsey Press, p20-21, 4/2/04.

Bird flu - what are the dangers?  The Guernsey Press, 7/11/05

Only time will tell whether swine flu is next pandemic.  The Guernsey Press, 28/4/09


Media Appearances


I have given interviews on the subject of influenza on Radio 4, Radio 5, BBC World Service, The Naked Scientist Radio Show/Podcast as well as various BBC local radio stations.  I have also provided BBC News with background briefings on the subject of avian and swine influenza.


Public lectures/events


Jan 2006    Cambridge University Scientific Society, Cambridge.

Nov 2012  Our Changing World series, University of Edinburgh (

October 2013 Science in the saddle, Midlothian Science Festival.

April 2014. The virus hunters. Edinburgh Science Festival.

Research students

Matt Smith, PhD

Alice Coburn, PhD, joint with Glasgow University

Rebecca Dewar, PhD

Anabel Clements, PhD


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