Mar 2023

Invited Seminar

In vivo systems and use for coronavirus therapeutics development

Professor James P. Stewart
12 Mar, 2023
09:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Host: Professor Arnab Pain

During the COVID-19 pandemic there was an urgent need to develop therapeutics and to risk-assess new variants of concern.  Early in 2020, my laboratory established small animal pre-clinical models (mouse, hamster and rat) to provide an in-house platform to assess the efficacy of novel drugs, antibodies and other therapeutics and also to study how pathogenic new SARS-CoV-2 variants. In this talk, I will describe the merits of different model platforms and how several of these studies have helped in drug development and our knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis.

Prof. James Stewart holds the Chair of Molecular Virology at the University of Liverpool where he is also Head of the Department of Infection Biology and Microbiomes. He is an expert virologist with >25 years of experience in establishing and using mouse and small animal models of virus infection, molecular biology and immunology. 

The early part of his career was spent studying pathogenesis, with a particular focus on the herpes virus family.  He developed murine gammaherpesvirus in mice as a model for studying authentic host-virus interactions, exploiting the power of virus reverse genetics and KO mouse technology. More recently he has moved to focus on pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2. influenza A, respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus. He has developed an integrative toolkit and pathway with which to do this. His group uses conventional and molecular techniques to analyse the course of virus infection combined with big data informatics to relate the function of viral determinants with host defence responses. While still studying pathogenesis, the COVID epidemic has changed his focus, and a large part of my research is developing novel therapeutics and interventions for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens. He is currently leading small animal pre-clinical models of COVID-19 at the University of Liverpool. 

Prof Stewart leads and co-leads large multicentre research grants. Research funding has been secured from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), Innovate UK, the UK Ministry of Defence, The Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes for Health (NIH), and pharmaceutical companies. He regularly sits on National and International funding award panels and is a member of the WHO COVID-19 animal models group.  He Chairs the University Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body.

Event Quick Information

12 Mar, 2023
09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Library - Level 3 - Computer Lab 3134