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December 2018
Matt R to serve on NIHR Grant Panel

Matt has been invited onto the NIHR i4i panel which assesses novel innovations with the aim of identifying and supporting disruptive new approaches and devices that will change the way the NHS treats patients.

UCL Global Engagement Fund Award

Ilona has been selected for a Global Engagement Award. This will allow Ilona to build interactions with partners around the world which is part of much grander plan to improve UCL's global position as a leading university around the world. Ilona will take a secondment at Sallie Permar's laboratory at Duke, USA. 

Matt joins Microbiology Society Virology Division

The Microbiology Society is the society that represents UK virologists and organises our annual meeting. Matt R will serve on the Virology Division and assist with the activities of the society as well as ensure Virology is promoted in the UK and beyond. Get in touch if there is something you think the Society should be doing that is not already!

October 2018
Reeves lab in Glasgow

It was the bi-annual UK CMV meeting in Glasgow and the lab were in attendance. Both Matt's talked and some members of the lab went to the casino - but not all! Rumour has it this alarm had been going off since 8am

November 2018
Funding News

Great news from the Rosetrees Trust who have agreed to support a Post Doctoral researcher to continue the lab's work investigating the entry mechanisms of HCMV and, specifically, trade-off between efficient entry and evasion of adaptive and innate immune recognition. This work builds on Matt's PhD studies defining the mechanism of action of a novel anti-viral compound.

Matt External Examiner for Kings College Immunology degree course

Maintaining standards in education is very important including ensuring there is consistency between degrees from different universities. Matt R will provide external oversight for 4 years to Kings College London and their Infection & Immunity BSc course. It will also provide the opportunity to pirate good teaching ideas to improve the learning experience at UCL for our own undergraduates.

September 2018
New starters and new positions

Welcome to Calum Forrest, who joins us as a Post Doctoral Fellow funded by the Wellcome Trust. Also Matt M will take up the new Post Doc position funded by the MRC to investigate signalling and the control of HCMV infection. Just need to get the thesis written now, Matt!

Also welcome to our new cohort of students: Karen Arevalo, Teresa Mergia (I&I BSc), Nathaly Medrillo (AMS) and Jessica Allen-Hyttinen who joins us for her MRC PhD rotation project.

Matt gallivants around the NIH in Washington, DC

Nice recognition for the work of the laboratory in the shape of a free trip to Washington for the boss. Matt was invited to present at a special NIAID/NIH vaccines and intervention meeting in light of Ilona's recent work. Not one to miss an opportunity to indulge in a bit of chromatin, Matt then got on the red line to the NIH in Bethesda to talk about Chromatin and viral infection and, in particular, our work on cell signalling and HCMV reactivation.

August 2018
Madeleine nominated for Deans Research Prize

Congratulations to Madeleine on her nomination for the Deans Research Prize which recognises high achievers at UCL. Madeline obtained a distinction in her MSc overall and in every module she sat. Well done, Maddie!

Matt, Matt and Ilona attend the IHW (International Herpesvirus Workshop) at UBC in Vancouver

Both Matt M and Ilona gave excellent talks at the IHW in Vancouver. It was great fun to catch up with old colleagues and make new friends along the way. Just remember to stay away from the beach in the future, Ilona!

July 2018
Henry leaves for pastures new

We wish Henry all the best as he moves on to the next exciting adventure in his life. He will start his PhD at Cambridge next month. Thanks for all your hard work, Henry, and we will catch up at the Microbiology Society meeting. The lab toasted him at Mercato Metropolitano and got him the handy essentials he needs for the future including hand cream, Jesus college scarf and odd socks

Hello Goodbye

It's always bittersweet when you say hello as you know you will have to say goodbye! Stephanie has come back to finish off some experiments from her undergraduate project which was looking at chromatin and HCMV reactivation and we say goodbye Emily who has gone to see the world. (Is there a world outside of the lab?) Good luck for the future and keep in touch


So long Madeleine and Toby who have finished their Masters projects and eagerly await their results. Similarly we say goodbye to Josh and Isabella who return to Dublin and Washington DC, respectively. Great having you and thanks for all your hard work.

June 2018
Paper accepted in Cell Reports

More wonderful news! The remaining item from the boss's fellowship has finally been published! This began life many years ago and is the result of collaboration with Matt's old boss John Sinclair in Cambridge. It reports the identification of virally encoded desumoylase expressed during latency. What is it doing? In a nutshell we think it is another example of how viruses are not dormant during latency but instead busy optimising the cellular environment for reactivation by removing a potent host suppressor of lytic replication.


A warm welcome to Isabella, Josh and Emily to the lab who are here for the summer to do experiments and find stuff out hopefully!

Funding news

Wonderful news! the NIHR have agreed to fund (£735,000) the development of an innovative nanotechnology for the detection of CMV in patient samples. Robust detection and quantification that is user friendly has the potential to change how we manage CMV clinically. This really is a collaborative award to be led by UCL and testament to the hard work of Vincent Teng, Rich Stanton, Melody Ni, Davide Deganello an Sue Luck in pulling all this together. Matt was just the one who went to the NIHR with Vincent and Melody to convince them they should fund CMV diagnostics - despite forgetting his tie!

Space envy!

Matt was in St Andrews this month to give a seminar on HCMV. He enjoyed his time and was looked after royally by Michael Nevels. Oh to have an office with a window overlooking the Old Course - in fact a window full stop would be nice! And the offices.... UCL would get at least 3 PIs in there!

April 2018
Matt, Matt and Henry at the Microbiology Society meeting

Its that time again and the main UK virology meeting is being held in Birmingham. Matt M gave an excellent talk in the main session despite spending at least 5 minutes reading out the title of his talk. The boss okayed this title which suggests he was busy at the time he was asked!

New research published

Congratulations to Ilona and colleagues. Our work on the HCMV vaccine response has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. This is a highly prestigious journal and represents the bulk of Ilona's PhD thesis. The paper demonstrates that there is no evidence for neutralising antibodies as the correlate of protection and that we should re think how we evaluate vaccine success against persistent viral infections.

New intake and a Lab baby!

Congratulations to Nick and Olivia on the arrival of their baby girl, Amelia. This is the first Reeves lab baby (that we know about). Who said science was not romantic?

Also welcome to Madeleine and Toby who are joining us for their Masters projects. Madeleine's remit is to tell us which Histone acetyltransferase HCMV utilises for reactivation and Toby's is to tell us how the vaccine is protective. Get cracking!

Finally, welcome to Scott Layzell, an MRC 4 year PhD rotation student who has come to dip his toes into the murky world of HCMV and ERK 5

Paul Griffiths awarded Gertrude Elion Prize Lecture

Unreserved congratulations to Paul who will give the Gertrude Elion Prize Lecture at the ISAR meeting in Portugal. This is a major honour and a recognition of the substantial contribution Paul has made to the study of HCMV.  The award is named in honour of 1988 Nobel Laureate Dr Trudy Elion who discovered drugs that interfere with purine metabolism - underpinning how we treat herpes virus infections still today.

Matt in Nature Microbiology

Want to know the scoop on an exciting new paper detailing the role of a virally encoded GPCR in manipulating the identity of the latently infected cell? Then Matt has published a handy News & Views article about it as a primer for the paper - 'Viral programming of progenitor cell commitment'.

February 2018
Two papers published!

Congratulations to Matt, Nick and Ilona who have had papers published this month. Matt and Nick had their review of HCMV entry and the hostile environment it encounters published in Pathogens. Ilona in the meantime has published her first primary research article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases which details antibody responses against the AD-2 epitope of gB as clear correlate of protection. Only 50% of the people infected with HCMV make antibodies against this region and so the challenge is to determine whether this is a mechanistic correlate of protection and, if so, how do we make sure everyone has the response. More importantly, time for the pub!

Funding News

Good news on a monday morning. The Medical Research Council have agreed to fund a project grant that will support investigations into the role of cell signalling in HCMV reactivation by a young and talented post doctoral researcher (identity to be confirmed).

January 2018
New paper published

Congratulations to Ilona on the publication of her review 'Criteria to define interruption of transmission of human cytomegalovirus from organ donor to recipient' in Reviews In Medical Virology. This is more than a review but instead suggests a number of criteria that could be used in future vaccine trials to address this important question.

Congratulations Henrys!

Exciting news! both Henry Barrow and ex-lab member Henry Blest have been offered PhD positions at Cambridge and Oxford, respectively. Just reward for all their hard work. Well done!

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