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Our laboratory investigates the replication and pathogenesis of human viral pathogens with a view to the development antiviral therapeutics. We are interested in viruses that affect both our patient population at St George’s and global health. Of particular interest is human cytomegalovirus.

Dr Strang joined SGUL in 2013 as a tenure-track non-clinical Lecturer in Infection and Immunity and became Lecturer in Virology in 2016.

Dr Strang was awarded an undergraduate degree from the University of Glasgow (1995-1999), and was awarded a PhD from University College London (1999-2003). He carried out post-doctoral research at the Medical Research Council Virology Unit (2003-2006) and Harvard Medical School (2006-2013).

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a widespread opportunistic human pathogen that is a major cause of human morbidity and mortality. Over 60% of the population worldwide are infected. HCMV infection is associated with a range of disease in humans, including numerous neurological abnormalities in newborns and infants, such as hearing loss, vision loss and cerebral palsy. HCMV is also a factor in organ transplant rejection and the rate of progression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Links between infection, hypertension, atherosclerosis and glioblastoma have been reported. There is no widely available HCMV vaccine and currently available anti-HCMV drugs have many drawbacks, including issues surrounding drug resistance.

The major aims of our human cytomegalovirus research include:

  • Understand the molecular and cellular determinants of viral genome replication.
  • Determine what intracellular virus host-interactions are important for shaping virus pathogenesis.
  • Establish how virus replication in the placenta reflects virus pathogenesis and vertical transmission of virus.
  • Identity novel anti-viral compounds via drug repurposing and high throughput screening.

MSD Investigator Studies Program award

“Nuclease resistance identifies functional DNA during Letermovir treatment”

Principal Investigator: Blair L Strang

Period: Awarded 2nd October 2018 – 1st October 2020


St George’s Enterprise Impact & Innovation Award

“Toward commercialization of a novel lead-optimized compound with anti-human cytomegalovirus activity: target identification”

Principal Investigator: Blair L Strang

Period: 1st November 2018 – 30th June 2019


Wellcome Trust ISSF pilot project grant

“Human cytomegalovirus dissemination and pathogenesis in the placenta”

Principal Investigator: Blair L Strang

Period: 1st May 2018 – 30th April 2019


Medical Research Council (MRC) CASE Studentship

“Development of a innate immune agonist to combat human viral pathogens”

Principal Investigator: Blair L Strang     Industrial Partner: LifeArc (formerly MRC Technology)

Period: 1st October 2015 – 31st September 2018


Dr Hassan Al-Ali (University of Miami)

Professor Donald Coen (Harvard Medical School)

Professor Andrew Davison (MRC Centre for Virus Research)

Professor Nathanael Gray (Harvard Medical School)


Dr Andy Merritt (LifeArc)


Dr Matthew Reeves (UCL)


Professor Stuart Neil (King’s College London)


Dr Chad Swanson (King’s College London)


Dr Bill Zuercher (University of North Carolina)

SGUL Summer School lecturer (2018-present)


London Basic Virology Course (UCL) lecturer (2018-present)


Lecturer to SGUL BSc/iBSc, MPharm, MSci, MRes students (2014-present)


Administrator for SGUL BSc/iBSc Infection & Immunity research projects (2014-present)


Personal tutor to SGUL BSc/MBBS undergraduates (2014-present)


SGUL PhD, MRes, MSci, BSc/iBSc student laboratory supervisor (2013-present)

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