Dr David Allen

Associate Professor

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street
United Kingdom

I studied for my BSc in Virology and Immunology at the University of Warwick , then completed my PhD working jointly at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Health Protection Agency (now UK Health Security Agency).

Following this, I worked with the Medical Research Council, and then returned to the Public Health England, where I was Head of the Enteric Virus Unit.

I have worked with national and international public health agencies, including the World Health Organization, with the Global Polio Laboratory Network.


Department of Infection Biology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


I am Deputy Programme Director for the MSc in Medical Microbiology, and am part of the Programme Committee for this MSc programme.

I am a Module Organiser for, and teach on, modules 3121 Core Virology and 3187 Clinical Virology. I also teach on the Molecular Virology and Pathogen Genomics modules.

I am a tutor for the Infectious Diseases (Distance Learning) course module Viral Infections (DL).


My research interests are in enteric virus infections - particularly norovirus and enterovirus - and the virological features of these viruses that drive their highly dynamic epidemiology, allowing them to emerge and persist in human populations.

Enteric virus infections associated with gastroenteritis are common among humans. Whilst illness is usually mild and self-limiting, viral gastroenteritis causes substantial morbidity in the population: in particular, that associated with norovirus which has an estimated incidence in the UK community of three million cases each year. The plasticity of the norovirus genome and error-prone nature of its replication allows for the generation of genetically diverse populations of viruses that co-circulate, and selective pressure drives selection and the periodic emergence of novel strains.

My current research interests are focused in two main areas:

(1) evolution of the antigenic profile of a virus under selective pressure of host and population (herd) immunity; and

(2) the virus-host interactions made during the early stages of infection.

Currently, I am a co-investigator on a Wellcome Trust-funded collaborative project (with University College London, University of Liverpool and University of North Carolina), which will look at understanding the emergence of pandemic norovirus strains.

I am a collaborator in the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections, working on the Places Theme.

I am also a collaborator on a Food Standards Agency-funded project looking at assessing the contribution made by the food chain to the burden of UK-acquired norovirus infection (NoVAS project).

Research Area
Public health
Molecular biology
Molecular epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
Diarrhoeal diseases
Hospital acquired infection
Pandemic diseases
Infectious diseases
Emerging infectious diseases
Neurological diseases
United Kingdom
Euro area
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

A high-resolution melt curve toolkit to identify lineage-defining SARS-CoV-2 mutations.
Fraser, AJ; Greenland-Bews, C; KELLY, D; Williams, CT; LSTM Diagnostics Group,; CONDOR Steering Group,; Body, R; Adams, ER; Atienzar, AC; Edwards, T; ALLEN, DJ;
Scientific reports
Emergent variant modeling of the serological repertoire to norovirus in young children.
Lindesmith, LC; Brewer-Jensen, PD; Conrad, H; O'REILLY, KM; Mallory, ML; KELLY, D; Williams, R; EDMUNDS, WJ; ALLEN, DJ; Breuer, J; Baric, RS;
Cell Rep Med
Immune Imprinting Drives Human Norovirus Potential for Global Spread.
Lindesmith, LC; Boshier, FA T; Brewer-Jensen, PD; Roy, S; Costantini, V; Mallory, ML; Zweigart, M; May, SR; Conrad, H; O'REILLY, KM; KELLY, D; Celma, CC; Beard, S; Williams, R; Tutill, HJ; Becker Dreps, S; Bucardo, F; ALLEN, DJ; Vinjé, J; Goldstein, RA; Breuer, J; Baric, RS;
Surveillance optimisation to detect poliovirus in the pre-eradication era: a modelling study of England and Wales.
O'REILLY, KM; Grassly, NC; ALLEN, DJ; Bannister-Tyrrell, M; Cameron, A; Carrion Martin, AI; Ramsay, M; Pebody, R; Zambon, M;
Epidemiology and Infection
An interactive data visualisation application to investigate nosocomial transmission of infections.
Smith, CM; ALLEN, DJ; Nawaz, S; Kozlakidis, Z; Nastouli, E; Hayward, A; Ward, KN;
Wellcome Open Research
Challenges of investigating a large food-borne norovirus outbreak across all branches of a restaurant group in the United Kingdom, October 2016.
Morgan, M; Watts, V; ALLEN, D; Curtis, D; Kirolos, A; Macdonald, N; Maslen, E; Morgan, D; Saei, A; Sedgwick, J; Stevenson, J; Turbitt, D; Vivancos, R; Waugh, C; Williams, C; Decraene, V;
Impact of rotavirus vaccination on rotavirus genotype distribution and diversity in England, September 2006 to August 2016.
Hungerford, D; ALLEN, DJ; Nawaz, S; Collins, S; Ladhani, S; Vivancos, R; Iturriza-Gómara, M;
Effectiveness of oral rotavirus vaccination in England against rotavirus-confirmed and all-cause acute gastroenteritis.
WALKER, JL; Andrews, NJ; Atchison, CJ; Collins, S; ALLEN, DJ; Ramsay, ME; Ladhani, SN; Thomas, SL;
Vaccine: X
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