Professor Martin Hibberd


Emerging Infectious DIsease


Keppel Street
United Kingdom

0207 927 2691

Martin Hibberd is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, at the London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is also Associate Director at the Genome Institute of Singapore, and Senior Group Leader for the Infectious Disease group there. He has adjunct positions at the National University of Singapore School of Public health; and the Sanger Genome Institute. He graduated in Applied Biology from Brunel University in 1985 and worked in the (then) Public Health Laboratory Service both at Porton Down, at Centre for Applied Microbiology & Research, (Legionella Reference Laboratory) and at the Central Public Health Laboratory Colindale (Enteric Pathogens); before moving to King’s College, London; where he received his Doctorate, on the immune-genetics of the human T-cell antigen receptor in 1994. Following post doctoral work at Plymouth Post Graduate Medical School, he obtained a lectureship in Paediatric Infectious Disease at Imperial College in 2006. In 2003 he moved to the Genome Institute in Singapore where he developed Human Genetic and Infectious Disease work to become associate director and then joined the LSHTM in 2012. He has a broad scientific background spanning both microbial and human determinants of infectious and inflammatory diseases; with previous achievements including: identification of sources of Legionella disease spread, leading to legislation for water treatment that halted outbreaks in the UK (1988); development work towards an enterotoxigenic E. coli live oral vaccine for the WHO (1990); the development of one of the first quantitative PCR techniques (1992); work with Zenica to identify genetic risk factors for diabetic complications (1996); and Identification of risk factors for meningococcal disease and disease severity identifying new treatment approaches (1999 and 2003). More recently his work has attempted to undertake a more comprehensive analysis of infectious diseases, covering both pathogen and host aspects, understanding how microbial agents cause the observed disease (including pathogen identification and sequence characterization) and why specific individuals are susceptible to the disease (using host genetics on a genomic scale). Approaching infectious disease from these two directions also allows specific host pathogen responses to be investigated (utilizing RNA microarrays and sequencing). This work aims to identify key host responses to specific pathogens that could be targeted by new therapies.


Department of Infection Biology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases
Tuberculosis (TB) Centre
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


Core virology

Molecular virology

Clinical virology

Pathogen Genomics


Current research topics include Meningococcal disease and other sepsis causing agents (partially funded by an EU FP7 genomics grant), Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the role of commensals in disease outcomes, Dengue disease (and potentially other flaviviruses such as TBE), Tuberculosis and MTB, Hepatitis B, Kawasaki disease, Influenza and other emerging infectious diseases; often in collaboration with industry as well as Public Health groups. In particular, my work aims to utilize population diversity (human and microbe) to investigate the roles of microbial complexity (including bacterial and virus community diversity, identified by genomic scale diagnosis) on the intricacies of clinical outcome.  

Research Area
Child health
Clinical trials
Drug discovery and development
Drug resistance
Human genetics
Innate immunity
Public health
Genetic epidemiology
Molecular biology
Disease and Health Conditions
Diarrhoeal diseases
Eye diseases
Infectious disease
Pandemic diseases
Emerging Infectious Disease
Hospital acquired infection
Respiratory disease
Sexually transmitted infection
Tropical diseases
Vector borne disease
Zoonotic disease
United Kingdom
Hong Kong SAR, China
Papua New Guinea
Korea, Dem. Rep.
East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
Euro area

Selected Publications

Multifactorial heterogeneity of virus-specific T cells and association with the progression of human chronic hepatitis B infection.
Cheng Y; Zhu YO; Becht E; Aw P; Chen J; Poidinger M; de Sessions PF; Hibberd ML; Bertoletti A; Lim SG
Science immunology
Genome-wide analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis polymorphisms reveals lineage-specific associations with drug resistance.
Oppong YEA; Phelan J; Perdigão J; Machado D; Miranda A; Portugal I; Viveiros M; Clark TG; Hibberd ML
BMC genomics
Using paired serology and surveillance data to quantify dengue transmission and control during a large outbreak in Fiji.
Kucharski AJ; Kama M; Watson CH; Aubry M; Funk S; Henderson AD; Brady OJ; Vanhomwegen J; Manuguerra J-C; Lau CL
Establishment of the nasal microbiota in the first 18 months of life: Correlation with early-onset rhinitis and wheezing.
Ta LDH; Yap GC; Tay CJX; Lim ASM; Huang C-H; Chu CW; De Sessions PF; Shek LP; Goh A; Van Bever HPS
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease Using a Minimal Whole-Blood Gene Expression Signature.
Wright VJ; Herberg JA; Kaforou M; Shimizu C; Eleftherohorinou H; Shailes H; Barendregt AM; Menikou S; Gormley S; Berk M
JAMA Pediatrics
Primary macrophages and J774 cells respond differently to infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Andreu N; Phelan J; de Sessions PF; Cliff JM; Clark TG; Hibberd ML
Scientific reports
Host Transcription Profile in Nasal Epithelium and Whole Blood of Hospitalized Children Under 2 Years of Age With Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection.
Do LAH; Pellet J; van Doorn HR; Tran AT; Nguyen BH; Tran TTL; Tran QH; Vo QB; Tran Dac NA; Trinh HN
The Journal of infectious diseases
Inositol-Triphosphate 3-Kinase C Mediates Inflammasome Activation and Treatment Response in Kawasaki Disease.
Alphonse MP; Duong TT; Shumitzu C; Hoang TL; McCrindle BW; Franco A; Schurmans S; Philpott DJ; Hibberd ML; Burns J
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
New loci and coding variants confer risk for age-related macular degeneration in East Asians.
Cheng C-Y; Yamashiro K; Chen LJ; Ahn J; Huang L; Huang L; Cheung CMG; Miyake M; Cackett PD; Yeo IY
Nature communications
Direct whole-genome deep-sequencing of human respiratory syncytial virus A and B from Vietnamese children identifies distinct patterns of inter- and intra-host evolution.
Do LAH; Wilm A; van Doorn HR; Lam HM; Sim S; Sukumaran R; Tran AT; Nguyen BH; Tran TTL; Tran QH
The Journal of general virology
Chronic Infection With Camelid Hepatitis E Virus in a Liver Transplant Recipient Who Regularly Consumes Camel Meat and Milk.
Lee G-H; Tan B-H; Teo EC-Y; Lim S-G; Dan Y-Y; Wee A; Aw PPK; Zhu Y; Hibberd ML; Tan C-K
Tracking Dengue Virus Intra-host Genetic Diversity during Human-to-Mosquito Transmission.
Sim S; Aw PPK; Wilm A; Teoh G; Hue KDT; Nguyen NM; Nagarajan N; Simmons CP; Hibberd ML
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis and host RNA expression in Africa.
Anderson ST; Kaforou M; Brent AJ; Wright VJ; Banwell CM; Chagaluka G; Crampin AC; Dockrell HM; French N; Hamilton MS
The New England journal of medicine
Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B1 is critical for antibody-dependent dengue.
Chan KR; Ong EZ; Tan HC; Zhang SL-X; Zhang Q; Tang KF; Kaliaperumal N; Lim APC; Hibberd ML; Chan SH
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Global gene expression profiling identifies new therapeutic targets in acute Kawasaki disease.
Hoang LT; Shimizu C; Ling L; Naim ANM; Khor CC; Tremoulet AH; Wright V; Levin M; Hibberd ML; Burns JC
Genome medicine
Efficacy and safety of celgosivir in patients with dengue fever (CELADEN): a phase 1b, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial.
Low JG; Sung C; Wijaya L; Wei Y; Rathore APS; Watanabe S; Tan BH; Toh L; Chua LT; Hou Y
The Lancet infectious diseases
Reduction of HBV replication prolongs the early immunological response to IFNα therapy.
Tan AT; Hoang LT; Chin D; Rasmussen E; Lopatin U; Hart S; Bitter H; Chu T; Gruenbaum L; Ravindran P
Journal of hepatology
A randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial of balapiravir, a polymerase inhibitor, in adult dengue patients.
Nguyen NM; Tran CNB; Phung LK; Duong KTH; Huynh HLA; Farrar J; Nguyen QTH; Tran HT; Nguyen CVV; Merson L
The Journal of infectious diseases
Genome-wide expression profiling identifies type 1 interferon response pathways in active tuberculosis.
Ottenhoff THM; Dass RH; Yang N; Zhang MM; Wong HEE; Sahiratmadja E; Khor CC; Alisjahbana B; van Crevel R; Marzuki S
PloS one
LoFreq: a sequence-quality aware, ultra-sensitive variant caller for uncovering cell-population heterogeneity from high-throughput sequencing datasets.
Wilm A; Aw PPK; Bertrand D; Yeo GHT; Ong SH; Wong CH; Khor CC; Petric R; Hibberd ML; Nagarajan N
Nucleic acids research
Normal gut microbiota modulates brain development and behavior.
Diaz Heijtz R; Wang S; Anuar F; Qian Y; Björkholm B; Samuelsson A; Hibberd ML; Forssberg H; Pettersson S
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for dengue shock syndrome at MICB and PLCE1.
Khor CC; Chau TNB; Pang J; Davila S; Long HT; Ong RTH; Dunstan SJ; Wills B; Farrar J; Van Tram T
Nature genetics
Genome-wide association study identifies FCGR2A as a susceptibility locus for Kawasaki disease.
Khor CC; Davila S; Breunis WB; Lee Y-C; Shimizu C; Wright VJ; Yeung RSM; Tan DEK; Sim KS; Wang JJ
Nature genetics
Characterization of early host responses in adults with dengue disease.
Tolfvenstam T; Lindblom A; Schreiber MJ; Ling L; Chow A; Ooi EE; Hibberd ML
BMC infectious diseases
Identification of two new loci at IL23R and RAB32 that influence susceptibility to leprosy.
Zhang F; Liu H; Chen S; Low H; Sun L; Cui Y; Chu T; Li Y; Fu X; Yu Y
Nature genetics
Genome-wide association study identifies variants in the CFH region associated with host susceptibility to meningococcal disease.
Davila S; Wright VJ; Khor CC; Sim KS; Binder A; Breunis WB; Inwald D; Nadel S; Betts H; Carrol ED
Nature genetics
Oseltamivir ring prophylaxis for containment of 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreaks.
Lee VJ; Yap J; Cook AR; Chen MI; Tay JK; Tan BH; Loh JP; Chew SW; Koh WH; Lin R
The New England journal of medicine
Genomewide association study of leprosy.
Zhang FR; Huang W; Chen SM; Sun LD; Liu H; Li Y; Cui Y; Yan XX; Yang HT; Yang RD
The New England journal of medicine
Host gene expression profiling of dengue virus infection in cell lines and patients.
Fink J; Gu F; Ling L; Tolfvenstam T; Olfat F; Chin KC; Aw P; George J; Kuznetsov VA; Schreiber M
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Acquired predisposition to mycobacterial disease due to autoantibodies to IFN-gamma.
Kampmann B; Hemingway C; Stephens A; Davidson R; Goodsall A; Anderson S; Nicol M; Schölvinck E; Relman D; Waddell S
The Journal of clinical investigation
Detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in blood of infected patients.
Ng LF; Wong M; Koh S; Ooi EE; Tang KF; Leong HN; Ling AE; Agathe LV; Tan J; Liu ET
Journal of clinical microbiology
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