Prof Polly Roy
Professor of Virology
Professor Polly Roy is a Professor of Virology in the Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology within the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Faculty. She received her PhD in Molecular Virology from New York University/Columbia University Medical School and continued to study RNA virology as a 3-year postdoc at the Waksman Institute, Rutgers University. She moved to the University of Alabama, Birmingham USA, where she established her own laboratory and became a full Professor, still working on different RNA viruses funded by multiple US grants. She came to the University of Oxford, UK, through a senior International Fogarty fellowship, where she gradually developed a second virology lab whilst maintaining her research lab at UAB until 2005. In 2001, she moved as Virology Professor to LSHTM, where she leads a large group of researchers.
For the last three decades, the predominant subject of Roy’s work, although not exclusively, has been the Bluetongue Virus (BTV), a complex layered virus that is a member of the Reoviridae family. Roy has made significant contributions to understanding the basic molecular and structural biology, atomic structure, mechanisms of virus entry, genome synthesis, RNA packaging, capsid assembly, egress and cell-to cell transmission of these viruses. Her multi-disciplinary approach and comprehensive research coverage has led to the successful development of improved diagnostic assays, more efficacious VLP vaccines, first in the field (1990), alternative Entry Competent Replication Abortive vaccine (ECRA) based on reverse genetics for BTV and African Horse sickness viruses (AHSV) and alternative therapeutic possibilities in addition to the fundamental scientific advance discovered.
Roy’s work has been recognised around the world and she has received many awards including: the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for service in Virus research; Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences; the Indian Science Congress General President’s Gold medal, awarded by the Prime Minister of India; and, she was a Finalist of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) ‘Innovator of the Year’ Award.
The data generated through Roy’s research has resulted in over 380 publications, including: publications in high impact journals, numerous invited reviews, and book chapters in Fields Virology series and Encyclopaedia of Virology series. She is contributor and editor of several virology books.
Professor Roy has been instrumental in the successful development of the Virology section of the MSc Medical Microbiology Course.
• Molecular and structural biology of orbiviruses
• Virus entry mechanism and replication
• Host-virus interaction and virus egress
• RNA packaging of segmented genome
• Multivalent novel vaccines
Post-Graduate & Post-Doctoral Research Associates & Fellows:
Hannah Arnold, PhD
Ho-Him Wong, PhD
Po-Yu Sung - PhD
Dongsheng Luo - PhD
Sara Bisset - PhD
Shah Kamranur Rahman - PhD
Weining Wu – PhD
Andrew Davies – M.Sc
Juyeon Park, M.Sc
Professor Roy collaborates with a wide range of scientists and institutions around the world including the UK, US, Japan, China, and European countries (France, Germany and Spain).