Professor Ian Goodfellow



Professor Ian Goodfellow is Professor of Virology and currently the acting deputy head of the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge. He studied microbiology and virology as an undergraduate at the University of Warwick, before undertaking a PhD at the University of Nottingham in bacterial genetics. His research career in virology started in 1996 as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Reading studying picornavirus-host interactions. This continued at the University of Glasgow until 2003 when he established his own research group at the University of Reading, with the help of a Wellcome Trust career development fellowship, focusing on the study of a family of caliciviruses. Since then he has worked at Imperial College London before moving to the University of Cambridge in October 2012. Research in Professor Goodfellow’s lab is primarily supported by a Wellcome Senior fellowship but he also currently holds grants from the BBSRC and Innovate UK.

His research to date has largely focused on the mechanisms of RNA virus replication and pathogenesis as well as the identification of control measures for the prevention or treatment of infections. He founded the use of reverse genetics to study the molecular basis of norovirus pathogenesis, developing the first infectious reverse genetics system for any norovirus. He has also characterized the role of viral RNA structures in the norovirus life cycle and identified host cell factors that contribute to both virus replication in cell culture but also pathogenesis in the natural host. He has recently expanded his interests to understand the virus-host interface in veterinary pathogens including viral zoonosis. During the 2014-16 Ebola virus epidemic, Professor Goodfellow was involved in the establishment and running of one of the first diagnostic facilities in Sierra Leone in the Bombali district of Sierra Leone. Working with Public Health England, Professor Goodfellow led a team of scientists who establish Ebola virus diagnostic at the Mateneh Ebola Treatment Centre in Makeni. In April 2015, Professor Goodfellow obtained funding from the Wellcome Trust to establish real-time sequencing capacity in a tent next to the diagnostic lab in the treatment centre. Professor Goodfellow and his team established a robust sequencing workflow and were able to sequence clinical samples within 24 hours of isolation from the patient. Working closely with the WHO, Public Health England, the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health, the US CDC, Professor Goodfellow was heavily involved in the provision of sequencing for use in real-time epidemiological tracing/monitoring of Ebola infections in Sierra Leone and (in collaboration with Loman) neighbouring Guinea. Following the end of the epidemic, Professor Goodfellow has established the University of Makeni Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, which now provides in country next generation sequencing and laboratory support to researchers working within Sierra Leone.