I have had a long-term interest in the immunological control of human virus infections and in particular with viruses which are never cleared following initial infection. These viruses persist for the life-time of the host but have the potential to reactivate and cause further disease. My research has concentrated on human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), where primary infection of the immunocompetent rarely causes disease and the immune response is critical in controlling the virus. However, infection in individuals whose immune systems are compromised or immature (such as HIV/AIDS patients, transplant patients or the foetus in utero) can be life threatening.
My group works on the both cell mediated immunity to HCMV and immune evasion mechanisms. Of particular interest are the CD4 and CD8+ T cell responses as well as NK cell responses. We are also interested in the long-term implications of living with this virus for life and if this affects the immune system.
Gavin M Mason, Sarah Jackson, Georgina Okecha, Emma Poole, J.G. Patrick Sissons, John Sinclair and Mark R Wills. 2013. Human cytomegalovirus latency-associated proteins elicit immune-suppressive IL-10 producing CD4+ T cells. PlosPathogens 2013;9(10):e1003635
Mason, G. M., E. Poole, J. G. Sissons, J. H. Sinclair, and M. R. Wills. 2012. Human cytomegalovirus latency alters the cellular secretome, inducing cluster of differentiation (CD)4+ T-cell migration and suppression of effector function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 4;109(36):14538-43.
Bennett NJ, Ashiru O, Morgan FJ, Pang Y, Okecha G, Eagle RA, Trowsdale J, Sissons JG, Wills MR (2010) Intracellular sequestration of the NKG2D ligand ULBP3 by human cytomegalovirus J Immunol Jul 15; 185(2): 1093-102