Focus: Influenza

'Open for Dicovery', our current exhibition, features the work of Crick scientists John McCauley and Peter Rosenthal. Scroll down for detailed information about their current research, related news stories and events, and recommended reading.

Science in conversation: Influenza

Featured scientist: John McCauley

John McCauley in the Crick Worldwide Influenza Centre

John McCauley in the Crick Worldwide Influenza Centre (Click to view larger image)
© Ben Gilbert / 2017 / Wellcome

John McCauley is the director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre, the laboratory investigating the determinants of host range restriction of avian and swine influenza viruses that limit their ability to infect and propagate in human cells.

Established in 1948, the Worldwide Influenza Centre is now based at the Francis Crick Institute and works with World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centres for reference and research on Influenza.

These centres, together with some 143 National Influenza Centres in 113 countries, comprise the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.

Read more about the research of the Worldwide Influenza Centre.

Featured scientist: Peter Rosenthal

Peter Rosenthal in the Structural Biology of Cells and Viruses Laboratory

Peter Rosenthal in the Structural Biology of Cells and Viruses Laboratory, with a cryomicroscope (Click to view larger image)
© Ben Gilbert / 2017 / Wellcome

Peter Rosenthal is Group Leader of the Structural Biology of Cells and Viruses Laboratory. His group studies the architecture of large protein assemblies in order to understand basic molecular mechanisms that control protein and membrane traffic in the cell and in virus infection.

Read more about the research of the Structural Biology of Cells and Viruses Laboratory.

Find out more

Upcoming Events

A packed evening of pop up activities at London's most exciting new science venue. Free admission but booking essential.

  • World Immunology Day: Collaborating to Beat Lung Infections and Asthma
    Friday 5 May, 7 - 9:30pm


    Why do some people exposed to allergens like pollen and pet dander develop asthma, while others do not? Why do some people infected by the same bacteria and viruses go on to develop diseases such as tuberculosis or flu?

    These are questions that fascinate scientists at the Crick and beyond so to mark the International Day of Immunology 2017 join the Francis Crick Institute and Nature Research at this free panel discussion.

    Join us for a lively discussion followed by a free drinks reception where you can chat to our panellists in a more relaxed setting. Book your free place.

Recent news stories

Read further stories relating to influenza research at the Crick.

Suggested Reading


NIMR (n.d.) MRC National Institute for Medical Research: A Century of Science for Health, London.

Honigsbaum, M (2008) Living with Enza: The Forgotten Story of Britain and the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kolata, G (1999) Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


Hampson, A; Barr, I; Cox, N; Donis, RO; Hirve, S; Jernigan, D; Katz, J; McCauley, J; Motta, F; Odagiri, T; Tam, JS; Waddell, A; Webby, R; Ziegler, T and Zhang, W (2017)
Improving the selection and development of influenza vaccine viruses - Report of a WHO informal consultation on improving influenza vaccine virus selection, Hong Kong SAR, China, 18-20 November 2015. Vaccine 35, 1104-1109

Goddard, N; Rebelo-de-Andrade, H; Meijer, A; McCauley, J; Daniels, R and Zambon, M (2015)
Future directions for the European influenza reference laboratory network in influenza surveillance. Euro Surveillance 20, 21195

Schultz-Cherry, S; Webby, RJ; Webster, RG; Kelso, A; Barr, IG; McCauley, JW; Daniels, RS; Wang, D; Shu, Y; Nobusawa, E; Itamura, S; Tashiro, M; Harada, Y; Watanabe, S; Odagiri, T; Ye, Z; Grohmann, G; Harvey, R; Engelhardt, O; Smith, D; Hamilton, K; Claes, F and Dauphin, G (2014)
Influenza gain-of-function experiments: their role in vaccine virus recommendation and pandemic preparedness. mBio 5, e02430-02414 

Calder, L.J. et al. (2010)
Structural Organization of a Filamentous Influenza A Virus, PNAS, 107:23, pp10685-90.

Kallewaard, N.L. et al. (2016)
Structure and Function Analysis of an Antibody Recognizing all Influenza A Subtypes, Cell, 166: pp596-608.

Smith, W., Andrewes, C.H. and Laidlaw, P.P. (1933)
A Virus Obtained from Influenza Patients, The Lancet, July 8: pp66-8.

Rosenthal, PB and Rubinstein, JL (2015)
Validating maps from single particle electron cryomicroscopy. Current Opinion in Structural Biology 34, 135-144

Henderson, R; Sali, A; Baker, ML; Carragher, B; Devkota, B; Downing, KH; Egelman, EH; Feng, Z; Frank, J; Grigorieff, N; Jiang, W; Ludtke, SJ; Medalia, O; Penczek, PA; Rosenthal, PB; Rossmann, MG; Schmid, MF; Schröder, GF; Steven, AC; Stokes, DL; Westbrook, JD; Wriggers, W; Yang, H; Young, J; Berman, HM; Chiu, W; Kleywegt, GJ and Lawson, CL (2012)
Outcome of the first electron microscopy validation task force meeting. Structure 20, 205-214

Patwardhan, A; Carazo, JM; Carragher, B; Henderson, R; Heymann, JB; Hill, E; Jensen, GJ; Lagerstedt, I; Lawson, CL; Ludtke, SJ; Mastronarde, D; Moore, WJ; Roseman, A; Rosenthal, P; Sorzano, COS; Sanz-Garcia, E; Scheres, SHW; Subramaniam, S; Westbrook, J; Winn, M; Swedlow, JR and Kleywegt, GJ (2012) Data management challenges in three-dimensional EM. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 19, 1203-1207 

Other sources

Coombs, P. (2009)
The 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic: don't panic but you are all going to die. Mill Hill Essays (2009).  

Carver, R.; Skehel, J. (2000)
Distemper and influenza at Mill Hill. Mill Hill Essays (2000).

Rosenthal, P. (2009)
Nanographia. Mill Hill Essays (2009).

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