ARC Future fellow
61 7336 52173


We study the entry, spread and control of herpesviruses, using murine infection models to identify new approaches to vaccination and immunotherapy.

This work is supported by NHMRC project grants, an ARC Future Fellowship, Children's Health Queensland, and a collaborative Belgian government grant (BELVIR).


Undergraduate medicine 1990 (Cambridge University, UK).

Clinical Medicine 1991-1993, specializing in HIV medicine, MRCP 1993.

DPhil 1997 (Oxford University, UK), viral immunology, studying immune responses to influenza virus infection of the central nervous system with Charles Bangham. MRC clinical training fellowship.

Post-doc 1997-1999 (St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA), CD8+ T cell responses to gamma-herpesvirus infection with Peter Doherty. MRC travelling fellowship.

Clinical Lecturer in Virology 1999-2001 (Cambridge University, UK). This involved training in clinical virology with Ulrich Desselberger, and starting a basic research group in the Division of Virology led by Tony Minson. This continued 2001-2006 as a MRC Clinician Scientist fellowship. In 2006 I qualified for the UK specialist register in clinical virology, in the area of Viral Immunology.

Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship 2006-2012 (Cambridge University, UK).

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Virology 2013.

Honorary consultant in Viral Immunology, Addenbrookes Hospital 2008-2013.

In 2013 I relocated to Brisbane as a Unit Head at the Sakzewski Virus Research Unit of the Royal Children's Hospital, part of SCMB via its status as the UQ Clinical Medical Virology Centre.

In 2015 my group relocated to become part of SCMB directly.


Brief Research Description: 
viral pathogenesis and immunology
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

We study the entry, spread and control of herpesviruses, using murine infection models to identify new approaches to vaccination and immunotherapy.

Herpesviruses chronically infect essentially all mammals. Eight human herpesviruses are known. Most infections are acquired in childhood and are asymptomatic. However the high prevalence of infection - there are currently at least 30 billion ongoing herpesvirus infections worldwide - make even rare complications into large disease burdens. Thus Herpes simplex virus is the commonest infectious cause of blindness in the developed world, cytomegalovirus is the commonest congenital infectious disease, and Epstein-Barr virus causes the commonest childhood cancer of sub-Saharan Africa (Burkitt's lymphoma). Chronic infection is also a constant source of inflammation and immune activation. Thus herpesviruses predispose to many environment-dependent pathologies, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The current options for treatment and prevention are very limited.

We have a particular interest in the olfactory neuroepithelium as a common host entry point for mammalian herpesviruses and how infection here can be controlled. We study also how infection spreads systemically. This involves close interaction between viral gene functions and the innate host defences provided by macrophages and dendritic cells.

As example infections optimally accessible to understanding, we use Murid Herpesvirus-4 (a gamma-herpesvirus related to the Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus and to Epstein-Barr virus), Murine cytomegalovirus (a beta-herpesvirus and the standard in vivo model for Human cytomegalovirus) and Herpes simplex virus type 1 (an alpha-herpesvirus).

Current collaborators include:

Laurent Gillet (University of Liege), Gabrielle Belz (WEHI), Pedro Simas (University of Lisbon, Portugal), Alex Redwood (Murdoch University), Michael Mach (University of Erlangen), Nick Davis-Poynter (UQ).


Secondary Research Areas: 
Funded Projects: 

NHMRC project grant APP1060138 Preventing neuroepithelial infection (2014-2017)

NHMRC project grant APP1064015 Controlling gamma-herpesvirus dissemination (2014-2017)

ARC Future Fellowship FT130100138 Identifying mechanisms of herpesvirus entry into mammalian hosts (2014-2018) 

Children's Health Queensland (up to 2020) - Understanding how the immune system might better control chronic viral infections acquired in childhood.

BELVIR collaborative grant (2013-2018) - understanding early events in viral infection.






No undergraduate teaching at UQ. Previously taught and examined clinical and fundamental virology at Cambridge University.

Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 

Editorial board, Journal of General Virology.

Lab members:

Cindy Tan (RO)

Helen Farrell (RO)

Clara Lawler (RA)

Kimberley Bruce (RA)

Orry Wyer (RA)

Joseph Yunis (PhD student)


Recent publications:

Host entry by gamma-herpesviruses-lessons from animal viruses?

Gillet L, Frederico B, Stevenson PG.

Curr Opin Virol. 2015 Jul 31;15:34-40.


B cell-independent lymphoid tissue infection by a B cell-tropic rhadinovirus.

Chao B, Frederico B, Stevenson PG.

J Gen Virol. 2015 May 18. pii: vir.0.000188. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.000188. [Epub ahead of print]


Lymph Node Macrophages Restrict Murine Cytomegalovirus Dissemination.

Farrell HE, Davis-Poynter N, Bruce K, Lawler C, Dolken L, Mach M, Stevenson PG.

J Virol. 2015 Jul;89(14):7147-58.


Subcapsular sinus macrophages limit acute gamma-herpesvirus dissemination.

Frederico B, Chao B, Lawler C, May JS, Stevenson PG.

J Gen Virol. 2015 Apr 14. pii: vir.0.000140. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.000140. [Epub ahead of print]


Rhadinovirus host entry by co-operative infection.

Lawler C, Milho R, May JS, Stevenson PG.

PLoS Pathog. 2015 Mar 19;11(3):e1004761.


The role of chronic norovirus infection in the enteropathy associated with common variable immunodeficiency.

Woodward JM, Gkrania-Klotsas E, Cordero-Ng AY, Aravinthan A, Bandoh BN, Liu H, Davies S, Zhang H, Stevenson P, Curran MD, Kumararatne D.

Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Feb;110(2):320-7.


KSHV-TK is a tyrosine kinase that disrupts focal adhesions and induces Rho-mediated cell contraction.

Gill MB, Turner R, Stevenson PG, Way M.

EMBO J. 2015 Feb 12;34(4):448-65.


B cell response to herpesvirus infection of the olfactory neuroepithelium.

Tan CS, Stevenson PG.

J Virol. 2014 Dec;88(24):14030-9.


Defining immune engagement thresholds for in vivo control of virus-driven lymphoproliferation.

Godinho-Silva C, Marques S, Fontinha D, Veiga-Fernandes H, Stevenson PG, Simas JP.

PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jun 26;10(6):e1004220.


Herpesvirus delivery to the murine respiratory tract.

Tan CS, Frederico B, Stevenson PG.

J Virol Methods. 2014 Sep;206:105-14.


A murid gamma-herpesviruses exploits normal splenic immune communication routes for systemic spread.

Frederico B, Chao B, May JS, Belz GT, Stevenson PG.

Cell Host Microbe. 2014 Apr 9;15(4):457-70.


BAFF receptor deficiency limits gammaherpesvirus infection.

Frederico B, May JS, Efstathiou S, Stevenson PG.

J Virol. 2014 Apr;88(8):3965-75.


A gammaherpesvirus uses alternative splicing to regulate its tropism and its sensitivity to neutralization.

Machiels B, Stevenson PG, Vanderplasschen A, Gillet L.

PLoS Pathog. 2013 Oct;9(10):e1003753.


Herpes simplex virus 1 targets the murine olfactory neuroepithelium for host entry.

Shivkumar M, Milho R, May JS, Nicoll MP, Efstathiou S, Stevenson PG.

J Virol. 2013 Oct;87(19):10477-88.


Glycoprotein B cleavage is important for murid herpesvirus 4 to infect myeloid cells.

Glauser DL, Milho R, Frederico B, May JS, Kratz AS, Gillet L, Stevenson PG.

J Virol. 2013 Oct;87(19):10828-42.


Illumination of murine gammaherpesvirus-68 cycle reveals a sexual transmission route from females to males in laboratory mice.

François S, Vidick S, Sarlet M, Desmecht D, Drion P, Stevenson PG, Vanderplasschen A, Gillet L.

PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(4):e1003292.


A heparan-dependent herpesvirus targets the olfactory neuroepithelium for host entry.

Milho R, Frederico B, Efstathiou S, Stevenson PG.

PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(11):e1002986.


Myeloid infection links epithelial and B cell tropisms of Murid Herpesvirus-4.

Frederico B, Milho R, May JS, Gillet L, Stevenson PG.

PLoS Pathog. 2012 Sep;8(9):e1002935.


Virion endocytosis is a major target for murid herpesvirus-4 neutralization.

Glauser DL, Gillet L, Stevenson PG.

J Gen Virol. 2012 Jun;93(Pt 6):1316-27.


Herpesvirus glycoproteins undergo multiple antigenic changes before membrane fusion.

Glauser DL, Kratz AS, Stevenson PG.

PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e30152.


Bovine herpesvirus type 4 glycoprotein L is nonessential for infectivity but triggers virion endocytosis during entry.

Lété C, Machiels B, Stevenson PG, Vanderplasschen A, Gillet L.

J Virol. 2012 Mar;86(5):2653-64.


Murid herpesvirus-4 exploits dendritic cells to infect B cells.

Gaspar M, May JS, Sukla S, Frederico B, Gill MB, Smith CM, Belz GT, Stevenson PG.

PLoS Pathog. 2011 Nov;7(11):e1002346.