Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine

Dr Samantha Griffiths

Senior Research Fellow in the Haas Group



Research Interest

My interest is in understanding the virus-host interactions that control innate immunity and contribute to disease establishment and pathogenesis

Research Focus

Virus replication and spread is dependent on a fine balance between the host immune response and viral immune evasion mechanisms, and my research centers on understanding these complex interactions which influence the establishment of disease and pathogenesis. Within the group of Prof. Jürgen Haas I have used high-throughput screening strategies (siRNA gene knockdown, human miRNA and protein interactions) to systematically identify host genes which regulate innate immune responses to viral infection. My interests extend to explore the mechanisms behind regulation of innate immunity, and how viruses overcome and subvert these responses to establish infection and cause disease.

Current Projects

I am currently involved in a major BBSRC-funded project to investigate the molecular biology of foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) replication with the aim of developing new methods of disease control (www.fmdv.ac.uk), in collaboration with The Pirbright Institute, and the Universities of Leeds, Dundee and St. Andrews. My role in this project is to identify host interaction partners of viral proteins, and host genes which contribute or block FMDV replication, using a non-infectious replicon system. In addition to FMDV, my work investigating innate immunity against herpesviruses will continue.

Selected publications

1. Russell CD, Griffiths SJ, Baillie JK, Haas J (2014). Stratified medicine: a call to arms? Lancet Infectious Disease 14(6):451. (In Press).

2. Beard PM*, Griffiths SJ*, Gonzalez O, Haga I, Pechenick-Jowers T, Reynolds D, Wildenhain J, Tekotte H, Auer M, Tyers M, Ghazal P, Haas JG (2014). A loss of function analysis of host factors influencing Vaccinia virus replication by RNA interference. PLoS One (In Press) *Joint first author.

3. Russell CD, Griffiths SJ and Haas J. (2014). Interferon lambda genetic polymorphisms and viral infection: the tip of the iceberg? DNA and Cell Biology. 33(2).

4. Griffiths SJ. (2013). Screening for host proteins with pro- and antiviral activity using high-throughput RNAi in ‘Virus-Host Interactions’. Methods in Molecular Biology. Vol. 1064:71-90 (doi: 10-1007/978-1-62703-601-6_5).

5. Griffiths SJ, Koegl M, Boutell C, Zenner HL, Crump CM, Gonzalez O, Friedel CC, Barry G, Martin K, Craigon MH, Chen R, Kaza LN, Fossum E, Fazakerley JK, Efstathiou S, Zimmer R, Ghazal P, Haas JG (2013). A systematic analysis of host factors reveals a Med23-IFN-λ regulatory axis against Herpes simplex virus Type I replication. PLoS Pathogens. 9(8):e1003514.

6. Blanc M, Hsieh WY, Robertson KA, Kropp KA, Forster T, Shui G, Lacaze P, Watterson S, Griffiths SJ, Spann NJ, Meljon A, Talbot S, Krishnan K, Covey DF, Wenk MR, Craigon M, Ruzsics Z, Haas J, Angulo A, Griffiths WJ, Glass CK, Wang Y, Ghazal P (2013). The transcription factor Stat1 couples macrophage synthesis of 25-hydroxycholesterol to the interferon antiviral response. Immunity. 38(1): 106-118.

7. Santhakumar DS, Forster T, Laqtom NN, Fragkoudis R, Dickinson P, Abreu-Goodger C, Manakov SA, Roy Choudhury N, Griffiths SJ, Vermeulen A, Enright AJ, Dutia B, Kohl A, Ghazal P, Buck A (2010). Combined agonist-antagonist genome-wide functional screening identifies broadly active anti-viral microRNAs. PNAS USA. 107(31): 13830-13835.