Centre for Reproductive Health

Cuschieri group

Prevention, detection and management of cervical cancer and other HPV related diseases

+44 (0)131 242 6039

Scottish Human Papilloma Virus Reference Laboratory (SHPVRL)

Specialist Virology Centre

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Edinburgh BioQuarter

51 Little France Crescent

Edinburgh EH16 4SA

Current Research

The HPV Research Group together with the Scottish HPV Reference Laboratory (Department of Laboratory Medicine, RIE) and the Scottish HPV Investigator's Network (SHINe) undertakes research that will help to improve health service provision for the prevention, detection and management of cervical cancer and other HPV related diseases. 

A key focus of research is to develop biomarkers for the improved risk-stratification of HPV infection. Another key remit of the research group is the setup and management of the Scottish HPV Archive. The archive serves as a biobank residual samples including but not confined to cervical liquid based cytology (LBC) samples and DNA from the cervical screening programme. The samples are well annotated with clinical data and have approval for use in research. With regular quality assessments, we aim to provide researchers with a vital resource to improve the way we detect and manage HPV associated disease.

Group Members

Members Name Role Telephone Email    
Dr Ramya Bhatia  

Honorary Research Fellow

Clinical Scientist
+44 (0)131 242 6005 Email Ramya Bhatia
Hana Elasifer Co-ordinator, Scottish HPV Archive +44 (0)131 242 6625 Email Hana Elasifer
Sharon Moncur Research Technician +44 (0)131 242 6625 Email Sharon Moncur


  • Scottish HPV Reference Laboratory
  • Scottish HPV Investigator's Network
  • Prof Juergen Haas (University of Edinburgh)
  • Prof Maggie Cruickshank (University of Aberdeen)
  • Prof Sheila Graham (University of Glasgow)
  • Prof Marc Arbyn (Belgian Cancer Centre / Unit of Cancer Epidemiology)
  • Dr Belinda Nedjai (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Dr Jesper Bonde (Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre)
  • Prof J O Leary & the Cerviva Group (The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital& Trinity College, Dublin)

Web Links

Selected Publications

Cuschieri K, Pan J, O Donnell M, Kirkwood K, Kavanagh K, Pollock KG, Bhatia R, Graham SV, Wakeham K. Penile cancer and the HPV attributable fraction in Scotland; A retrospective cohort study. J Clin Virol. 2021 Jan;134:104717. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104717. Epub 2020 Dec 13. PMID: 33360857.

Stevenson A, Wakeham K, Pan J, Kavanagh K, Millan D, Bell S, McLellan D, Graham SV, Cuschieri K. Droplet digital PCR quantification suggests that higher viral load correlates with improved survival in HPV-positive oropharyngeal tumours. J Clin Virol. 2020 Aug;129:104505. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104505. Epub 2020 Jun 20. PMID: 32604039.

Bhatia R, Kavanagh K, Stewart J, Moncur S, Serrano I, Cong D, Cubie HA, Haas JG, Busby-Earle C, Williams ARW, Howie SEM, Cuschieri K. Host chemokine signature as a biomarker for the detection of pre-cancerous cervical lesions. Oncotarget. 2018 Apr 6;9(26):18548-18558. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.24946. eCollection 2018 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 29719625; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5915092.

Bhatia R, Serrano I, Wennington H, Graham C, Cubie H, Boland E, Fu G, Cuschieri K. Evaluation of a Novel Single-Tube Method for Extended Genotyping of Human Papillomavirus. J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Feb 22;56(3). pii: e01687-17. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01687-17. Print 2018 Mar. PubMed PMID: 29237790; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5824038.

Cuschieri K, Ronco G, Lorincz A, Smith L, Ogilvie G, Mirabello L, Carozzi F, Cubie H, Wentzensen N, Snijders P, Arbyn M, Monsonego J, Franceschi S. Eurogin roadmap 2017: Triage strategies for the management of HPV-positive women in cervical screening programs. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jan 17. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31261. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 29341110.

Kavanagh K, Pollock KG, Cuschieri K, Palmer T, Cameron RL, Watt C, Bhatia R, Moore C, Cubie H, Cruickshank M, Robertson C. Changes in the prevalence of human papillomavirus following a national bivalent human papillomavirus vaccination programme in Scotland: a 7-year cross-sectional study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Dec;17(12):1293-1302. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30468-1. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 28965955.

Cuschieri K, Geraets D, Cuzick J, Cadman L, Moore C, Vanden Broeck D, Padalko E, Quint W, Arbyn M. Performance of a Cartridge-Based Assay for Detection of Clinically Significant Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection: Lessons from VALGENT (Validation of HPV Genotyping Tests). J Clin Microbiol. 2016 Sep;54(9):2337-42. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00897-16. Epub 2016 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 27385707; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5005513.