Infection Medicine

Dr Richard Sloan

My laboratory aims to identify and characterise innate immune antiviral factors that inhibit virus replication. We are also interested in the development of broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics. We study a range of viruses in these contexts including HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and influenza A virus.

Dr Richard Sloan

Edinburgh-Zhejiang Senior Lecturer & Principal Investigator

  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • EH16 4SB

Contact details

Personal Profile

Dr Richard Sloan is a Senior Lecturer in Infection Medicine and the Zhejiang University - University of Edinburgh Institute (ZJU-UoE) in Haining China. After undergraduate studies in virology at the University of Edinburgh Richard obtained his PhD degree from University College London (UCL) in 2007 and then undertook postdoctoral research at Glasgow University and then McGill University AIDS Centre in Montreal. He started his own lab at Barts and The London School of Medicine in 2013, before moving to Edinburgh University to continue his research in 2016.


My primary teaching responsibility is in the areas of immunology and infectious disease for Biomedical Sciences undergraduate students at the Zhejiang University and Edinburgh University joint institute (ZJU-UoE Institute) in Haining, China.

I also contribute to our online Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases MSc, and other undergraduate infection and immunology courses based in Edinburgh. While our research group hosts a number of masters, undergraduate, and summer student research projects.


We aim to understand how cell intrinsic innate immunity inhibits viruses. Host cells express a variety of antiviral factors that directly inhibit viral infection, these are often inducible by type-I interferons. By identifying and understanding these antiviral factors we can develop new paradigms in antiviral therapy and understand viral disease susceptibility within individuals and populations. We do this for a range of pandemic viruses including HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A virus, but are also increasingly interested in other emerging viruses.

Recent work has involved comparative analysis of human alleles with non-human alleles from reservoir species and leveraging this understanding to reveal mechanisms. We are also interested in the secondary consequences of antiviral gene expression which might influence other aspects of cellular function. Cellular IFITM proteins which block viral entry by modifying cellular membranes are an area of particular focus in this regard, while we are interested more widely in how the cell systematically blocks virus entry during an immune response.

We are also interested in the development of broad-spectrum antivirals. The recent pandemic has highlighted that there is a deficit in this area. We are involved in developing antivirals from a range of immune and biological sources including collaboration with a number of companies.

Research Theme

Current Funding Sources

Lab Members


Selected Publications

For a full list of publications, see: Google Scholar

  • IFITM proteins: Understanding their diverse roles in viral infection, cancer, and immunity. (2023). Gómez-Herranz M, Taylor J, Sloan RD. J Biol Chem. 2023 Jan;299(1):102741. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102741

  • The Role of IFITM Proteins in Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Infection. (2022). Chmielewska AM, Gómez-Herranz M, Gach P, Nekulova M, Bagnucka MA, Lipińska AD, Rychłowski M, Hoffmann W, Król E, Vojtesek B, Sloan RD, Bieńkowska-Szewczyk K, Hupp T, Ball K. J Virol. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01130-21
  • IFITM proteins inhibit HIV protein synthesis. (2018) Lee WY, Fu RM, Liang C, Sloan RD. Scientific Reports. 8: 14551,
  • HIV-1 Accessory Protein Vpr Interacts with REAF/RPRD2 To Mitigate Its Antiviral Activity. (2020). Gibbons JM, Marno KM, Pike R, Lee WJ, Jones CE, Ogunkolade BW, Pardieu C, Bryan A, Fu RM, Warnes G, Rowley PA, Sloan RD, McKnight Á. J Virol. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01591-19
  • Phosphatase PP2A is essential for TH17 differentiation. Xu Q, Jin X, Zheng M, Rohila D, Fu G, Wen Z, Lou J, Wu S, Sloan R, Wang L, Hu H, Gao X, Lu L. (2019). PNAS.
  • Productive entry of HIV-1 during cell-to-cell transmission via dynamin-dependent endocytosis. (2013). Sloan RD, Kuhl BD, Mesplede TM, Donahue DA, Munch J, Wainberg MA. J Virol. 87(14):811023.
  • Transcription of preintegrated HIV-1 cDNA modulates expression of cell surface major histocompatibility complex class-I via Nef. Sloan RD, Kuhl BD, Donahue DA, Roland A, Bar-Magen T, Wainberg MA. (2011). Journal of Virology. 85(6):2828-36.