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Professor Jonathan Luke Heeney

Professor Jonathan Luke Heeney

Vaccine induced immunity

Immune correlates of natural and vaccine induced immunity

Viral evasion of host responses

Jonathan Heeney is accepting applications for PhD students.

Jonathan Heeney is available for consultancy.

Research Interests

Our laboratory is focussed in part on natural resistance to RNA viral diseases, and the translation of this knowledge in the development of novel vaccines. We are currently funded to use a strategy of reverse vaccination to identify conserved B-cell epitopes on the envelopes of viruses such as Ebola, Lassa Fever Virus, Marburg Virus, HIV, HCV, Noroviruses and RNA viruses which have the potential of persisting by evading host defences.


B cells ; single cell transcriptomics ; immunosenescence ; reverse vaccinology ; mouse models ; mucosal immunity ; vaccines ; natural immunity ; reporter mice ; Innate Immune System ; intestinal innate immunity ; zoonosis ; host resistance ; single cell mRNA sequencing ; infection ; B cell lineage and repertoire development ; single cell profiling ; viral immune evasion ; infection and inflammation ; intestinal immune system ; virology ; innate immunity ; retrovirus ; Immunosenescence ; Calcivirus RNA viruses ; Immune-ageing


  • HIV
  • Primary Immunodeficiency
  • immunodeficiency
  • chronic inflammation
  • vaccines
  • immunodeficiency - primary
  • immunodeficiency - secondary
  • infectious diseases

Key Publications

Heeney JL. Ebola:  Hidden reservoirs. Nature. 2015 Nov 26;527(7579):453-5.    
Greenwood EJD, Schmidt F, Kondova I, Niphuis H, Hodara V, Clissold L, McLay K, Guerra B, Redrobe S, Giavedoni LD, Lanford RE, Murthy KK, Rouet F, Heeney JL Simian immunodeficiency virus infection of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) shares features of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic lentiviral infections PLOS Pathogens 2015 Sep 11;11(9):e1005146.  
Daly GM, Leggett RM, Rowe W, Stubbs S, Wilkinson M, Ramirez-Gonzalez RH, Caccamo M, Bernal W, Heeney JL Host Subtraction, Filtering and Assembly Validations for Novel Viral Discovery Using Next Generation Sequencing Data. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 22;10(6):e0129059.
Swamy M, Abeler-Dörner L, Chettle J, Mahlakõiv T, Goubau D, Chakravarty P, Ramsay G, Reis e Sousa C, Staeheli P, Blacklaws B, Heeney JL, and Hayday A. Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocyte activation promotes innate antiviral resistance. Nat Commun. 2015 May 19;6:7090. 
Veldhoen M, Heeney JL. A helminth-mediated viral awakening. Trends Immunol. 2014 Aug 28. pii: S1471-4906(14)00144-6. 

Shortland A, Chettle J, Archer J, Wood K, Bailey D, Goodfellow I, Blacklaws BA, Heeney JL. Pathology caused by persistent murine norovirus infection. J Gen Virol. 2014 Feb;95(Pt 2):413-22.

Greenwood EJ, Schmidt F, Liégeois F, Kondova I, Herbert A, Ngoubangoye B, Rouet F, Heeney JL. Loss of memory CD4+ T-cells in semi-wild mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) naturally infected with species-specific simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmnd-1. J Gen Virol. 2014 Jan;95(Pt 1):201-12. 

Varela M, Verschoor E, Lai RP, Hughes J, Mooj P, McKinley TJ, Fitzmaurice TJ, Landskron L, Willett BJ, Frost SD, Bogers WM, Heeney JL.Genetic imprint of vaccination on simian/human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transmitted viral genomes in rhesus macaques. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 14;8(8):e70814.

Lai RP, Seaman MS, Tonks P, Wegmann F, Seilly DJ, Frost SD, LaBranche CC, Montefiori DC, Dey AK, Srivastava IK, Sattentau Q, Barnett SW, Heeney JL. Mixed adjuvant formulations reveal a new combination that elicit antibody response comparable to Freund's adjuvants. PLoS One. 2012;7(4)

Dey AK, Burke B, Sun Y, Hartog K, Heeney JL, Montefiori D, Srivastava IK, Barnett SW. Use of a polyanionic carbomer, Carbopol971P, in combination with MF59, improves antibody responses to HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. Vaccine. 2012 Apr 5;30(17):2749-59.

Varela M, Landskron L, Lai RP, McKinley TJ, Bogers WM, Verschoor EJ, Dubbes R, Barnett SW, Frost SD, Heeney JL.  Molecular evolution analysis of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope in simian/human immunodeficiency virus-infected macaques: implications for challenge dose selection. J Virol. 2011 Oct;85(19):10332-45.

Heeney JL, Dalgleish AG, Weiss RA Origins of HIV and the evolution of resistance to AIDS. Science 2006;313(5786):462-6