News & Events

EBV: a tumour virus at 50 years old

Article Date: 16.02.14
Category: Clinical Trials

CIIC researchers are to take part in a historic conference in Keble College,  Oxford, to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of EBV, the first human tumour virus. 

The virus was first discovered by Anthony Epstein, Bert Achong, and Yvonne Barr in 1964.

The conference will feature a programme of international speakers, including Birmingham-based Dr Graham Taylor.

“EBV has been of huge importance to our understanding of how viruses can cause cancer, and also how cancer arises in general,” Dr Taylor commented.

“Research into the virus has been a major focus in Birmingham for last three decades, particularly involving Prof Alan Rickinson.”

Although Prof Rickinson has recently retired, Dr Taylor is now taking his research on the virus to the next stage, as he explained. “We have a deep understanding of how the immune response can control EBV infection in healthy individuals, and myself and colleagues have now applied this knowledge to develop a vaccine to EBV infection for use in patients with cancers caused by the virus.”

Dr Taylor will be presenting his EBV vaccine research at the conference, alongside a presentation from Sir Anthony Epstein himself, now 93 years old.

It promises to be a fascinating anniversary for a virus that has provided many insights into how cancer can develop, and how the immune system can keep it in check.

“Epstein Barr Virus 2014: EBV at 50” is being held at Keble College, University of Oxford, on 23-25th March, 2014.