Dr Graham Taylor

Graham Taylor.School of Cancer Studies Birmingham University.

Dr Graham Taylor has developed a research portfolio studying the immune response to Epstein Barr Virus, a common pathogen linked to a number of human malignancies.

Senior Lecturer in Tumour Immunology, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Birmingham.

Email: g.s.taylor@bham.ac.uk

UoB profile

Background and Research focus

Graham Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Tumour Immunology at the University of Birmingham who leads multiple research programmes in basic and translational cancer research. In particular, he has a long standing research focus on how tumour associated antigens are processed and presented by MHC II molecules for recognition by CD4+ T cells, with the eventual aim of manipulating these pathways to enhance tumour cell killing. In addition, Graham and his team have developed a therapeutic vaccine for Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)-associated malignancies that, in collaboration with Cancer Research UK, is currently being tested in Phase 2 clinical trials. Almost 200,000 cases of EBV-associated cancer occur each year worldwide and improved treatments are urgently required.  Other work is exploring ways to make a different type of vaccine, one that would protect against being infected with EBV. Such a vaccine would form the basis of a long-term strategy to reduce the incidence of EBV-associated cancers in the populations.

More recent activity from Graham’s team has involved investigating non-virus associated malignancies including bladder cancer, which is a common form of cancer and the most expensive to treat on a per patient basis. Hence, in collaboration with the Birmingham urological team, Graham and his group is examining the immunological microenvironment of bladder cancer. One aspect of this work involves determining ways to predict which patients will respond better to immune-based therapies thereby enabling clinicians to stratify risk more effectively among patients. Ultimately stratified medicine will ensure that the right patient gets the appropriate treatment at the right time. In addition to this, his team is interested in defining the basic mechanisms underlying such treatments so that they can be further optimized. Recently Graham has expanded his research interests to examine the role of EBV in multiple sclerosis.immunotherapy, with a focus on understanding immune receptor recognition. His recent work focuses on novel tumour antigens and unconventional T cell function, particularly in immunosurveillance of cellular stress. He has received major grants from Cancer Research UK, and most recently Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. 


Tumour Immunology; EBV associated malignancies; bladder cancer; antigen processing and presentation; tumour microenvironment; EBV vaccine; multiple sclerosis.

Other activities

In addition to his research, Graham makes substantial contributions to teaching at many levels. In particular, he co-ordinates and delivers lectures on a range of undergraduate (BMedSc and MBChB) and postgraduate (MSc) courses. He is also closely affiliated with the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Centre (CIIC). Finally he serves as a peer reviewer for a number of research bodies and scientific journals.  


Hui EP, Taylor GS, Jia H, Ma BB, Chan SL, Ho R, Wong WL, Wilson S, Johnson BF, Edwards C, Stocken DD, Rickinson AB, Steven NM, Chan AT. Phase I trial of recombinant modified vaccinia ankara encoding Epstein-Barr viral tumor antigens in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients. Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 15;73(6):1676-88.

Williams LR, Taylor GS. Autophagy and immunity – insights from human herpesviruses. Front Immunol. 2012 Jul 4;3:170.

Leung, CS, Haigh TA, Mackay LK, Rickinson AB, Taylor GS. Nuclear location of an endogenously expressed antigen, EBNA1, restricts access to macroautophagy and the range of CD4 epitope display. Proc Nat Acad Sci (USA) 2010 107(5):2165-70.

Mackay LK, Long HM, Brooks JM, Taylor GS, Leung CS, Chen A, Wang F, Rickinson AB. T cell detection of a B-cell tropic virus infection: newly-synthesised versus mature viral proteins as antigen sources for CD4 and CD8 epitope display. PLoS Pathog. 2009 5(12):e1000699

Long HM, Zuo J, Leese AM, Gudgeon NH, Jia H, Taylor GS, Rickinson AB. CD4+ T cell clones recognising human lymphoma-associated antigens: generation by in vitro stimulation with autologous Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells. Blood. 2009;114(4):807-15

Haigh TA, Lin X, Hui EP, Chan ATC, Jia H, Rickinson AB and Taylor GS. CD4+ T cell clones specific for Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) latent membrane proteins 1 and 2 recognise EBV transformed B cell lines. J Immunol. 2008;180(3):1643-54.

Taylor GS, Long HM, Haigh TA, Larsen M, Brooks J, Rickinson AB. A role for intercellular antigen transfer in the recognition of EBV-transformed B cell lines by EBV nuclear antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. J Immunol. 2006;177(6):3746-56.

Landais E, Morice A, Long HM, Haigh TA, Charreau B, Bonneville M, Houssaint E, Taylor GS . EBV-specific CD4+ T cell clones exhibit vigorous allogeneic responses. J Immunol. 2006;177(3):1427-33.

Long HM, Haigh TA, Gudgeon NH, Leen AM, Tsang CW, Brooks J, Landais E, Houssaint E, Lee SP, Rickinson AB, Taylor GS. CD4+ T-cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent-cycle antigens and the recognition of EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines. J Virol. 2005;79(8):4896-907.

Taylor GS, Haigh TA, Gudgeon NH, Phelps RJ, Lee SP, Steven NM, Rickinson AB. Dual stimulation of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-specific CD4+- and CD8+-T-cell responses by a chimeric antigen construct: potential therapeutic vaccine for EBV-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma. J Virol. 2004; 78(2):768-78.