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Dr Andrew E. Firth

Dr Andrew E. Firth

Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow

Reader in Virus Bioinformatics

Division of Virology



- Bioinformatics

- RNA virus comparative genomics

- Virus gene expression mechanisms / translational control

- Novel virus discovery

- Ribosome profiling

- RNA structure and function

Department of Pathology
Division of Virology
University of Cambridge
Laboratories Block Level 5
Box 237, Addenbrookes Hospital
Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 762652

Research themes




Research Interests

See our website:

Research Supervision

We welcome enquiries from students interested in bioinformatics / computational biology, or experimental virology.

Funding for our research comes from the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council.

  • Research Associates (experimental virology): Dr Nina Lukhovitskaya, Dr Hazel Stewart, Dr Valeria Lulla
  • Research Associates (bioinformatics): Dr Katherine Brown, Dr Adam Dinan
  • Graduate Students: Ingrida Olendraite, Charlotte Tumescheit, Ji Wang, Yousuf Khan

Key Publications

  • Lulla V*, Dinan AM, Hosmillo M, Chaudhry Y, Sherry L, Irigoyen N, Nayak KM, Stonehouse NJ, Zilbauer M, Goodfellow I, Firth AE* (2018) An upstream protein-coding region in enteroviruses modulates virus infection in gut epithelial cells. Nature Microbiology [E-pub ahead of print]
  • Napthine S, Ling R, Finch LK, Jones JD, Bell S, Brierley I*, Firth AE* (2017) Protein-directed ribosomal frameshifting temporally regulates gene expression. Nature Communications 8:15582.
  • Irigoyen N*, Firth AE*, Jones JD, Chung BY, Siddell SG, Brierley I* (2016) High-resolution analysis of coronavirus gene expression by RNA sequencing and ribosome profiling. PLoS Pathog 12:e1005473.
  • Olspert A, Chung BY, Atkins JF, Carr JP, Firth AE* (2015) Transcriptional slippage in the positive-sense RNA virus family PotyviridaeEMBO Rep 16:995-1004.
  • Smirnova E, Firth AE*, Miller WA*, Scheidecker D, Brault V, Reinbold C, Rakotondrafara AM, Chung BY, Ziegler-Graff V* (2015) Discovery of a small non-AUG-initiated ORF in poleroviruses and luteoviruses that is required for long-distance movement. PLoS Pathog 11:e1004868. 
  • Firth AE* (2014) Mapping overlapping functional elements embedded within the protein-coding regions of RNA viruses. Nucleic Acids Res 42:12425-12439. 
  • Fang Y*, Treffers EE, Li Y, Tas A, Sun Z, van der Meer Y, de Ru AH, van Veelen PA, Atkins JF, Snijder EJ*, Firth AE* (2012) Efficient -2 frameshifting by mammalian ribosomes to synthesize an additional arterivirus protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:E2920-E2928.
  • Jagger BW, Wise HM, Kash JC, Walters KA, Wills NM, Xiao YL, Dunfee RL, Schwartzman LM, Ozinsky A, Bell GL, Dalton RM, Lo A, Efstathiou S, Atkins JF, Firth AE*, Taubenberger JK*, Digard P* (2012) An overlapping protein-coding region in influenza A virus segment 3 modulates the host response. Science 337:199-204.
  • Loughran G, Firth AE*, Atkins JF (2011) Ribosomal frameshifting into an overlapping gene in the 2B-encoding region of the cardiovirus genome. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA108:E1111-E1119.
  • Chung BY, Miller WA, Atkins JF, Firth AE* (2008) An overlapping essential gene in the PotyviridaeProc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:5897-5902.