skip to content

Department of Pathology



 Electron micrograph of a herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) particle.Our laboratory studies the assembly and egress of viruses with a focus on the cellular mechanisms utilised and modified by viruses during their replication. We primarily study two families of important human pathogens: herpesviruses and polyomaviruses. 

Herpesviruses are large (~200nm) and complex enveloped dsDNA viruses that are ubiquitous pathogens of vertebrates and establish life-long latent infections in their hosts. Infections by the nine known human herpesviruses are associated with many serious diseases including certain lymphomas and life-threatening conditions in immuno-compromised patients. The assembly of herpesviruses is known to involve the budding of nucleocapsids, together with the complex layer of tegument proteins, at membranes derived from post-Golgi endocytic compartments. Once formed, the membrane-bound compartments containing the mature virions undergo exocytosis to release infectious viruses from the cell.

Polyomaviruses are small (~45nm) non-enveloped dsDNA viruses that are ubiquitous pathogens in humans and can establish life-long persistent infections with periodic virus shedding. While polyomavirus infections are generally benign in immuno-competent hosts they are known to cause serious disease in immuno-compromised patients including haemorrhagic cystitis, polyomavirus-associated nephropathy, Merkel cell carcinoma, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. 

Examples of current ongoing projects in the lab are:

  1. Host cell modulation by herpesvirus tegument and envelope proteins
  2. Mechanisms of polyomavirus egress
  3. Viral and cellular mechanisms of herpesvirus cell-to-cell spread
  4. Genetic screens for host factors required for polyomavirus replication
  5. Advanced imaging techniques of virus infected cells
  6. Bunyavirus assembly and egress pathways


  • Group Members:

Viv Connor, Laura Caller, Sophia Ho, Kamal Nahas, Navneet Jandu, Jake Barker, Natalia da Silva Barbosa, Josephine von Kempis​


Key publications: 
  1. Scherer KM, Manton JD, Soh TK, Mascheroni L, Connor V, Crump CM, Kaminski CF. A fluorescent reporter system enables spatiotemporal analysis of host cell modification during herpes simplex virus-1 replication. J Biol Chem. 2020 Dec 30;296:100236. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.016571
  2. Soh TK, Davies CTR, Muenzner J, Hunter LM, Barrow HG, Connor V, Bouton CR, Smith C, Emmott E, Antrobus R, Graham SC, Weekes MP, Crump CM. Whole-cell and plasma membrane proteomics of herpes simplex virus-1 infection reveals cell surface remodelling via pUL56-mediated GOPC degradation. Cell Rep. 2020 Oct 6;33(1):108235. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108235
  3. Caller LG, Davies CTR, Antrobus R, Lehner PJ, Weekes MP, Crump CM. Temporal Proteomic Analysis of BK Polyomavirus Infection Reveals Virus-Induced G2 Arrest and Highly Effective Evasion of Innate Immune Sensing. J Virol. 2019 Jul 30;93(16):e00595-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00595-19
  4. Albecka A, Owen DJ, Ivanova L, Brun J, Liman R, Davies L, Ahmed MF, Colaco S, Hollinshead M, Graham SC, Crump CM. Dual Function of the pUL7-pUL51 Tegument Protein Complex in Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infection. J Virol. 2017 Jan 3;91(2):e02196-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02196-16
  5. Albecka A, Laine RF, Janssen AFJ, Kaminski CF, Crump CM. HSV-1 glycoproteins are delivered to virus assembly sites through dynamin-dependent endocytosis. Traffic. 2016 Jan;17(1):21-39. doi: 10.1111/tra.12340
  6. Evans GL, Caller LG, Foster V, Crump CM. Anion homeostasis is important for non-lytic release of BK polyomavirus from infected cells. Open Biol. 2015 Aug;5(8):150041. doi: 10.1098/rsob.150041
  7. Laine RF, Albecka A, van de Linde S, Rees EJ, Crump CM, Kaminski CF. Structural analysis of herpes simplex virus by optical super-resolution imaging. Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 22;6:5980. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6980


University Associate Professor
Division of Virology
Dr Colin  Crump

Contact Details

Department of Pathology
University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road
+44 (0)1223 763423
Not available for consultancy