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Dr Colin Crump

Dr Colin Crump

University Senior Lecturer

Division of Virology

Department of Pathology
University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 763423

Research themes


Virus assembly and egress



Research Interests

Crump Research 1
Figure 1: 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.

Crump Research 2
Figure 2: Immunofluorescence image of a cell infected with herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). The localisation of two different major viral structural proteins is shown in green and red

Examples of current ongoing projects in the lab are:

  1. Host cell modulation by herpesvirus tegument proteins
  2. Cellular pathways involved in polyomavirus egress
  3. Viral and cellular mechanisms of herpesvirus secretion
  4. Super-resolution microscopy imaging of the structure and assembly of viruses in cells
  5. Host cell modulation by polyomavirus infection


  • Post doctoral research associate:

Dr Laura Caller

  • Graduate Students:

Sophia Ho, Kamal Nahas

  • Chief Research Laboratory Technician:

Viv Connor

Key Publications

  1. Albecka A, Owen DJ, Ivanova L, Brun J, Liman R, Davies L, Ahmed MF, Colaco S, Hollinshead M, Graham SC, Crump CM (2017) Dual Function of the pUL7-pUL51 Tegument Protein Complex in Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infection. J Virol. 91(2) pii: e02196-16
  2. Albecka A, Laine RF, Janssen AFJ, Kaminski CF, Crump CM. (2016) HSV-1 glycoproteins are delivered to virus assembly sites through dynamin-dependent endocytosis. Traffic, 17(1):21-39. doi: 10.1111/tra.12340
  3. Evans GL, Caller LG, Foster V, Crump CM. (2015) Anion homeostasis is important for non-lytic release of BK polyomavirus from infected cells. Open Biol. 5: 150041.
  4. Lau SY, Crump CM. (2015) HSV-1 gM and the gK/pUL20 complex are important for the localization of gD and gH/L to viral assembly sites. Viruses. Mar 4;7(3):915-38.
  5. Laine RF, Albecka A, van de Linde S, Rees EJ, Crump CM, Kaminski CF. (2015) Structural analysis of herpes simplex virus by optical super-resolution imaging. Nat Commun. Jan 22;6:5980