Professor Peter Ghazal

Peter Ghazal_2014Personal Chair of Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine

University of Edinburgh, UK

Prof. Ghazal will visit Perth, Melbourne and will attend the ASI annual meeting inWollongong

Hosted by Andrew Currie, Murdoch University, WA


Peter Ghazal received a BSc in Biochemistry and Marine Sciences from University of Wales (1982) and a PhD in Genetics (Prof. Bishop) from the University of Edinburgh (1985). In 1986 he was awarded a visiting training fellowship to study at the National Institutes of Health where he successfully developed in vitro transcription assay systems for investigating the human cytomegalovirus enhancer and published some of the first studies identifying and revealing multiple transcription interactions with enhancer control regions. In 1989 he joined the Scripps Research Institute as a Senior Research Fellow (Prof Nelson) to continue his emerging interest in host-pathogen interactions and in 1990 was appointed a faculty member, first as an Assistant Professor and then promoted in 1995 to Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology. In 1993 he was awarded a Scholar of the American Leukemia Society in recognition of his work in the field of host transcriptional regulation of DNA viruses. While at Scripps he further established one of the first microarray facilities in the US and was the first to publish on viral whole genome expression. In 2000 he accepted a readership at the University of Edinburgh and in 2001 awarded personal Chair in Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine during which he established the Scottish Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics and in 2007 the Division of Pathway Medicine and was also founding member of the Centre for Systems Biology at Edinburgh. He has successfully pioneered systems level and mechanism based analyses of host protection pathways aimed at understanding immunity in early-life. His recent questions have led to elucidating the connection between innate immunity and how it regulates sterol/lipid metabolism in the interferon antiviral defence. He has also led a range of collaborative clinical investigations conducted in the UK and in Africa, using a systems biology approach to understand neonatal sepsis, and deciphering the molecular systems immunology of childhood pneumonia and vaccine responses. He has been a recipient of the Chancellors, Beacon and Pfizer Innovation awards and is presently Chair of the Virus Scientific Advisory Board for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the NIH Human Immunology Project Consortium.

Selected Key publications:

  1. Preckel, et alImpaired immunoproteosome assembly and immune responses in PA28-/- miceScience  286: 2162-2165, 1999.
  2. Wang et al. Rapid antibody responses by low-dose, single-step, dendritic cell-targeted immunization. Proc.Natl. Acad. Sci. USA  97: 847-852, 2000.
  3. Monier et alAnnexation of the interchromosomal space during infection.  Nature Cell Biol.  2: 661-665, 2000.
  4. Benedict et al Lymphotoxins and cytomegalovirus cooperatively induce interferon-? establishing host-virus détente.  Immunity. 15: 617-626, 2001
  5. Wilson et al Complete genome sequence and lytic phase transcription profile of a Coccolithovirus. Science 309: 1090 – 1092. 2005.
  6. Nouvre et al. The systems biology graphical notation. Nature Biotechnol. 8:735-41.2009.
  7. Blanc et al Host defense against viral infection involves interferon-mediated down-regulation of sterol biosynthesis. .PLoS Biol:9:e1000598. 2013.
  8. Fliss et al Viral mediated redirection of NEMO/IKKg to autophagosomes controls the inflammatory cascade. PLoS Pathog.8:e1002517.
  9. Hambleton et al. Stat2 deficiency and susceptibility to viral illness in humans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.USA 110:3053-8. 2013
  10. Blanc et alStat1 directly couples macrophage synthesis of 25-hydroxycholesterol to the interferon antiviral response.  Immunity. 38(1):106-18. 2013