Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases

Centre Overview

The UCD Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID), established and directed by Prof William W. Hall, is located in a dedicated research building in UCD. This is specifically designed for research on the pathogenesis of a range of infectious diseases.

This centre has Biosafety level 2 (BL2) and BL3 (+) containment facilities and dedicated fully equipped laboratories for molecular virology, cellular biology and immunology.

UCD CRID currently comprises several Principal Investigators and research groups with projects focusing on many aspects of the pathogenesis, immunology and epidemiology of HIV-1, HTLVs, HCV and other human viral infections. Importantly, CRID benefits from a close relationship with the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL), where there are joint research studies and a sharing of resources and expertise.

Current and past research programmes are supported by Irish Aid, the Atlantic Philanthropies, Wellcome Trust, Japanese Foundation for AIDS Prevention, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Health Research Board (HRB), Irish Research Council (formerly IRSCET) and by UCD-seed funding.

More Information About UCD Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases

The Ireland Vietnam Blood Borne Virus Initiative (IVVI) is a collaborative programme between UCD and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) in Hanoi. The programme aims to develop capacity in clinical and diagnostic virology and virus research in Vietnam through infrastructure development and specialized training programmes. The concept was developed by Professor William Hall, Director of CRID, in response to the significant morbidity and mortality associated with blood borne virus (BBV) infections in Vietnam. Initial studies which have been recently published have focused on the molecular epidemiology and analysis of HIV and Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV) in Vietnam, which have highlighted the extraordinary diversity of viral species there. The initiative has also been involved in molecular analysis of Dengue and Chikungunya viruses in Vietnam and has demonstrated dynamic changes in circulating Dengue virus serotypes which have significant implications for clinical outcomes.

The Molecular Reference and Research Unit (MRU) carries out molecular epidemiological and pathogenesis studies on a range of blood-borne and respiratory viruses, viral drug resistance and tropism assays and performs World Health Organisation (WHO) surveillance work on influenza, measles, mumps and rubella viruses. Recent research programmes have also focused on developing molecular assays for arbovirus infections (Dengue and Chikungunya viruses).

The Host-virus Interaction Mapping Programme aims at characterising at the molecular and functional levels, interactions between key human viruses (HCV, HTLV-1, HTLV-2 and HIV-1) and the host cellular machinery. To delineate the host-virus interface, we have developed an expanding portfolio encompassing a wide array of tools for cellular biology, molecular virology combined with proteomic and metabolomic approaches.

The Viral Pathogenesis Programme has focused on transgenic and SCID mouse models of adult T cell leukaemia (ATL) which is caused by HTLV-1 infection. The studies which are in collaboration with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Tokyo are designed to identify specific molecular events in disease development so as to design focused treatments for this disease. These have focused on the role of cancer stem cells and have allowed the development of new targeted therapeutics and which are currently being studied in human clinical trials.

Research Team

Prof William Wall
Professor of Microbiology

Dr Virginie Gautier
Principal Investigator, Infectious Diseases

Dr Noreen Sheehy
Lecturer in Molecular Virology

 

 

Director Biography

Professor Hall is Chair of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine & Medicial Science and Director of the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases, both at University College Dublin. He is a Consultant Microbiologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital.

He is an expert in infectious diseases and virology, and in the roles of viruses in the development of leukaemia and lymphoma. Prior to his tenure at University College Dublin, he was Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Medical Virology, Senior Physician and Director of the Clinical Research Centre at the Rockefeller University in New York. Earlier, he was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Medicine at Cornell University.

Professor Hall is a Consultant to the Irish Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, providing input on a number of topics, including influenza pandemic preparedness and bioterrorism, and he is a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team. He was Ireland’s Project Coordinator for the Ireland-Vietnam Blood Borne Virus Initiative, a project supported by Irish Aid and The Atlantic Philanthropies. Professor Hall is Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of Irish Aid, which advises the Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Irish Government on overseas development aid.

His research has been published extensively in more than ten book chapters and 200 peer-reviewed and other journal articles. Professor Hall currently serves on the editorial boards of Journal of NeuroVirology, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Neuropathology, and the Journal of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (JAIDS). He was a Director of Amarin Corporation plc and President of the International Retrovirology Association. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Professor Hall earned his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University Belfast and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in New York. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK and in Ireland and is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United States.