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Department of Genetics


Virus Genomics


Virology, genomics, human evolution

Research Interests

I study the evolution and diversity of double-stranded DNA viruses, human pathogens causing diseases as diverse as respiratory infections and fever to chronic nerve pain and cancer. Whole-genome sequencing allows us to track the spread of viruses in space and time; but it also allows us to detect drug resistance, to see the emergence of novel recombinant strains and to study the ancient evolution of successful human pathogens. My group also study the impact of virus diversity the immune responses to human infections.


Recent publications

  1. Multiplex MinION sequencing suggests enteric adenovirus F41 genetic diversity comparable to pre-COVID-19 era. Maes, Khokhar… Houldcroft CJ. Microbial Genomics, 2023. Doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000920
  2. Ancient herpes simplex 1 genomes reveal recent viral structure in Eurasia. Guellil… Houldcroft CJ and Scheib C*. Science Advances, 2022. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abo4435
  3. Assessing anti-HCMV cell mediated immune responses in transplant recipients and healthy controls using a novel functional assay. CJ Houldcroft, SE Jackson, Lim, E Y, GX Sedikides, EBM Remmerswaal et al. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 2020.
  4. Human cytomegalovirus haplotype reconstruction reveals high diversity due to superinfection and evidence of within-host recombination. J Cudini, S Roy, CJ Houldcroft, JM Bryant, DP Depledge, H Tutill, P Veys et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.
  5. Identification of novel adenovirus genotype 90 in children from Bangladesh. CJ Houldcroft, MA Beale, MA Sayeed, F Qadri, G Dougan, A Mutreja. Microbial Genomics, 2018.

Contact details

Group leader : Dr Charlotte Houldcroft

Department of Genetics,
University of Cambridge,
Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EH,
United Kingdom