Dr Peter Balfe B.Sc. PhD

Dr Peter Balfe

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 8174
+44 (0)121 414 3599
Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Peter Balfe helped set up the Hepatitis Virus Research group at the Medical School where he's been since January 2005. His group includes 10 people at present (5 post-docs, 4 Ph. D. students and 1 technician). They occupy 3 adjoining labs on the 5th floor of the IBR building, 2 cat 3 labs and have shared access to all of the facilities in IBR Building. His group is involved in a wide range of collaborative studies both with colleagues within the medical school and elsewhere.

Dr Balfe's own research investigates the sequence variation of HCV, with particular emphasis on the effects of sequence change on interactions between the virus and it's 4 receptors, and on the recognition of the virus by the humoral immune response. 


  • PhD 1984
  • B.Sc. (hons) Biological sciences 1978


Peter is responsible for much of Virology teaching to undergraduates in the Medical School the "Infection" webpages for our undergraduate courses. He tries to make Virology fun and has had some fantastic students.

Postgraduate supervision

The HCV group is interested in supervising doctoral research (Ph.D.) students in the all areas of clinically relevant HCV disease

If you are interesting in studying in this subject area please contact us using the contact details above, or for more general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   


Research themes

Other activities

In addition to research and teaching, Peter helps co-ordinate the College's involvement in the STEMnet scheme for schools. He is also involved in the “Big Bang Fair”, the “Pint of Science”, the “End Polio Now” campaign, Birmingham Rotary club and several other outreach activities.


Last 10 publications:

'Lentiviral hepatitis B pseudotype entry requires sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide and additional hepatocyte-specific factors.'  Meredith LW, Hu K, Cheng X, Howard CR, Baumert TF, Balfe P, van de Graaf KF, Protzer U, McKeating JA, J Gen Virol, 97: 121-7, 2016.

'Effect of scavenger receptor class B type I antagonist ITX5061 in patients with hepatitis C virus infection undergoing liver transplantation.'  Rowe IA, Tully DC, Armstrong MJ, Parker R, Guo K, Barton D, Morse GD, Venuto CS, Ogilvie CB, Hedegaard DL, McKelvy JF, Wong-Staal F, Allen TM, Balfe P, McKeating JA, Mutimer DJ, Liver Transpl, 22: 287-97, 2016.

'Adaptive Mutations Enhance Assembly and Cell-to-Cell Transmission of a High-Titer Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 5a Core-NS2 JFH1-Based Recombinant.'  Mathiesen CK, Prentoe J, Meredith LW, Jensen TB, Krarup H, McKeating JA, Gottwein JM, Bukh J, J Virol, 89: 7758-75, 2015.

'Clearance of persistent hepatitis C virus infection in humanized mice using a claudin-1-targeting monoclonal antibody.'  Mailly L, Xiao F, Lupberger J, Wilson GK, Aubert P, Duong FH, Calabrese D, Leboeuf C, Fofana I, Thumann C, Bandiera S, Lütgehetmann M, Volz T, Davis C, Harris HJ, Mee CJ, Girardi E, Chane-Woon-Ming B, Ericsson M, Fletcher N, Bartenschlager R, Pessaux P, Vercauteren K, Meuleman P, Villa P, Kaderali L, Pfeffer S, Heim MH, Neunlist M, Zeisel MB, Dandri M, McKeating JA, Robinet E, Baumert TF, Nat Biotechnol, 33: 549-54, 2015.

'Hepatitis C virus infection of cholangiocarcinoma cell lines.'  Fletcher NF, Humphreys E, Jennings E, Osburn W, Lissauer S, Wilson GK, van IJzendoorn SC, Baumert TF, Balfe P, Afford S, McKeating JA, J Gen Virol, 96: 1380-8, 2015.

'Permissivity of primary hepatocytes and hepatoma cell lines to support hepatitis C virus infection.'  Wilson GK, Farquhar MJ, Meredith L, Dhawan A, Mitry R, Balfe P, McKeating JA, J Gen Virol, 96: 1369-73, 2015.

'Structural flexibility of a conserved antigenic region in hepatitis C virus glycoprotein E2 recognized by broadly neutralizing antibodies.'  Meola A, Tarr AW, England P, Meredith LW, McClure CP, Foung SK, McKeating JA, Ball JK, Rey FA, Krey T, J Virol, 89: 2170-81, 2015.

'Hypoxia inducible factors in liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma: current understanding and future directions.'  Wilson GK, Tennant DA, McKeating JA, J Hepatol, 61: 1397-406, 2014.

'Type I interferon rapidly restricts infectious hepatitis C virus particle genesis.'  Meredith LW, Farquhar MJ, Tarr AW, McKeating JA, Hepatology, 60: 1891-901, 2014.

'A role for CD81 and hepatitis C virus in hepatoma mobility.'  Brimacombe CL, Wilson GK, Hübscher SG, McKeating JA, Farquhar MJ, Viruses, 6: 1454-72, 2014.