Professor Jane McKeating B.Sc. PhD

Professor Jane McKeating

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Professor of Molecular Virology

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 8173
+44 (0)121 414 3599
Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Centre for Human Virology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

McKeating is Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and is Director of the Centre for Human Virology

She also holds the Hans Fischer Fellowship and visiting Professorship at Technical University of Munich. She runs a translational research programme that investigates hepatitis B and C viral pathogenesis with the aim of developing new therapies and improving outcome for patients with viral associated hepatocellular carcinoma. She has published over 150 research publications with a H-index of index 64 (SCI) and 15,200 citations.


  • PhD in virology, University College London, 1987

  • BSc in Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, 1982


Early career

In 1987 I joined Robin Weiss’s laboratory at the Institute for Cancer Research to study HIV-1 entry into T cells and antibody neutralization. This work elucidated the role of CD4 in HIV infection (Science 1990), leading to the first clinical trial of soluble receptor mimics. In a series of significant papers we showed that different domains of the HIV encoded glycoprotein gp120 impact virus-receptor engagement and mediate escape from immune surveillance (Nature 1989; Nature 1990). I was awarded a Lister Fellowship in 1994 and the Fleming Medal from the Society of General Microbiology in 1995 for my work in this field.

Mid career

In 2000 I began working with Charles Rice at Rockefeller University. Our research led to a series of major advances in the field: (1) Discovery of factors that restrict HCV replication and identification of hepatoma cells that support efficient viral RNA replication, one of the key discoveries that made possible the development of effective anti-viral treatments for chronic hepatitis C (J. Virol 2002); (2) The now-classic description of infectious HCV pseudotypes (PNAS 2003) that have underpinned molecular studies to dissect liver tropism (Nature 2007; Nature 2009) and anti-HCV neutralizing antibodies for vaccine development (PNAS 2004); (3) the efficient propagation of HCV in vitro (Science 2005) and in vivo (PNAS 2006) that have significantly advanced the field.

Professorial career

I returned to the UK in 2006 to establish the Viral Hepatitis research group at the University of Birmingham, where I direct a multidisciplinary research group comprising clinician scientists, virologists and biochemists driving an integrated translational research programme. My research benefits from many national and international collaborators, reflected in my co-authored publications with many of the worlds leading viral immunology labs. 



Postgraduate supervision

The HCV group is actively involved in the supervision and mentoring of doctoral research (Ph.D.) students in the all areas of clinically relevant HCV disease.

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

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


Viral hepatitis, virus entry and viral Oncology

Our research focuses on understanding the mechanism of hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry into the liver and how the virus persists to evade the innate and adaptive immune responses. Development of multi-cellular systems comprising hepatocytes and non-parenchymal liver cells have enabled us to uncover new pathways that regulate viral replication. We are exploring the impact of viral and bacterial co-infection on HCV pathogenesis and the role persistent HCV replication plays in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Other activities

Jane is a member of the MRC Infections and Immunity Board and is an ad hoc reviewer for Wellcome Trust Expert Review group, Dutch MRC and German DfG review panels. She serves on several editorial boards (Virology, J General Virology, AIDS, PLos One, Hepatology) and routinely review papers for a variety of journals including J. Virology, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nature Medicine. She is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences and am a member of the organizing committee for the International HCV meeting.


Paracrine signals from liver sinusoidal endothelium regulate hepatitis C virus replication. Rowe IA, Galsinh SK, Wilson GK, Parker R, Durant S, Lazar C, Branza-Nichita N, Bicknell R, Adams DH, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) 2013:

An alpaca nanobody inhibits hepatitis C virus entry and cell-to-cell transmission.Tarr AW, Lafaye P, Meredith L, Damier-Piolle L, Urbanowicz RA, Meola A, Jestin JL, Brown RJ, McKeating JA, Rey FA, Ball JK, Krey T. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) 2013:

HRas signal transduction promotes hepatitis C virus cell entry by triggering assembly of the host tetraspanin receptor complex. Zona L, Lupberger J, Sidahmed-Adrar N, Thumann C, Harris HJ, Barnes A, Florentin J, Tawar RG, Xiao F, Turek M, Durand SC, Duong FH, Heim MH, Cosset FL, Hirsch I, Samuel D, Brino L, Zeisel MB, Le Naour F, McKeating JA, Baumert TF. Cell host & microbe 2013 13: 302-13

A bile acid transporter as a candidate receptor for hepatitis B and D virus entry.Xiao F, McKeating JA, Baumert TF. Journal of hepatology 2013 58: 1246-8

Early infection events highlight the limited transmissibility of hepatitis C virus in vitro. Meredith LW, Harris HJ, Wilson GK, Fletcher NF, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of hepatology 2013 58: 1074-80

Hepatoma polarization limits CD81 and hepatitis C virus dynamics. Harris HJ, Clerte C, Farquhar MJ, Goodall M, Hu K, Rassam P, Dosset P, Wilson GK, Balfe P, Ijzendoorn SC, Milhiet PE, McKeating JA. Cellular microbiology 2013 15: 430-45

In silico directed mutagenesis identifies the CD81/claudin-1 hepatitis C virus receptor interface. Davis C, Harris HJ, Hu K, Drummer HE, McKeating JA, Mullins JG, Balfe P. Cellular microbiology 2012 14: 1892-903

Heterogeneous claudin-1 expression in human liver. Harris HJ, Wilson GK, Hübscher SG, McKeating JA. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) 2013 57: 854-5

Hepatitis C virus and the brain. Fletcher NF, McKeating JA. Journal of viral hepatitis 2012 19: 301-6

Over the fence or through the gate: how viruses infect polarized cells. Fletcher NF, Howard C, McKeating JA. Immunotherapy 2012 4: 249-51

Hepatitis C virus entry: beyond receptors. Meredith LW, Wilson GK, Fletcher NF, McKeating JA. Reviews in medical virology 2012 22: 182-93

Hepatitis C virus induces CD81 and claudin-1 endocytosis. Farquhar MJ, Hu K, Harris HJ, Davis C, Brimacombe CL, Fletcher SJ, Baumert TF, Rappoport JZ, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of virology 2012 86: 4305-16

A dual role for hypoxia inducible factor-1α in the hepatitis C virus lifecycle and hepatoma migration. Wilson GK, Brimacombe CL, Rowe IA, Reynolds GM, Fletcher NF, Stamataki Z, Bhogal RH, Simões ML, Ashcroft M, Afford SC, Mitry RR, Dhawan A, Mee CJ, Hübscher SG, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of hepatology 2012 56: 803-9

Hepatitis C virus infects the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier. Fletcher NF, Wilson GK, Murray J, Hu K, Lewis A, Reynolds GM, Stamataki Z, Meredith LW, Rowe IA, Luo G, Lopez-Ramirez MA, Baumert TF, Weksler B, Couraud PO, Kim KS, Romero IA, Jopling C, Morgello S, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Gastroenterology 2012 142: 634-643.e6

Rituximab treatment in hepatitis C infection: an in vitro model to study the impact of B cell depletion on virus infectivity. Stamataki Z, Tilakaratne S, Adams DH, McKeating JA. PloS one 2011 6: e25789

Immunization of human volunteers with hepatitis C virus envelope glycoproteins elicits antibodies that cross-neutralize heterologous virus strains. Stamataki Z, Coates S, Abrignani S, Houghton M, McKeating JA. The Journal of infectious diseases 2011 204: 811-3

EGFR and EphA2 are host factors for hepatitis C virus entry and possible targets for antiviral therapy. Lupberger J, Zeisel MB, Xiao F, Thumann C, Fofana I, Zona L, Davis C, Mee CJ, Turek M, Gorke S, Royer C, Fischer B, Zahid MN, Lavillette D, Fresquet J, Cosset FL, Rothenberg SM, Pietschmann T, Patel AH, Pessaux P, Doffoël M, Raffelsberger W, Poch O, McKeating JA, Brino L, Baumert TF. Nature medicine 2011 17: 589-95

Neutralizing antibody-resistant hepatitis C virus cell-to-cell transmission. Brimacombe CL, Grove J, Meredith LW, Hu K, Syder AJ, Flores MV, Timpe JM, Krieger SE, Baumert TF, Tellinghuisen TL, Wong-Staal F, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of virology 2011 85: 596-605

Small molecule scavenger receptor BI antagonists are potent HCV entry inhibitors. Syder AJ, Lee H, Zeisel MB, Grove J, Soulier E, Macdonald J, Chow S, Chang J, Baumert TF, McKeating JA, McKelvy J, Wong-Staal F. Journal of hepatology 2011 54: 48-55

Hepatitis C virus infection of neuroepithelioma cell lines. Fletcher NF, Yang JP, Farquhar MJ, Hu K, Davis C, He Q, Dowd K, Ray SC, Krieger SE, Neyts J, Baumert TF, Balfe P, McKeating JA, Wong-Staal F. Gastroenterology 2010 139: 1365-74

Mechanisms of viral entry: sneaking in the front door. Thorley JA, McKeating JA, Rappoport JZ. Protoplasma 2010 244: 15-24

Development of novel therapies for hepatitis C. Lemon SM, McKeating JA, Pietschmann T, Frick DN, Glenn JS, Tellinghuisen TL, Symons J, Furman PA. Antiviral research 2010 86: 79-92

Claudin association with CD81 defines hepatitis C virus entry. Harris HJ, Davis C, Mullins JG, Hu K, Goodall M, Farquhar MJ, Mee CJ, McCaffrey K, Young S, Drummer H, Balfe P, McKeating JA. The Journal of biological chemistry 2010 285: 21092-102

Hepatitis C virus infection reduces hepatocellular polarity in a vascular endothelial growth factor-dependent manner. Mee CJ, Farquhar MJ, Harris HJ, Hu K, Ramma W, Ahmed A, Maurel P, Bicknell R, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Gastroenterology 2010 138: 1134-42

Hepatoma cell density promotes claudin-1 and scavenger receptor BI expression and hepatitis C virus internalization. Schwarz AK, Grove J, Hu K, Mee CJ, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of virology 2009 83: 12407-14

The complexities of hepatitis C virus entry. Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of hepatology 2009 51: 609-11

Polarization restricts hepatitis C virus entry into HepG2 hepatoma cells. Mee CJ, Harris HJ, Farquhar MJ, Wilson G, Reynolds G, Davis C, van IJzendoorn SC, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Journal of virology 2009 83: 6211-21

Hepatitis C virus association with peripheral blood B lymphocytes potentiates viral infection of liver-derived hepatoma cells. Stamataki Z, Shannon-Lowe C, Shaw J, Mutimer D, Rickinson AB, Gordon J, Adams DH, Balfe P, McKeating JA. Blood 2009 113: 585-93

Hepatitis C virus cell-cell transmission in hepatoma cells in the presence of neutralizing antibodies. Timpe, J. M., Stamataki, Z., Jennings, A., Hu, K., Farquhar, M. J., Harris, H. J., Schwarz, A., Desombere, I., Roels, G. L., Balfe, P. & McKeating, J. A. (2008). Hepatology 47, 17-24.

Claudin-1 is a hepatitis C virus co-receptor required for a late step in entry. Evans, M. J., von Hahn, T., Tscherne, D. M., Syder, A. J., Panis, M., Wolk, B., Hatziioannou, T., McKeating, J. A., Bieniasz, P. D. & Rice, C. M. (2007). Nature 446, 801-805.

Hepatitis C virus continuously escapes from neutralizing antibody and T-cell responses during chronic infection in vivo. von Hahn, T., Yoon, J. C., Alter, H., Rice, C. M., Rehermann, B., Balfe, P. & McKeating, J. A. (2007). Gastroenterology 132, 667-678. (Citations to date 189).

Complete replication of hepatitis C virus in cell culture. Lindenbach, B. D., Evans, M. J., Syder, A. J., Wolk, B., Tellinghuisen, T. L., Liu, C. C., Maruyama, T., Hynes, R. O., Burton, D. R., McKeating, J. A., & Rice, C. M. (2005). Science (New York, NY 309, 623-626. (Citations to date 1,354). The first report showing that HCV can replicate and assemble infectious particles in cell culture.

Neutralizing antibody response during acute and chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Logvinoff, C., Major, M. E., Oldach, D., Heyward, S., Talal, A., Balfe, P., Feinstone, S. M., Alter, H., Rice, C. M. & McKeating, J. A. (2004). PNAS USA 101, 10149-10154. (Citations to date 233).

Hepatitis C virus glycoproteins mediate pH-dependent cell entry of pseudotyped retroviral particles. Hsu, M., Zhang, J., Flint, M., Logvinoff, C., Cheng-Mayer, C., Rice, C. M. & McKeating, J. A. (2003). PNAS USA 100, 7271-7276.

Highly permissive cell lines for subgenomic and genomic hepatitis C virus RNA replication. Blight, K. J., McKeating, J. A. & Rice, C. M. (2002). Journal of Virology 76, 13001-13014.

Dissociation of gp120 from HIV-1 virions induced by soluble CD4. Moore, J. P., McKeating, J. A., Weiss, R. A. & Sattentau, Q. J. (1990). Science 250, 1139-1142.

HIV susceptibility conferred to human fibroblasts by cytomegalovirus-induced Fc receptor. McKeating, J. A., Griffiths, P. D. & Weiss, R. A. (1990). Nature 343, 659-661. 


Current grants:

NIHR Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit to study Immune and cell therapy of liver disease. Investigators: Adams, McKeating, Newsome, Stewart, Johnson, Young. Awarding Body: National Institute of Health Research (UK). Funds: £6.35 M. Dates: 2012-2017.

The role of hepatitis C virus glycoprotein-receptor polymorphism in viral pathogenesis. Investigators: McKeating and Balfe. Awarding Body: MRC Programme. Funds: £1.43 M. Dates: 2012-2017.

Pathogen Co-infection: HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria and hepatitis C virus. Investigators: McKeating consortium director. Awarding Body: FP7. Funds: £1.25 M. Dates: 1/11/12 – 31/10/17.

Hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance in hepatitis C infection. Investigators: McKeating and Tomlinson. MRC Clinical Training Fellowship to Reina Lim. Funds: £356,000. Dates: 01/10/12 – 31/3/16.

STOP-HCV: Stratified Medicine to Optimise Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection. Investigators: McKeating and Balfe. Awarding Body: MRC. Funds: £300,000. Dates: 16/9/13-15/9/18.

Investigation of the interaction between oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) and the protein kinase A signalling pathway. Investigators: Parish, Roberts and McKeating. Awarding Body: College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham. Funds: £85,000. Dates: 01/10/15 – 30/9/18.

Uncovering host factors regulating hepatitis B virus infection: towards an animal model. Investigator: McKeating. Awarding Body: Institute of Advanced Studies funded Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship. Funds: €245,000. Dates: 01/3/15 – 28/2/18.

Mechanisms underlying hepatocellular carcinoma pathogenesis and impact of co-morbidities (HEP-CAR). Investigators: Consortia led by Prof Robert Thimme and Jane McKeating. Awarding Body: EU Horizon 2020. Funds: €5.8M with €IM to UoB. Dates: 01/01/16 – 31/12/21.

In depth structural characterization of tetraspanin CD81. Investigators: Bill, Cameron and McKeating. Awarding Body: BBSRC [BB/N008553/1]. Funds: £390,000. Dates: 01/4/16 – 31/3/19.

Investigating the cross-talk between hypoxia and autophagy in the Hepatitis B virus lifecycle. Investigators: McKeating and Sarkar. Awarding Body: Wellcome Trust [200113/Z/15/Z]. Funds: £241, 807. Dates: 01/10/16 – 30/9/19.

Previous grants held at UoB:

HEPACUTE: Host and Viral Factors in Acute Hepatitis C. Investigators: McKeating as a consortium member. Awarding Body: FP7. Funds: £280,000. Dates: 1/11/2011 – 31/10/2014.

Structural characterisation of CD81 and Claudin-1 receptor complexes as host targets for Hepatitis C anti-viral drug discovery. Investigators: McKeating and Bethell. Awarding Body: MRC Case Studentship. Funds: £90,060. Dates: 1/10/10 – 30/9/14.

The role of HCV cell-to-cell transmission in the allograft: consequences for disease progression. Investigator: McKeating. Awarding Body: ROTRF. Funds: £300,000. Dates: 01/11/11 – 31/10/13.

The role of Hepatitis C virus encoded AKAP in virus replication. Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship to Mandy Diskar. Funds: £300,000. Dates: 01/10/12 – 31/9/14.

Studying the mechanisms of enhanced pathogenesis in polymicrobial Respiratory Co-infection. Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship to Dave Mason. Funds: £300,000. Dates: 01/4/12 – 31/3/14.

Hepatitis C virus vertical transmission. Investigators: McKeating and Balfe. Awarding Body: Birmingham Childrens Hospital Research. Funds: £69,633. Dates: 1/10/2010 – 30/9/2013.

Mechanisms of Hepatitis C virus induced hepatocyte injury (G0801976). Investigators: McKeating and Balfe. Awarding body: MRC. Funds: £363,000. Dates: 01/10/09–30/09/12.

Hepacivac – preventative and therapeutic HCV vaccines. Investigators: McKeating as a consortium member. Awarding Body: FP6 374435. Funds: £172,000. Dates: 01/02/08 – 31/1/12.

Model systems to study hepatitis C virus tropism for the liver (ME027881). Investigators: McKeating and Balfe. Awarding Body: The Wellcome Trust. Funds: £750,000. Dates: 01/04/06 – 31/12/11. 

Biomedical Research Unit to study Immune and cell therapy of liver disease. Investigators: Adams, Neuberger, Mutimer, McKeating, Newsome, Frampton, Johnson. Awarding Body: National Institute of Health Research (UK).  Funds. £6.35 million. Dates: 2008-2012.

A role for hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cell antigen presentation in the generation of immune tolerance in hepatitis C. Investigators: Adams and McKeating. Awarding body: MRC. Funds: £150,000. Dates: 01/09/08 – 30/8/11.

Small molecule inhibitors to characterise routes of HCV entry and transmission (M46160) Investigator: McKeating. Awarding Body: Pfizer Limited. Funds: £241,000. Dates: 01/04/08 – 31/3/11

Hepatitis C: studies of immunity and pathogenesis. (U19AU40034). Investigators: Rice and McKeating. Awarding body: NIH/NIAID. Funds: $411,328 (£217,546). Dates: 01/07/05–30/6/10

The role of neutralizing antibodies in hepatitis C virus infection (G0400802). Investigators: McKeating, Balfe, and Gordon. Awarding body: MRC. Funds: £650,000. Dates: 01/11/05–31/10/09.

Functional analysis of hepatitis C virus glycoproteins (R01AI50798-01A1). Investigators: McKeating and Rice. Awarding body: NIH/NIAID. Funds: $1,125,000 (£595,000). Dates: 01/04/04-31/3/09.