Dr Graham Taylor BSc PhD

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Senior Lecturer in Tumour Immunology

Contact details

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
School of Cancer Sciences Building
Vincent Drive
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Graham is a Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow with an interest in viral and cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Graham's work has led to a therapeutic cancer vaccine that has undergone testing in several clinical trials. 


  • PhD Virology, 1998
  • BSc Cell and Molecular Biology, 1994


After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Cell and Molecular Biology Graham went on to study for a PhD in Virology at the University of Warwick. Graham then worked as a clinical scientist in a front-line diagnostic virology laboratory before joining the School of Cancer Sciences in 2000.

Graham worked in Prof Alan Rickinson's Epstein-Barr virus research group as a post doc before starting his own independent group after securing an MRC New Investigator Award.


Postgraduate supervision

Graham is happy to discuss opportunities to undertake research study in his laboratory, either in the areas described in his research biography or in other settings.

If you are interested in studying any with Graham please contact him on the contact details above, or for any 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.


The main aim of Graham’s work is to increase our knowledge of the immune system in health and disease and how best to harness the immune system to treat cancer. Current research programmes in basic and translational research include the following.

Antigen Processing and Presentation

We study the basic biology of how antigens are processed and presented by MHC II molecules for recognition by CD4+ T cells – aiming eventually to manipulate these pathways to improve tumour cell killing.

Therapeutic Vaccination to Treat Cancer

Working with colleagues locally, nationally and internationally we have developed a therapeutic vaccine to treat nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a type of head and neck cancer that is associated with Epstein Barr Virus. Our vaccine has completed successful safety testing in phase I clinical trials and, following administration to patients, increases immune responses to EBV proteins that are present in the tumour cells. Subsequent Phase IB and Phase II trials of the vaccine are on-going.

Tumour Immunology

In collaboration with clinical colleagues we study the immunology of several cancers. Most work is currently focusing on Epstein-Barr virus associated cancers (200,000 cases each year). Gastric cancer and DLBCL are of particular interest and the 10% of cases that are EBV-positive could be highly susceptible to appropriate immunotherapies. We are therefore seeking ways to move our therapeutic vaccine into these disease settings. Other interests include extranodal NK-T-cell lymphoma, a rare but highly aggressive cancer and bladder cancer.

Role of Epstein Barr Virus in autoimmune disease

Finally, EBV infection is associated not only with certain types of cancer but also multiple sclerosis. A new project, in collaboration with neurologists, has been recently started to try and understand how EBV infection is linked to this autoimmune disease


Brooks JM, Long HM, Tierney RJ, Shannon-Lowe C, Leese AM, Fitzpatrick M, Taylor GS and Rickinson AB (2016) Early T Cell Recognition of B Cells following Epstein-Barr Virus Infection: Identifying Potential Targets for Prophylactic Vaccination. PLoS Pathog 12(4):e1005549

Taylor GS, Long HM, Brooks JM, Rickinson AB and Hislop AD (2015) The immunology of Epstein-Barr virus-induced disease. Annu Rev Immunol 33:787-821

Taylor GS, Jia H, Harrington K, Lee LW, Turner J, Ladell K, Price DA, Tanday M, Matthews J, Roberts C, Edwards C, McGuigan L, Hartley A, Wilson S, Hui EP, Chan AT, Rickinson AB and Steven NM (2014) A recombinant modified vaccinia ankara vaccine encoding Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) target antigens: a phase I trial in UK patients with EBV-positive cancer. Clin Cancer Res 20(19):5009-22

Hui EP, Taylor GS, Jia H, Ma BB, Chan SL, Ho R, Wong WL, Wilson S, Johnson BF, Edwards C, Stocken DD, Rickinson AB, Steven NM and Chan AT (2013) Phase I trial of recombinant modified vaccinia ankara encoding Epstein-Barr viral tumor antigens in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients. Cancer Res 73(6):1676-88

Petersen SH, Odintsova E, Haigh TA, Rickinson AB, Taylor GS and Berditchevski F (2011) The role of tetraspanin CD63 in antigen presentation via MHC class II. Eur J Immunol 41(9):2556-61

Fox CP, Haigh TA, Taylor GS, Long HM, Lee SP, Shannon-Lowe C, O'Connor S, Bollard CM, Iqbal J, Chan WC, Rickinson AB, Bell AI and Rowe M (2010) A novel latent membrane 2 transcript expressed in Epstein-Barr virus-positive NK- and T-cell lymphoproliferative disease encodes a target for cellular immunotherapy. Blood 116(19):3695-704

Leung CS, Haigh TA, Mackay LK, Rickinson AB and Taylor GS (2010) Nuclear location of an endogenously expressed antigen, EBNA1, restricts access to macroautophagy and the range of CD4 epitope display. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(5):2165-70

Haigh TA, Lin X, Jia H, Hui EP, Chan AT, Rickinson AB and Taylor GS (2008) EBV latent membrane proteins (LMPs) 1 and 2 as immunotherapeutic targets: LMP-specific CD4+ cytotoxic T cell recognition of EBV-transformed B cell lines. J Immunol 180(3):1643-54

Taylor GS, Long HM, Haigh TA, Larsen M, Brooks J and Rickinson AB (2006) A role for intercellular antigen transfer in the recognition of EBV-transformed B cell lines by EBV nuclear antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. J Immunol 177(6):3746-56

Long HM, Haigh TA, Gudgeon NH, Leen AM, Tsang CW, Brooks J, Landais E, Houssaint E, Lee SP, Rickinson AB and Taylor GS (2005) CD4+ T-cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent-cycle antigens and the recognition of EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines. J Virol 79(8):4896-907