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 interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Graham Taylor directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

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


Recent publications


Jackson, HK, Long, HM, Yam‐Puc, JC, Palmulli, R, Haigh, TA, Gerber, PP, Lee, JS, Matheson, NJ, Young, L, Trowsdale, J, Lo, M, Taylor, GS, Thaventhiran, JE & Edgar, JR 2024, 'Bioengineered small extracellular vesicles deliver multiple SARS‐CoV‐2 antigenic fragments and drive a broad immunological response', Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, vol. 13, no. 2, e12412. https://doi.org/10.1002/jev2.12412

Zhang, Z, Kean, IRL, Dratva, LM, Clark, JA, Syrimi, E, Khan, N, Daubney, E, White, D, O’Neill, L, Chisholm, C, Payne, C, Benkenstein, S, Kupiec, K, Galassini, R, Wright, V, Winmill, H, Robbins, C, Brown, K, Ramnarayan, P, Scholefield, B, Peters, M, Klein, N, Montgomery, H, Meyer, KB, Teichmann, SA, Bryant, C, Taylor, G & Pathan, N 2024, 'Enhanced CD95 and interleukin 18 signalling accompany T cell receptor Vβ21.3+ activation in multi-inflammatory syndrome in children', Nature Communications, vol. 15, no. 1, 4227. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-48699-y

Costigan, D, Fenn, J, Yen, S, Ilott, N, Bullers, S, Hale, J, Greenhalf, W, Conibear, E, Koycheva, A, Madon, K, Jahan, I, Huang, M, Badhan, A, Parker, E, Rosadas, C, Jones, K, McClure, M, Tedder, R, Taylor, G, Baillie, KJ, Semple, MG, Openshaw, PJM, Pearson, C, Johnson, J, Lalvani, A & Thornton, EE 2023, 'A proinflammatory gut mucosal cytokine response is associated with mild COVID-19 disease and superior induction of serum antibodies', Mucosal immunology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mucimm.2023.11.005

Payne, K, Brooks, J, Batis, N, Khan, N, El-Asrag, M, Nankivell, P, Mehanna, H & Taylor, G 2023, 'Feasibility of mass cytometry proteomic characterisation of circulating tumour cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma for deep phenotyping', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 129, no. 10, pp. 1590-1598. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-023-02428-2

Muckian, MD, Wilson, JF, Taylor, GS, Stagg, HR & Pirastu, N 2023, 'Mendelian randomisation identifies priority groups for prophylactic EBV vaccination', BMC Infectious Diseases, vol. 23, no. 1, 65. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-023-08031-3

Payne, K, Brooks, J, Batis, N, Taylor, G, Nankivell, P & Mehanna, H 2022, 'Characterising the epithelial-mesenchymal transition status of circulating tumour cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma', Head & Neck, vol. 44, no. 11, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1002/hed.27167

Dowell, AC, Butler, MS, Jinks, E, Tut, G, Lancaster, T, Sylla, P, Begum, J, Bruton, R, Pearce, H, Verma, K, Logan, N, Tyson, G, Spalkova, E, Margielewska-Davies, S, Taylor, GS, Syrimi, E, Baawuah, F, Beckmann, J, Okike, IO, Ahmad, S, Garstang, J, Brent, AJ, Brent, B, Ireland, G, Aiano, F, Amin-Chowdhury, Z, Jones, S, Borrow, R, Linley, E, Wright, J, Azad, R, Waiblinger, D, Davis, C, Thomson, EC, Palmarini, M, Willett, BJ, Barclay, WS, Poh, J, Amirthalingam, G, Brown, KE, Ramsay, ME, Zuo, J, Moss, P & Ladhani, S 2022, 'Children develop robust and sustained cross-reactive spike-specific immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection', Nature Immunology, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 40-49. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-021-01089-8

Bombaci, G, Sarangdhar, MA, Andina, N, Tardivel, A, Yu, ECW, Mackie, GM, Pugh, M, Ozan, VB, Banz, Y, Spinetti, T, Hirzel, C, Youd, E, Schefold, JC, Taylor, G, Gazdhar, A, Bonadies, N, Angelillo-Scherrer, A, Schneider, P, Maslowski, KM & Allam, R 2022, 'LRR-protein RNH1 dampens the inflammasome activation and is associated with COVID-19 severity', Life Science Alliance, vol. 5, no. 6, e202101226. https://doi.org/10.26508/lsa.202101226

Tye, E, Jinks, E, Haigh, T, Kaul, B, Patel, P, Parry, H, Newby, M, Crispin, M, Kaur, N, Moss, P, Drennan, S, Taylor, G & Long, H 2022, 'Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein impair epitope-specific CD4+ T cell recognition', Nature Immunology, vol. 23, pp. 1726–1734. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-022-01351-7

Khan, A, Reyat, J, Hill, H, Bourne, J, Colicchia, M, Newby, ML, Allen, JD, Crispin, M, Youd, E, Murray, P, Taylor, G, Stamataki, Z, Richter, A, Cunningham, A, Pugh, M & Rayes, J 2022, 'Preferential uptake of SARS-CoV-2 by pericytes potentiates vascular damage and permeability in an organoid model of the microvasculature', Cardiovascular Research, pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvac097

Vimalachandran, D, Jones, RP, Dickson, E, Seehra, J, Acheson, A, Griffiths, EA, Kamarajah, S, Leung, E, Torrance, A, Ottensmeier, C, Beggs, AD, Whiteside, E, Sanna, H, Bury, D, Youd, E, Leopold, G, Pugh, M, Sundar, S & Taylor, GS 2022, 'SARS-CoV-2 in the abdomen or pelvis: SAFE SURGERY study', British Journal of Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjs/znac297

McMurray, J, von Borstel, A, Taher, T, Syrimi, E, Taylor, G, Sharif, M, Rossjohn, J, Remmerswaal, E, Bemelman, F, Vieira Braga, FA, Chen, X, Teichmann, SA, Mohammed, F, Berry, A, Lyke, K, Williamson, K, Stubbington, M, Davey, M, Willcox, C & Willcox, B 2022, 'Transcriptional profiling of human Vδ1 T cells reveals a pathogen-driven adaptive differentiation program', Cell Reports, vol. 39, no. 8, 110858. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110858

Dowell, AC, Haigh, TA, Ryan, GB, Turner, JE, Long, HM & Taylor, GS 2021, 'Cytotoxic CD4+ T-cells specific for EBV capsid antigen BORF1 are maintained in long-term latently infected healthy donors', PLoS Pathogens, vol. 17, no. 12, e1010137. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1010137


Dowell, A, Butler, MS, Jinks, E, Tut, G, Lancaster, T, Sylla, P, Begum, J, Bruton, R, Pearce, H, Verma, K, Logan, N, Tyson, G, Spalkova, E, Margielewska-Davies, S, Taylor, G, Syrimi, E, Baawuah, F, Beckmann, J, Okike, I, Ahmad, S, Garstang, J, Brent, AJ, Brent, B, Ireland, G, Aiano, F, Amin-Chowdhury, Z, Jones, S, Borrow, R, Linley, E, Wright, J, Azad, R, Waiblinger, D, Davis, C, Thomson, E, Palmarini, M, Willett, BJ, Barclay, WS, Poh, J, Saliba, V, Amirthalingam, G, Brown, KE, Ramsay, ME, Zuo, J, Moss, P & Ladhani, S 2021 'Children develop strong and sustained cross-reactive immune responses against Spike protein following SARS-CoV-2 infection, with enhanced recognition of variants of concern' medRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.12.21255275

Review article

Bilal, M, Nimir, M, Snead, D, Taylor, GS & Rajpoot, N 2023, 'Role of AI and digital pathology for colorectal immuno-oncology', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-022-01986-1

View all publications in research portal