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


Roberts, A, Tang, T, Stewart, F, Pallini, C, Wallace, G, Cooper, A, Scott, A, Thickett, D, Lugg, S, Pinkney, T, Taylor, G, Brock, K, Stamataki, Z, Brady, CA, Curnow, J, Gordon, J, Qureshi, O, Barnes, N, Bentley, L, Juvvanapudi, J, Bancroft, H, Hemming, B, Ferris, C, Langman, G, Robinson, A, Chapman, J & Naidu, B 2021, 'Ex vivo modelling of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade under acute, chronic, and exhaustion-like conditions of T-cell stimulation', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 4030. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83612-3

Payne, K, Brooks, J, Taylor, G, Batis, N, Nankivell, P & Mehanna, H 2021, 'Immediate sample fixation increases Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) capture and preserves phenotype in a Head and Neck Squamous Cell carcinoma (HNSCC) model: towards a standardised approach to microfluidic CTC biomarker discovery', Cancers. <https://www.mdpi.com/journal/cancers>

The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, Meng, B, Kemp, SA, Papa, G, Datir, R, Ferreira, IATM, Marelli, S, Harvey, WT, Lytras, S, Mohamed, A, Gallo, G, Thakur, N, Collier, DA, Mlcochova, P, Duncan, LM, Carabelli, AM, Kenyon, JC, Lever, AM, De Marco, A, Saliba, C, Culap, K, Cameroni, E, Matheson, NJ, Piccoli, L, Corti, D, James, LC, Robertson, DL, Bailey, D & Gupta, RK 2021, 'Recurrent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 spike deletion H69/V70 and its role in the Alpha variant B.1.1.7', Cell Reports, vol. 35, no. 13, 109292. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109292

Syrimi, E, Fennell, E, Richter, A, Vrljicak, P, Stark, R, Ott, S, Murray, PG, Al-Abadi, E, Chikermane, A, Dawson, P, Hackett, S, Jyothish, D, Kanthimathinathan, HK, Monaghan, S, Nagakumar, P, Scholefield, BR, Welch, S, Khan, N, Faustini, S, Davies, K, Zelek, WM, Kearns, P & Taylor, GS 2021, 'The immune landscape of SARS-CoV-2-associated Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) from acute disease to recovery', iScience, vol. 24, no. 11, 103215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.103215

Diepstraten, ST, Chang, C, Tai, L, Gong, J-N, Lan, P, Dowell, AC, Taylor, GS, Strasser, A & Kelly, GL 2020, 'BCL-W is dispensable for the sustained survival of select Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cell lines', Blood Advances, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 356-366. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000541

Payne, K, Pugh, M, Brooks, J, Batis, N, Taylor, G, Nankivell, P & Mehanna, H 2020, 'Circulating tumour cell expression of immune-markers as prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 21, 8229, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218229

Winter, JR, Taylor, G, Thomas, O, Jackson, C, Lewis, JEA & Stagg, HR 2020, 'Factors associated with cytomegalovirus serostatus in young people in England: a cross-sectional study', BMC Immunology, vol. 20, 875 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05572-9

Ruhl, J, Citterio, C, Engelmann, C, Haigh, T, Dzionek, A, Dreyer, J, Khanna, R, Taylor, G, Wilson, J, Leung, C & Munz, C 2019, 'Heterologous prime-boost vaccination protects against EBV antigen-expressing lymphomas', Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 129, no. 5, pp. 2071-2087. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI125364

Goscé, L, Winter, JR, Taylor, GS, Lewis, JEA & Stagg, HR 2019, 'Modelling the dynamics of EBV transmission to inform a vaccine target product profile and future vaccination strategy', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 9290. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45381-y

Winter, JR, Taylor, GS, Thomas, OG, Jackson, C, Lewis, JEA & Stagg, HR 2019, 'Predictors of Epstein-Barr virus serostatus in young people in England', BMC Infectious Diseases, vol. 19, no. 1, 1007. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-019-4578-y

Vockerodt, M, Vrzalikova, K, Ibrahim, M, Nagy, E, Margielewska, S, Hollows, R, Lupino, L, Tooze, R, Care, M, Simmons, W, Schrader, A, Perry, T, Abdullah, M, Foster, S, Reynolds, G, Dowell, A, Rudzki, Z, Krappmann, D, Kube, D, Woodman, C, Wei, W, Taylor, G & Murray, PG 2019, 'Regulation of S1PR2 by the EBV oncogene LMP1 in aggressive ABC-subtype diffuse large B-cell lymphoma', Journal of Pathology, vol. 248, no. 2, pp. 142-154. https://doi.org/10.1002/path.5237

Jiang, L, Lan, R, Huang, T, Chan, CF, Li, H, Lear, S, Zong, J, Wong, WY, Muk-Lan Lee, M, Dow Chan, B, Chan, WL, Lo, WS, Mak, NK, Li Lung, M, Lok Lung, H, Wah Tsao, S, Taylor, GS, Bian, ZX, Tai, WCS, Law, GL, Wong, WT, Cobb, SL & Wong, KL 2017, 'EBNA1-targeted probe for the imaging and growth inhibition of tumours associated with the Epstein-Barr virus', Nature Biomedical Engineering, vol. 1, no. 4, 0042. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-017-0042

Dowell, A, Cobby, E, Wen, K, Devall, A, During, V, Anderson, J, James, N, Cheng, K, Zeegers, M, Bryan, R & Taylor, G 2017, 'Interleukin-17-positive mast cells influence outcomes from BCG for patients with CIS: data from a comprehensive characterisation of the immune microenvironment of urothelial bladder cancer', PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 9, e0184841. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184841

Review article

Payne, K, Brooks, J, Spruce, R, Batis, N, Taylor, G, Nankivell, P & Mehanna, H 2019, 'Circulating tumour cell biomarkers in head and neck cancer: Current progress and future prospects', Cancers, vol. 11, no. 8, 1115. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081115

Long, HM, Meckiff, BJ & Taylor, GS 2019, 'The T-cell Response to Epstein-Barr Virus-New Tricks From an Old Dog', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 10, 2193. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02193

View all publications in research portal