Dr Jack Ferguson BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA, MRSB

Dr Jack Ferguson

Institute of Microbiology and Infection
Assistant Professor in Infection Biology

Contact details

Institute of Microbiology and Infection
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Ferguson is an Assistant Professor of Infection Biology within the Institute of Microbiology and Infection. He is a molecular virologist and works on host-virus interactions that influence infection outcome. This research predominantly focuses on viruses that cause cancer and how factors (both host and virus) regulate viral gene expression. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Ferguson helped to manage and run several asymptomatic testing sites set up around the campus to help control infection spread within the university community. He was also seconded to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to research new diagnostic technology platforms for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2022
  • PhD in Infection and Immunity, The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh, 2015-2019
  • MSc in Animal Biosciences, The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh, 2013-2014
  • BSc (Hons) in Animal Science, Newcastle University, 2010-2013


Dr Ferguson teaches on a number of different courses revolving around microbiology and infection.

Other activities

  • Member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB)
  • Member of the Microbiology society
  • Elected member of the Microbiology Society Early Career Microbiologists (ECM) executive committee for Virus division (2022 – present)


  • Journal of General Virology (2021 – present)
  • Access Microbiology (2022 – present)

Public Engagement:

  • Dr Ferguson participates in public outreach activities including going into schools to give talks on careers in academia.


Recent publications


COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium 2022, 'SARS-CoV-2 testing in the community: testing positive samples with the TaqMan SARS-CoV-2 mutation panel to find variants in real time', Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 60, no. 4, e0240821. https://doi.org/10.1128/jcm.02408-21

Ferguson, J, Leon, KC, Pentland, I, Stockton, J, Günther, T, Grundhoff, A, Beggs, A, Roberts, S, Noyvert, B & Parish, JL 2021, 'The chromatin insulator CTCF regulates HPV18 transcript splicing and differentiation-dependent late gene expression', PLoS Pathogens, vol. 17, no. 11, e1010032. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1010032

Ferguson, J, Dunn, S, Best, A, Mirza, J, Percival, B, Mayhew, M, Megram, O, Ashford, F, White, T, Moles-Garcia, E, Crawford, L, Plant, T, Bosworth, A, Kidd, M, Richter, A, Deeks, J & McNally, A 2021, 'Validation testing to determine the sensitivity of lateral flow testing for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 detection in low prevalence settings: testing frequency and public health messaging is key', PLoS Biology, vol. 19, no. 4, e3001216. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001216

D'Arienzo, V, Ferguson, J, Giraud, G, Chapus, F, Harris, J, Wing, P, Claydon, A, Begum, S, Zhuang, X, Balfe, P, Testoni, B, McKeating, JA & Parish, J 2020, 'The CCCTC-binding factor CTCF represses hepatitis B virus Enhancer I and regulates viral transcription', Cellular Microbiology, vol. 2020, e13274. https://doi.org/10.1111/cmi.13274


Dobrica, MO, Varghese, CS, Harris, JM, Ferguson, J, Magri, A, Arnold, R, Várnai, C, Parish, JL & McKeating, JA 2023 'CTCF regulates hepatitis B virus cccDNA chromatin topology' bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.09.06.556185

Ferguson, J, Leon, KC, Pentland, I, Stockton, J, Günther, T, Beggs, A, Roberts, S, Noyvert, B & Parish, JL 2021 'The chromatin insulator CTCF regulates HPV18 transcript splicing and differentiation-dependent late gene expression' bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.30.442078

Review article

Varghese, CS, Parish, JL & Ferguson, J 2022, 'Lying low-chromatin insulation in persistent DNA virus infection', Current Opinion in Virology, vol. 55, 101257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coviro.2022.101257

View all publications in research portal