Dr Barbara Blacklaws

BSc, PhD

Fellow and Director of Studies

Picture of Barbara Blacklaws

College Jobs

  • Fellow D
  • Director of Studies, Natural Sciences (Part IA Biological Sciences)
  • Assistant Undergraduate Tutor
  • Senior Treasurer JCR
  • Senior Treasurer June Event

University Jobs

  • University Senior Lecturer in Molecular Virology in Department of Veterinary Medicine
  • Departmental Safety Officer
  • Departmental Radiation Protection Supervisor
  • Chair of University Safety-Sub-Committee for Ionising and Non-Ionising Radiations
  • Member of MRC-DTP management committee


Telephone: 01223 337609

Email: bab2@cam.ac.uk

Picture of Barbara Blacklaws


I received my BSc (Hon) in Biochemistry from University of Aberdeen, then did a PhD in Virology at University of Cambridge.  I undertook post-doctoral positions in Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh before coming to University of Cambridge as a University Fellow, Lecturer then Senior Lecturer.

Research Interests

My research focuses on immune responses to and the pathogenesis of persistent virus infections. I have worked with herpes simplex virus-1 and visna maedi virus in the past and we now study gastroenteritis viruses and their role in intestinal immunity using murine norovirus. Integral to this is the role of the gastrointestinal microbial communities in affecting the immune status of the gut and other health factors of the host. New sequencing technology allows us to interrogate these communities in many different species and body compartments. I am now also researching differences in the faecal microbiome of a wild-life species to determine if this could be used as a non-invasive way to determine the health of populations or in the prevalence of pathogens in wider communities. Similarly, the way in which we diagnose pathogens is becoming broader and collaborative work in Kenya is employing modern diagnostic methods to screen for multiple pathogens in children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis. This will allow a greater understanding of the prevalence and role of different pathogens in life-threatening illnesses.