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Maria Zambon, UK Health Security Agency, UK

Maria Zambon Small

Professor Zambon is Director of Reference Microbiology at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).  UKHSA's remit includes infectious disease surveillance, providing specialist and reference microbiology and microbial epidemiology, co-ordinating the investigation and cause of national and uncommon outbreaks, helping advise Government on the risks posed by various infections and responding to international health alerts.

Maria is medically qualified and has worked for many years as a clinical virologist with a scientific interest in RNA viruses, antivirals and vaccines.  Maria’s PhD was on the mechanism of action of amantadine and led directly to the identification of a novel class of viral proteins, viral ion channels (M2 protein). 

Maria’s own research group is involved in respiratory virus diagnosis, surveillance and integrated clinical research programmes, with particular emphasis on influenza and other respiratory viruses.  Maria coordinates several multinational EU projects on influenza vaccines and antivirals.  Her main research interests are the diagnosis of viral infections in humans, especially RNA viruses, the pathogenicity of influenza and development of new vaccines for respiratory viruses, particularly influenza.  Since 1998, Maria has been heavily involved in development of vaccines for avian influenza and is part of a successful UK consortium that has performed clinical trials of H5, H7 and H9 vaccines.