Persephone Borrow

Persephone Borrow
Professor of Viral Immunology

Contact Information:


NDM Research Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford OX3 7FZ, UK

Department / Division

Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Medical Sciences Division


Ph.D., University of Cambridge, UK (1989)

Persephone Borrow is a Professor of Viral Immunology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, UK. Professor Borrow graduated with a B.A. (Honours) degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK, and also obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK. She then carried out postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and subsequently moved back to the UK to lead the Viral Immunology Group at the newly-established Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research before taking up her current post in Oxford, where she is also a Jenner Investigator.

Professor Borrow has a broad background in viral immunology with specific expertise in T cell and innate immunity. Her research focuses on identifying aspects of the host immune response that contribute to protection and pathogenesis during HIV-1 and other clinically-important persistent viral infections, and understanding mechanisms involved in their induction and regulation and their subversion during infection. Dual goals of this work are to inform the rational design of effective prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to combat HIV-1 infection, and to understand basic principles of immune function and regulation that have broad application to development of vaccines and therapeutic strategies for infections, tumours and other diseases. Professor Borrow has been engaged in HIV research since the early 1990’s, and her team at Oxford University, UK have a strong track record of productive international collaboration, including synergistic interaction with Duke investigators for over 15 years.

In the Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology (DCHSB) she will act as one of the co-leads of the Immunobiology Core (together with Drs Cain and Alam), and will collaborate with Drs Acharya, Henderson, Alam and Cain on work in Projects 2 and 3. Her team will tailor and exploit mass spectrometry-based peptide-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) profiling and in vitro T cell interaction assays to determine how the repertoire and abundance of peptide HLA-II presentation by B cells pulsed with immunogens that have different B cell receptor binding characteristics impacts on the subsequent ability of these B cells to attract cognate CD4 T cell help, crucial for maturation of broadly-protective antibody responses.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Borrow's work.