Prof Nicola Stonehouse

BSc, UEA; PhD 1992, Leeds.
Professor of Molecular Virology
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Contact: Garstang 8.53b, +44(0) 113 34 33102, email address for  

You can read more about Prof Stonehouse's interests here:

Research Interests

Viral replication and assembly

Research is the Stonehouse group spans virology and RNA biology, applying novel approaches to the study of virus replication and assembly in three main research areas:


1) Picornaviral replication, especially the role of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of foot-and-mouth disease virus and processing of the viral polyprotein. This project is funded by BBSRC.


2) Design of novel virus-like particle vaccines (e.g. to polio and EV71) and design of generic vaccine scaffold systems. This project is funded by MRC and by WHO.


3) RNA aptamers as tools and delivery of aptamers into the skin as potential novel therapeutics. This project is funded by MRC.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Picornaviral replication
  • Virus-like particle vaccine development
  • Use of RNA aptamers to study viral proteins and inhibit their function

See also:

Modules managed

BIOL3400 - Skills in the Cell Biology of Human Disease

Modules taught

BIOC1301 - Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life
BIOC3111/12/BIOL3112/MICR3120 A - ATU - Visualising Viruses
BIOC3160 - Laboratory/Literature/Computing Research Project
BIOL2301 - Intermediate Skills for Biological Sciences
BIOL2301/03 - Intermediate Skills - BIOL
BIOL3306 - Biological Sciences Research Project
BIOL3399 - Extended Research Project Preparation
BIOL3400 - Skills in the Cell Biology of Human Disease
BIOL5180M - Biopharmaceutical Drug Discovery and Pre-clinical testing
BIOL5294M - MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal
BIOL5296M - Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer
BIOL5382M - Extended Research Project
BIOL5392M - Bioscience MSc Research Project
BIOL5394M - Specialised Research Topics and Skills
BIOW5903X - Structure/Function of Nucleic Acids
BLGY3110 - Applied Genetics
BMSC2120 - Scientific Skills
MICR1120 - Introduction to Microbiology
MICR2121 - Molecular Virology
MICR2222 - Medical Virology
MICR3110 - Medical Microbiology Research Project
MICR3120/BIOC3111/12/BIOL3112 A - ATU - Respiratory infections
MICR3343 - Skills for Microbiology in Relation to Medicine

Academic roles

UG Programme Leader - MCB intercalated programmes


Member of Undergraduate School Taught Student Education Committee

Centre membership: The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology

Group Leader Prof Nicola Stonehouse  (Professor of Molecular Virology)

Viral replication and assembly 

Dr Morgan Herod  (Research Fellow)

Mrs Susan Matthews  (Research Technician)


Jehad Alzahrani (Primary supervisor) 100% FTE
Kaniz Fatema (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Eleni-Anna Loundras (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Danielle Pierce (Primary supervisor) 34% FTE
Mona Shegdar (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Jessica Swanson (Primary supervisor) 100% FTE
Joseph Ward (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
David Kealy (Co-supervisor) 20% FTE
Catherine Kendall (Co-supervisor) 35% FTE
Joseph Lattimer (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Siu Yi Lee (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Hussaini Majiya (Co-supervisor) 25% FTE
Oliver Prosser (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Grace Roberts (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE

Stephen SL, Beales L, Peyret H, Roe A, Stonehouse NJ, Rowlands DJ Recombinant Expression of Tandem-HBc Virus-Like Particles (VLPs). Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 1776 97-123, 2018
View abstract

Majiya H, Adeyemi OO, Stonehouse NJ, Millner P Photodynamic inactivation of bacteriophage MS2: The A-protein is the target of virus inactivation Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 178 404-411, 2018
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Roberts GC, Zothner C, Remenyi R, Merits A, Stonehouse NJ, Harris M Evaluation of a range of mammalian and mosquito cell lines for use in Chikungunya virus research Scientific Reports 7, 2017
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Kazaks A, Lu I-N, Farinelle S, Ramirez A, Crescente V, Blaha B, Ogonah O, Mukhopadhyay T, de Obanos MP, Krimer A, Akopjana I, Bogans J, Ose V, Kirsteina A, Kazaka T, Stonehouse NJ, Rowlands DJ, Muller CP, Tars K, Rosenberg WM Production and purification of chimeric HBc virus-like particles carrying influenza virus LAH domain as vaccine candidates BMC Biotechnology 17, 2017
View abstract

Herod MR, Gold S, Lasecka-Dykes L, Wright C, Ward JC, McLean TC, Forrest S, Jackson T, Tuthill TJ, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Genetic economy in picornaviruses: Foot-and-mouth disease virus replication exploits alternative precursor cleavage pathways PLoS Pathogens 13, 2017
View abstract

Adeyemi O, Stonehouse N Polio - What are the prospects for eradication? Microbiology Today 44 14-17, 2017

Adeyemi OO, Nicol C, Stonehouse NJ, Rowlands DJ Increasing type 1 poliovirus capsid stability by thermal selection Journal of Virology 91, 2017
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Majiya H, Chowdhury KF, Stonehouse NJ, Millner P TMPyP functionalised chitosan membrane for efficient sunlight driven water disinfection Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2017
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Loundras EA, Herod MR, Harris M, Stonehouse NJ Foot-and-mouth disease virus genome replication is unaffected by inhibition of type III phosphatidylinositol-4-kinases Journal of General Virology 97 2221-2230, 2016
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Herod MR, Ferrer-Orta C, Loundras EA, Ward JC, Verdaguer N, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Both cis and trans activities of foot-and-mouth disease virus 3D polymerase are essential for viral RNA replication Journal of Virology 90 6864-6883, 2016
View abstract

Kelly JT, De Colibus L, Elliott L, Fry EE, Stuart DI, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Potent antiviral agents fail to elicit genetically-stable resistance mutations in either enterovirus 71 or Coxsackievirus A16 Antiviral Research 124 77-82, 2015
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Herod MR, Loundras EA, Ward JC, Tulloch F, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Employing transposon mutagenesis to investigate foot-and-mouth disease virus replication Journal of General Virology 96 3507-3518, 2015
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Müller M, Wasson CW, Bhatia R, Boxall S, Millan D, Goh GYS, Haas J, Stonehouse NJ, MacDonald A YIP<inf>1</inf> family member<inf>4</inf>(YIPF<inf>4</inf>) is a novel cellular binding partner of the papillomavirus E<inf>5</inf> proteins Scientific Reports 5, 2015
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Stephen SL, Peyret H, Stonehouse NJ, Rowlands DJ History and potential of Hepatitis B virus core as a VLP vaccine platform In Viral Nanotechnology, 2015
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CesurÖ, Nicol C, Groves H, Mankouri J, Blair GE, Stonehouse NJ The subcellular localisation of the human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 E7 protein in cervical cancer cells and its perturbation by RNA aptamers Viruses 7 3443-3461, 2015
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Holmes K, Shepherd DA, Ashcroft AE, Whelan M, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Assembly pathway of hepatitis B core virus-like particles from genetically fused dimers Journal of Biological Chemistry 290 16238-16245, 2015
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Peyret H, Gehin A, Thuenemann EC, Blond D, El Turabi A, Beales L, Clarke D, Gilbert RJC, Fry EE, Stuart DI, Holmes K, Stonehouse NJ, Whelan M, Rosenberg W, Lomonossoff GP, Rowlands DJ Tandem fusion of hepatitis B core antigen allows assembly of virus-like particles in bacteria and plants with enhanced capacity to accommodate foreign proteins PLoS ONE 10, 2015
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Tulloch F, Pathania U, Luke GA, Nicholson J, Stonehouse NJ, Rowlands DJ, Jackson T, Tuthill T, Haas J, Lamond AI, Ryan MD FMDV replicons encoding green fluorescent protein are replication competent Journal of Virological Methods 209 35-40, 2014
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Forrest S, Lear Z, Herod M, Ryan M, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Inhibition of the foot-and-mouth disease virus subgenomic replicon by RNA aptamers. Journal of General Virology 95 2649-2657, 2014
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Stonehouse NJ Aptamers as Viral Replication Antagonists Aptamers and Synthetic Antibodies 1 17-19, 2014
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Panjwani A, Strauss M, Gold S, Wenham H, Jackson T, Chou JJ, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ, Hogle JM, Tuthill TJ Capsid protein VP4 of human rhinovirus induces membrane permeability by the formation of a size-selective multimeric pore. PLoS Pathogens 10, 2014
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Belyaeva TA, Nicol C, Cesur O, Travé G, Blair GE, Stonehouse NJ An RNA Aptamer Targets the PDZ-Binding Motif of the HPV16 E6 Oncoprotein. Cancers 6 1553-1569, 2014
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Shepherd DA, Ariza A, Edwards TA, Barr JN, Stonehouse NJ, Ashcroft AE Probing Bunyavirus N protein oligomerisation using mass spectrometry Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 28 793-800, 2014
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De Colibus L, Wang X, Spyrou JAB, Kelly J, Ren J, Grimes J, Puerstinger G, Stonehouse N, Walter TS, Hu Z, Wang J, Li X, Peng W, Rowlands D, Fry EE, Rao Z, Stuart DI More-powerful virus inhibitors from structure-based analysis of HEV71 capsid-binding molecules. Nat Struct Mol Biol 21 282-288, 2014
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Doble R, McDermott MF, Cesur O, Stonehouse NJ, Wittmann M IL-17A RNA aptamer: possible therapeutic potential in some cells, more than we bargained for in others? Journal of Investigative Dermatology 134 852-855, 2014

Shepherd DA, Holmes K, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ, Ashcroft AE Using ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry to decipher the conformational and assembly characteristics of the hepatitis B capsid protein. Biophysical Journal 105 1258-1267, 2013
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Ariza A, Tanner SJ, Walter CT, Dent KC, Shepherd DA, Wu W, Matthews SV, Hiscox JA, Green TJ, Luo M, Elliott RM, Fooks AR, Ashcroft AE, Stonehouse NJ, Ranson NA, Barr JN, Edwards TA Nucleocapsid protein structures from orthobunyaviruses reveal insight into ribonucleoprotein architecture and RNA polymerization. Nucleic Acids Research 41 5912-5926, 2013
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Nicol C, CesurÖ, Forrest S, Belyaeva TA, Bunka DHJ, Blair GE, Stonehouse NJ An RNA aptamer provides a novel approach for the induction of apoptosis by targeting the HPV16 E7 oncoprotein. PLoS One 8 e64781-, 2013
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Wetherill LF, Holmes KK, Verow M, Müller M, Howell G, Harris M, Fishwick C, Stonehouse N, Foster R, Blair GE, Griffin S, Macdonald A High-risk human papillomavirus E5 oncoprotein displays channel-forming activity sensitive to small-molecule inhibitors. J Virol 86 5341-5351, 2012
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Bentham M, Holmes K, Forrest S, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Formation of higher-order foot-and-mouth disease virus 3D(pol) complexes is dependent on elongation activity. J Virol 86 2371-2374, 2012
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Foster TL, Gallay P, Stonehouse NJ, Harris M Cyclophilin A Interacts with Domain II of Hepatitis C Virus NS5A and Stimulates RNA Binding in an Isomerase-Dependent Manner J VIROL 85 7460-7464, 2011

Nicol C, Bunka DHJ, Blair GE, Stonehouse NJ Effects of single nucleotide changes on the binding and activity of RNA aptamers to human papillomavirus 16 E7 oncoprotein. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 405 417-421, 2011
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Knapman TW, Morton VL, Stonehouse NJ, Stockley PG, Ashcroft AE Determining the topology of virus assembly intermediates using ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry RAPID COMMUN MASS SP 24 3033-3042, 2010

Foster TL, Belyaeva T, Stonehouse NJ, Pearson AR, Harris M All Three Domains of the Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural NS5A Protein Contribute to RNA Binding J VIROL 84 9267-9277, 2010

Morton VL, Dykeman EC, Stonehouse NJ, Ashcroft AE, Twarock R, Stockley PG The Impact of Viral RNA on Assembly Pathway Selection J MOL BIOL 401 298-308, 2010

Basnak G, Morton VL, Rolfsson O, Stonehouse NJ, Ashcroft AE, Stockley PG Viral Genomic Single-Stranded RNA Directs the Pathway Toward a T=3 Capsid J MOL BIOL 395 924-936, 2010

Morton VL, Burkitt W, O'Connor G, Stonehouse NJ, Stockley PG, Ashcroft AE RNA-induced conformational changes in a viral coat protein studied by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry PHYS CHEM CHEM PHYS 12 13468-13475, 2010


Tolley AC, Stonehouse NJ Conformational changes in the connector protein complex of the bacteriophage phi 29 DNA packaging motor COMPUT MATH METHOD M 9 327-337, 2008

Rolfsson O, Toropova K, Morton V, Francese S, Basnak G, Thompson GS, Homans SW, Ashcroft AE, Stonehouse NJ, Ranson NA, Stockley PG RNA packing specificity and folding during assembly of the bacteriophage MS2 COMPUT MATH METHOD M 9 339-349, 2008

Stockley PG, Rolfsson O, Thompson GS, Basnak G, Francese S, Stonehouse NJ, Homans SW, Ashcroft AE A simple, RNA-mediated allosteric switch controls the pathway to formation of a T=3 viral capsid J MOL BIOL 369 541-552, 2007

Ellingham M, Bunka DHJ, Rowlands DJ, Stonehouse NJ Selection and characterization of RNA aptamers to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from foot-and-mouth disease virus RNA 12 1970-1979, 2006

Horn WT, Tars K, Grahn E, Heigstrand C, Baron AJ, Lago H, Adams CJ, Peabody DS, Phillips SEV, Stonehouse NJ, Liljas L, Stockley PG Structural basis of RNA binding discrimination between bacteriophages Q beta and MS2 STRUCTURE 14 487-495, 2006

Robinson MA, Wood JPA, Capaldi SA, Baron AJ, Gell C, Smith DA, Stonehouse NJ Affinity of molecular interactions in the bacteriophage phi 29 DNA packaging motor NUCLEIC ACIDS RES 34 2698-2709, 2006

Ashcroft AE, Lago H, Macedo JMB, Horn WT, Stonehouse NJ, Stockley PG Engineering thermal stability in RNA phage capsids via disulphide bonds J NANOSCI NANOTECHNO 5 2034-2041, 2005

Wood JPA, Capaldi SA, Robinson MA, Baron AJ, Stonehouse NJ RNA multimerisation in the DNA packaging motor of bacteriophage phi29 Journal of Theoretical Medicine 6 127-134, 2005

Stockley PG, Ashcroft AE, Francese S, Thompson GS, Ranson NA, Smith AM, Homans SW, Stonehouse NJ Dissecting the fine details of assembly of a T=3 capsid Journal of Theoretical Medicine 6 119-125, 2005

Hall J, Moll D, Zhang W, Guo P, Stonehouse N, Urquidi-Macdonald M Determination of molecular size, distance and stochiometry of bionanoparticles using nanoscale measurement techniques In Handbook of nanostructured biomaterials and their applications in nanobiotechnology, 2005

Horn WT, Convery MA, Stonehouse NJ, Adams CJ, Liljas L, Phillips SEV, Stockley PG The crystal structure of a high affinity RNA stem-loop complexed with the bacteriophage MS2 capsid: Further challenges in the modeling of ligand-RNA interactions RNA 10 1776-1782, 2004

Helgstrand C, Grahn E, Moss T, Stonehouse NJ, Tars K, Stockley PG, Liljas L Investigating the structural basis of purine specificity in the structures of MS2 coat protein RNA translational operator hairpins NUCLEIC ACIDS RES 30 2678-2685, 2002

Grahn E, Moss T, Helgstrand C, Fridborg K, Sundaram M, Tars K, Lago H, Stonehouse NJ, Davis DR, Stockley PG, Liljas L Structural basis of pyrimidine specificity in the MS2 RNA hairpin-coat-protein complex RNA 7 1616-1627, 2001

Lago H, Parrott AM, Moss T, Stonehouse NJ, Stockley PG Probing the kinetics of formation of the bacteriophage MS2 translational operator complex: Identification of a protein conformer unable to bind RNA J MOL BIOL 305 1131-1144, 2001

Grahn E, Stonehouse NJ, Adams CJ, Fridborg K, Beigelman L, Matulic-Adamic J, Warriner SL, Stockley PG, Liljas L Deletion of a single hydrogen bonding atom from the MS2 RNA operator leads to dramatic rearrangements at the RNA-coat protein interface Nucleic Acids Research 28 4611-4616, 2000
View abstract

Parrott A, Lago-Zarrilli HAH, Adams CJ, Ashcroft AE, Stonehouse NJ, Stockley PG RNA aptamers for the MS2 bacteriophage coat protein have similar solution conformations and dynamics to the wild-type RNA translational operator Nucleic Acids Research 28 489-497, 2000
View abstract

Stonehouse NJ, Fonseca SA, Wood JPA RNA-protein interactions in the assembly of bacteriophage phi 29 (Abstract), 2000

Grahn E, Stonehouse NJ, Murray JB, van den Worm SHE, Valegard K, Fridborg K, Stockley PG, Lijas L Crystallographic studies of RNA hairpins in complexes with recombinant MS2 capsids: Implications for binding requirements. RNA 5 131-138, 1999
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Stockley PG, Stonehouse NJ Virus Assembly and Morphogenesis In Development-genetics, epigentics and environmental regulation, 1999

Stonehouse NJ, Phillips SEV, Stockley PG, Convery MA, Rowsell S, Murray JB, Hirao I, Ellington AD, Peabody DS Crystal structure of an RNA aptamer protein complex at 2.8 angstrom resolution Nature Structural Biology 5 133-139, 1998
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van den Worm SHE, Stonehouse NJ, Valegard K, Murray JB, Walton C, Fridborg K, Stockley PG Crystal structures of MS2 coat protein mutants in complex with wild-type RNA operator fragments Nucleic Acids Research 26 1345-1351, 1998

Stonehouse NJ Dissecting the key recognition features of the MS2 bacteriophage translational repression complex Nucleic Acids Research 26 1337-1344, 1998

Stonehouse NJ The three-dimensional structures of two complexes between recombinant MS2 capsids and RNA operator fragments reveal sequence-specific protein-RNA interactions Journal of Molecular Biology 270 724-738, 1997

Stonehouse NJ, Valegard K, Golmohammadi R, van den Worm SHE, Walton C, Stockley PG, Liljas L Crystal-structures of MS2 capsids with mutations in the subunit FG loop Journal of Molecular Biology 256 330-339, 1996

Stonehouse NJ Molecular-interactions in the RNA bacteriophage MS2 Biochemical Society Transactions 24 412-412, 1996

Stockley PG, Stonehouse NJ, Walton C Molecular mechanism of RNA Phage Morphogenesis Biochemical Society Transactions 21 627-633, 1993

Shore RC, Robinson C, Kirkham J, Stonehouse NJ Development of Crystal Morphology in Rat Incisor Enamel Journal of Dental Research 71 728-728, 1992

Robinson C, Kirkham J, Brookes SJ, Stonehouse NJ Growth of Fluorosed Rat Enamel Crystals in vitro Journal of Dental Research 71 696-696, 1992

Robinson C, Kirkham J, Shore RC, Stonehouse NJ Degradative activity in the developing tooth Journal of Dental Research 70 683-683, 1991

Robinson C, Kirkham J, Shore RC, Stonehouse NJ Extracellular matrix enzymes and the control of enamel crystal growth Journal of Dental Research 70 350-350, 1991

Robinson C, Shore RC, Kirkham J, Stonehouse NJ Extracellular processing of enamel matrix proteins and the control of crystal growth Journal de Biologie Buccale 18 355-361, 1990

Robinson C, Stonehouse NJ, Shore RC, Kirkham J Porous enamel hypoplasia: A new hypopthesis - the role of serum proteins Journal of Dental Research 69 967-967, 1990