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Timothy Donnison

Postdoctoral Scientist

Brief Biography:

My post-doctoral research is undertaken in the Barnes laboratory with a focus on vaccine design and development, the adaptive immune response, and viral hepatitis. I recently earned my DPhil as an NDM Prize Studentship scholar and have been awarded an MRC Confidence in Concept award to undertake post-doctoral research to further develop the viral hepatitis vaccine research portfolio.


My main research interest is in the engineering of the immune response to combat and prevent infectious disease, primarily through novel vaccine and immunotherapeutic intervention. In particular, my research focusses on the development of vaccines to prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. A major challenge in HCV vaccine development is the viral genetic variability both within hosts and between infected individuals. I am leading a collaborative research project between Oxford and Melbourne that aims to overcome viral diversity in vaccine design by using viral vectors to direct the immune response to target conserved HCV regions that are conserved across its many strains, in the hope that this will provide universal coverage. In parallel, we have developed genetic adjuvant technology to increase the efficacy of our vaccines, with application in a broad range of other diseases. With the generation of a pan-genotype universal HCV vaccine, we aim to progress our technology through the clinical pipeline and are currently seeking commercial opportunities to achieve this.

I have presented my research within the U.K. and internationally and have received prizes for my research, including presentations at the British Society for Immunology (BSI) Congress, the International Society of Vaccines Congress, and the annual HCV international conference.


Away from the laboratory, I have a broad interest in science, healthcare, and biotech communication and commercial application having taken courses at Oxfords Saïd Business School and worked as a Research Strategy Consultant for an Oxford-based start-up company. I enjoy communicating science and co-founded an online journal (Ex Aula: Research from the Hall) that showcases the diverse research undertaken by graduate students at St Edmund Hall – my college at the University of Oxford. I also served as President of the University’s ice hockey club (OUIHC), secured a six-figure endowment for the sport, and received the Simon, Arpi & Marie Simonian Prize for excellence in leadership.