Health Protection and Influenza Research


The Health Protection and Influenza Research Group (HPIRG) has research interests spanning a broad range of communicable diseases areas, but specialises in respiratory virus infections, of which influenza is the key strategic focus.

We research in all aspects of influenza, but particularly influenza transmission, pandemic preparedness, vaccines and anti-viral drugs.

Jonathan Van Tam, Professor of Health Protection


Following several years of close co-operation with WHO/Europe, the HPIRG was designated a WHO collaborating centre in September 2010.


Research issue

The HPIRG was formed within the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health in October 2007 through an academic partnership initiative with Public Health England (formerly UK Health Protection Agency).

Since then, its staff numbers have grown considerably, and it has attracted significant external funding in excess of £10.0M to date (principal applicants), with other grants totalling circa £5M (co-applicants).

Priority themes

Although committed to the broad ideal of supporting academic health protection research across the range of the discipline, the priority theme of the group and its major area of funding success and forward momentum is influenza: epidemiology, virus survival, control (including transmission), and pandemic preparedness.


Collaborative links

The group has collaborative links with leading UK groups in Leicester University, Birmingham University, Leeds University, Cambridge University, University College London, Imperial College, HPA Addenbrookes and the West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre.

Further afield it works with: University of Maryland, Wake Forest University, Mt Sinai Hospital Toronto, and Sydney University under the umbrella of the EMIT consortium.



The group enjoys its own research funding support from very diverse sources including: MRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR, Department of Health (England), World Health Organization (WHO), the Health Protection Agency, US CDC; a limited number of specific studies are also funded by the pharmaceutical and vaccines industries, but run completely independently.

Current projects

We have recently been working in areas such as virus shedding, environmental deposition and how humans spread the virus pandemic influenza.

See our projects

See our evidence reviews

Training opportunities

The HPIRG is a nominated centre for the PHE's Field Epidemiology Training Programme, as well as a UK Faculty of Public Health ‘National Treasure’ training location:

Public Health England 'Field Epidemiology Training Programme'

Over the next few years scientists and medics will rotate through the HPIRG gaining experience in the epidemiology of communicable diseases.

More information can be found from the PHE website


Faculty of Public Health ‘National Treasure’ Placement

We are also a UK Faculty of Public Health ‘National Treasure’ training location.

Specialty Registrars in Public Health are eligible to apply for National Treasure placements lasting from 3 months to over 1 year, which provides additional or contextual experience to consolidate core skills and/or develop specific interests in health protection research.

More information can be found from the UK Faculty of Public Health website.






Health Protection and Influenza Research

Division of Epidemiology and Public Health
Nottingham City Hospital
The University of Nottingham
Hucknall Road, Nottingham, NG5 1PB

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0276