My research interest is focused on the ability of HCV to infect cells of the Central Nervous System. I recently observed that HCV can infect endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier, and that these cells express all of the receptors required for HCV entry. The blood-brain barrier is the ‘gatekeeper’ of the brain, responsible for regulating the passage of substances into and out of the brain (see diagram), and this may partially explain the fatigue and other neurological symptoms experienced by many people infected with HCV. I’m also interested in the interplay of the innate immune system with HCV and other viruses, particularly in the context of infection of polarized cells.
Apart from science, I am also interested in breeding pedigree sheep, particularly Jacob sheep, for which I have my own website. These are an ancient breed of sheep and are mentioned in the bible as 'Jacob's sheep'. They are striking animals, with spotted fleeces and two or four horns. Check out the website here.
In addition to Jacob sheep, I'm also really interested in Japan and Japanese culture, for which my favourite website is here.
HCV Research Group
Institute of Biomedical Research,
School of Immunity and Infection,
College of Medical and Dental Sciences,
University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT UK
Tel: (44) 121 415 8673
Fax: (44) 121 414 3599
E-mail: Nicola Fletcher
Nicola's the one on the left (we think).
PubMed listed Publications
Contacting NCBI Entrez ...