Bamford, Dennis

1.1.2012-31.12.2016 Microbiology University of Helsinki

Dennis Bamford (b. 1948) is a microbiologist. He is Director of Research at the Institute of Biotechnology and head of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Virus Research at the universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä. He served as Academy Professor in 2002–2007.

Professor Bamford’s research interests are in the structure and evolution of viruses. He has  discovered previously unknown structural similarities between very different types of viruses. Current evidence suggests that viruses infecting bacteria and archaea share structural features in common with viruses that infect higher organisms, including humans. Based on these similarities, it seems that all current viruses have evolved from the same origins. If this theory proves to be true, the systematics of viruses will need considerable rewriting. It might even change our understanding of the early evolution of life on Earth.

Apart from his work in the field of virus evolution, Professor Bamford is currently interested in developing methods for the structural analysis of viruses as well as technologies for the detection of individual molecules. This work has already found commercial applications. Viral proteins are used to produce RNA molecules that are capable of targeted gene silencing.

Professor Bamford has published extensively: to date, he has more than 280 scientific publications to his name. He is also actively engaged in training young scientists and has been supervisor of more than 30 PhD theses. Seven PhD graduates from Bamford’s team have been appointed to a professorship and six currently have their own research teams.

Professori DennisBamford (s. 1948) toimii Biotekniikan instituutin tutkimusjohtajana ja johtaa Helsingin ja Jyväskylän yliopistoissa toimivaa Virologian kansallista tutkimuksen huippuyksikköä. Akatemiaprofessorina Bamford toimi vuosina 2002–2007.

Professor Bamford has served as a member of several scientific committees and programme committees for international conferences and has been invited speaker at numerous meetings worldwide. He is a member of several international science communities. He has chaired the EU’s ESFRI INSTRUCT Working Group and is currently head of the virus production and purification centre under the ESFRI BMS INSTRUCT project at the University of Helsinki.

Last modified 24 Feb 2015
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