The Medical School congratulates Prof Peter Karayiannis, winner of this year’s International Kowsar Award for his contribution to Viral Hepatitis. The award was presented at the 6th International Tehran Hepatitis Conference by ex-Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Professor Karayiannis holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology from the Liverpool University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (FIBMS) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists [FRCPath (Virol)]. Professor Karayiannis joined the Medical School in September 2013, having previously worked at the Department of Medical Microbiology, Liverpool University (1976-1981), Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital Medical School (1981-1987), Department of Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital Medical School (1987-1995) and the Hepatology Section, St Mary’s Campus, Imperial College London (1995-2012). His research interests are concerned with the hepatitis viruses, predominantly B and C (HBV, HCV) and include the study of the mechanisms that favour viral persistence and evasion of the immune response during chronic infection, the effect of HBV variants arising during the natural history of the infection on long term disease outcome and those arising as a result of human intervention, such as through vaccination or antiviral treatment, as well as new approaches to treatment. Other research interests include studies on the basic molecular biology of both HBV and HCV, the role of various viral proteins in the replication of the viruses, possible interference with cellular biosynthetic or defence pathways, as well as their role in hepatocarcinogenesis. More recently, his research work has concentrated on the role of genomic HCV mutations that have been identified in isolates from immune privileged sites such as peripheral blood mononuclear cells and brain tissue, and the effect of such mutations on the replication capacity of infectious clones of the virus. He is European Editor for the Journal of Viral Hepatitis and on the editorial board of a number of other journals. He has authored well over 200 original papers and reviews published in peer reviewed journals and books.