Velislava Petrova | PhD Student

Petrova, Velislava

I am a third year PhD student, jointly supervised by Paul Kellam and Carl Anderson. I am using immune repertoire sequencing to characterise adaptive immune responses to virus challenge. I am interested in studying the relationship between virus infection and host susceptibility to autoimmune disease.

My current research interests fit at the interface between infectious diseases and immunology. Being co-supervised by members of two different faculties gives me the opportunity to work on a very interdisciplinary project, investigating complex patterns of host-pathogen interaction. My work as a PhD student so far has been focused on the development of methods for error-correctable amplification and sequencing of immune receptor repertoires. Over the next few years, I will use these methods to investigate the immunological footprint of infection with lymphotropic viruses and their long-term effects on immune memory.

My previous work as a Placement student in Paul Kellam's team was based on developing methodologies for full-genome sequencing of diverse RNA viruses and applying these methods to understand the genetic diversity and evolution of Norovirus from a large outbreak study in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Bristol, I worked with Dr. David Matthews on the characterisation of transcriptomic and proteomic changes occurring in response to Adenovirus infection, using the PIT analysis developed in his group.


  • Deep sequencing of norovirus genomes defines evolutionary patterns in an urban tropical setting.

    Cotten M, Petrova V, Phan MV, Rabaa MA, Watson SJ et al.

    Journal of virology 2014;88;19;11056-69

  • Host genetic variants and gene expression patterns associated with Epstein-Barr virus copy number in lymphoblastoid cell lines.

    Houldcroft CJ, Petrova V, Liu JZ, Frampton D, Anderson CA et al.

    PloS one 2014;9;10;e108384

  • Full-genome deep sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of novel human betacoronavirus.

    Cotten M, Lam TT, Watson SJ, Palser AL, Petrova V et al.

    Emerging infectious diseases 2013;19;5;736-42B

  • Genome watch: The chronicles of virus-host affairs.

    Langat P and Petrova V

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2015;13;8;460

Petrova, Velislava
Velislava's Timeline

Started the 4-Year Wellcome Trust PhD Programme at The Sanger Institute

Completed a BSc in Virology and Immunology at the University of Bristol


Completed a Placement Year at The Sanger Institute


Awarded Industrial Placement Scholarship at Pfizer, R&D Sandwich


Completed a summer placement at the Max Planck Institute, Göttingen