Professor Reidun Twarock



2009 - Professor Departments of Mathematics and Biology, University of York
2005 - 2009 Reader Departments of Mathematics and Biology, University of York
2004 - 2009 EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow  
2001 - 2005 Lecturer Department of Mathematics, City University, London
2000 - 2001 Post-doc TU Clausthal (Marie Curie Fellow)
1997 - 2000 Post-doc TU Clausthal (Dorothea Erxleben Fellow)
1997 PhD TU Clausthal (Germany)
1993 MSc University of Bath     



My research focuses on the structure and assembly of viruses. Viruses have a protein shell that encapsulates and hence provides protection for the viral genome. We study the symmetries of viruses and their implications on virus architecture, including the tertiary structures of the capsid proteins and the organisation of the nucleic acid within the capsids. Moreover, we determine the putative pathways of virus assembly and study virus assembly via an energy landscape approach.


We discovered that the three-dimensional structure of simple viruses including the tertiary structure of their capsid proteins and the organisation of their genomic material are constrained collectively by a new symmetry principle. We showed that these results can be used to include the role of RNA into virus assembly models.


  • Mathematical Virology: A Novel Approach to the Structure and Assembly of Viruses. This grants provides funding for a portfolio of research projects (see the project titles given for individual lab members) (Funding body: Leverhulme Trust)

Research group(s)

Post-doc Dr Thomas Keef A new symmetry principle applied to the structure of simple viruses – implications on virus assembly and virus evolution
Post-doc Dr Karim Elsawy An energy landscape approach to virus assembly
Post-doc Dr Eric Dykeman Dynamic properties of viruses
Research Student Paul Wardman A computer tool for the computation of the geometric constraints on viral capsid proteins arising from the 3-d symmetry principle
Research Student Simone Racca Martinsitic transitions in viral capsid geometries
Research Student David Salthouse Modelling geometric constraints on viral evolution via symmetry techniques
Research Student  Nick Grayson Virus assembly via a Hamiltonian path approach
Dr Reidun Twarock

Contact details

Prof. Reidun Twarock
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 324160