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Dr Pouria Akhbari

Dr Pouria Akhbari

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 01392 40 8322

 RILD Building Level 4


University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK


Pouria is a postdoctoral research fellow in Islet Biology Exeter (IBEx), part of The Exeter Centre of Excellence for Diabetes Research (EXCEED). Following graduation as a vet, he worked in zoonoses control and medical and veterinary diagnostic laboratories before pursing further studies in medical microbiology and molecular virology, where he investigated virus-host interaction in influenza A virus and the role of Merkel cell polyomavirus microRNAs in the pathogenesis of Merkel cell carcinoma in laboratory of Dr Jim Boyne, University of Bradford. Besides research, Pouria played a pro-active role in representing postgraduate students, organised internal conferences and was involved in teaching and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students. Currently, he is investigating the complex interaction between viruses, immune system and genetic factors in type 1 diabetes (funded by JDRF and MRC) using a wide range of techniques including CRISPR-Cas technology, flow cytometry, ELISA, immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR. Pouria is now passionately working towards establishing a career in inflammation and immunity research to contribute to our better understanding of biological processes underlying disease, development and evolution at molecular and cellular level.


  • PhD (Analysis of Cellular Transcriptomic Changes Induced by Merkel Cell Polyomavirus miRNA)
  • MSc (Detailed Sub-cellular Characterisation of Influenza A NS1 and NP)
  • DVM 


Research group links


Research interests

Innate immunity, intrinsic immune response, inflammation, virus-host cell interaction, virus-induced autoimmunity

Research projects

1. Investigating the role of type 1 diabetes genetic risk variants in susceptibility to enterovirus infections

2. Investigating regulation of HLA class I expression in pancreatic beta cells in response to inflammtory signals and virus infection


External Engagement and Impact

External positions

  • Postdoctoral resaerch assistant in DNA damage and cancer biology (part time position at the University of Bradford)
  • Secondary supervisor to PhD students (University of Bradford)


  • Y3 projects supervision 
  • R-SSU
  • PhD students (University of Exeter and University of Bradford)

Supervision / Group

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