Personal profile


Career Summary





FMH Associate Dean-Postgraduate Research

MED School PGR Director

Associate Professor, Norwich Medical School, UEA

Lecturer, Norwich Medical School, UEA



 Group Leader, Institute for Animal Health, The Pirbright Laboratories, Surrey UK.


 Research Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachussetts, USA


 Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachussets, USA


 Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington University Medical School, St Louis, Missouri, USA


 PhD Biochemistry, Imperial College, University of London


 BSc Biochemistry, Imperial College, University of London.



Penny studies eukaryotic virus-host interactions  Working on animal viruses at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, she investigated how viral proteins inhibit innate immune responses by direct interact with host proteins. Now at Norwich Medical School, UEA, she studies the ways in which small RNA viruses, such as influenza virus, coronavirus and alphavirus can modulate interferon signalling, RNA interference, stress and autophagy. Her main area of interest is how host genotype affects suceptibility to infection.



Key Research Interests

  • Viral evasion of the innate immune response
  • Viral proteins that inhibit interferon, RNA interference and inflammatory pathways
  • Host suceptibility genes 
  • Stress responses to viral infection
  • Regulation of the innate immune response by autophagy
  • Gut microbiome and eukaryotic viruses



Highlighted publications

Non‐canonical autophagy functions of ATG16L1 in epithelial cells limit lethal infection by influenza A virus. Wang, Y., Sharma, P., Jefferson, M.Zhang, W.Bone, B., Kipar, A., Bitto, D., Coombes, J. L., Pearson, T.Man, A.Zhekova, A.Bao, Y., Tripp, R. A., Carding, S. R., Yamauchi, Y., Mayer, U.Powell, P. P., Stewart, J. P. & Wileman, T.15 Mar 2021In : The EMBO Journal. 406, e105543.

Regulation of cytokine signaling through direct interaction between cytokine receptors and the ATG16L1 WD40 domain. Serramito-Gómez, I., Boada-Romero, E., Villamuera, R., Fernández-Cabrera, Á., Cedillo, J. L., Martín-Regalado, Á., Carding, S.Mayer, U.Powell, P. P.Wileman, T., García-Higuera, I. & Pimentel-Muiños, F. X., 20 Nov 2020In : Nature Communications. 111, 5919 .

Regulatory network analysis of Paneth cell and goblet cell enriched gut organoids using transcriptomics approaches. Treveil, A., Sudhakar, P., Matthews, Z. J., Wrzesiński, T., Jones, E. J., Brooks, J., Ölbei, M., Hautefort, I.Hall, L. J.Carding, S. R.Mayer, U.Powell, P. P.Wileman, T.Di Palma, F., Haerty, W. & Korcsmáros, T., 1 Feb 2020In : Molecular Omics. 161p. 39-58 20 The WD and linker domains of ATG16L1 required for non-canonical autophagy limit lethal influenza A virus infection at epithelial surfacesWang, Y.Zhang, W.Jefferson, M., Sharma, P., Bone, B., Kipar, A., Coombes, J. L., Pearson, T.Man, A.Zhekova, A.Bao, Y., Tripp, R., Carding, S.Mayer, U.Powell, P., Stewart, J. P. & Wileman, T.15 Jan 2020, BiorXiv: biorxiv.

The autophagy protein ATG16L1 is required for Sindbis virus-induced eIF2α phosphorylation and stress granule formation. Jefferson, M.Bone, B.Buck, J. L. & Powell, P. P.29 Dec 2019In : Viruses. 121, 39

Rai S, Arasteh M, Jefferson M, Pearson T, Wang Y, Zhang W, Bicsak B, Divekar D, Powell PP, Nauman R, Beraza N, Carding SR, Florey O, Mayer U, Wileman T..  The coiled coil domain of Atg16L1 maintains autophagy and tissue homeostasis in mice independently of the WD domain, required for LC3 associated phagocytosis. Autophagy. 2018 Nov 7:1-14. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2018.

Emily J Jones, Zoe J Matthews, Lejla Gul,  Padhmanand Sudhakar, Devina Divekar, Jasmine Buck, Matthew Jefferson, Stuart Armstrong, Alastair Watson, Simon Carding, Uli Mayer, Penny P. Powell, Isabelle Hautefort, Tom Wileman, Tamas Korcsmaros. Integrative analysis of Paneth cell proteomic data from intestinal organoids reveals functional processes affected in Crohn’s disease due to autophagy impairment Dis Model Mech. 2019 Mar 18;12(3).

Luu L, Matthews ZJ, Armstrong SD, Powell PP, Wileman T, Wastling JM, Coombes JL  2018. Proteomic Profiling of Enteroid Cultures Skewed toward Development of Specific Epithelial Lineages. Proteomics. 18(16):e1800132

Nasef, N. A., Mehta, S., Powell, P., Marlow, G., Wileman, T., Ferguson, L. R. (2015)  Extracts of Feijoa Inhibit Toll-Like Receptor 2 Signaling and Activate Autophagy Implicating a Role in Dietary Control of IBD  in PLoS ONE 10(6):e0130910

Jefferson M, Donaszi-Ivanov A, Pollen S, Dalmay T, Saalbach G and Powell P. P. (2014) Host Factors interacting with the Pestivirus N terminal protease, Npro are Components of the Ribonucleoprotein Complex. J. Virology 88:10340-10353 

Jefferson M, Whelband M, Mohorianu I, Powell PP. (2014). The pestivirus N terminal protease N(pro) redistributes to mitochondria and peroxisomes suggesting new sites for regulation of IRF3 by N(pro).   PLoS One. 9 (2):e88838.

Donaszi-Ivanov, A., Mohorianu, I., Dalmay, T., Powell, P. P. (2013) Small RNA analysis in Sindbis virus infected human HEK293 cells in PLoS ONE 8 (12):e84070 Full Text UEA Repository

Zhou, Z., Mogensen, M. M., Powell, P. P., Curry, S., Wileman, T., Microscopy, Fluorescence (2013) Foot-and-mouth disease virus 3C protease induces fragmentation of the Golgi compartment and blocks intra-Golgi transport in Journal of Virology 87. pp. 11721-11729 Full Text UEA Repository

Goldspink, D., Gadsby, J., Bellett, G., Keynton, J., Tyrrell, B., Lund, E., Powell, P., Thomas, P., Mogensen, M. (2013) The microtubule end-binding protein EB2 is a central regulator of microtubule reorganisation in apico-basal epithelial differentiation in Journal of Cell Science 126.pp. 4000-4014 Full Text UEA Repository

Roberts, R., Al-Jamal, W., Whelband, M., Thomas, P., Jefferson, M., van den Bossche, J., Powell, P. P., Kostarelos, K., Wileman, T. (2013) Autophagy and formation of tubulovesicular autophagosomes provide a barrier against nonviral gene delivery in Autophagy 9. pp. 667-682 Full Text UEA Repository

Greatorex, J. S., Page, R. F., Curran, M. D., Digard, P., Enstone, J. E., Wreghitt, T., Powell, P., Sexton, D., Vivancos, R., Nguyen-Van-Tam, J. S., RNA, Viral, Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype (2010)Effectiveness of common household cleaning agents in reducing the viability of human influenza A/H1N1 in PLoS ONE 5.pp. e8987 Full Text UEA Repository Doceul, V., Charleston, B., Crooke, H., Reid, E., Powell, P., Seago, J. (2008) The Npro product of classical swine fever virus interacts with IkappaBalpha, the NF-kappaB inhibitor in Journal of General Virology 89. pp. 1881-1889Full Text UEA Repository

Tennant, L., Renard, C., Chardon, P., Powell, P. (2007) Regulation of porcine classical and non classical MHC class I expression in Immunogenetics 59. pp. 377-389 UEA Repository

La Rocca, S., Herbert, R., Crooke, H., Drew, T., Wileman, T., Powell, P. (2005) Loss of interferon regulatory factor 3 in cells infected with classical swine fever virus involves the N-terminal protease, Nproin Journal of Virology 79. pp. 7239-7247 UEA Repository

Teaching Interests


Director of Postgraduate Research, Norwich Medical School

  • Progress and progression of current PGR students
  • Supervise PhD and MSc students
  • PGR Examiner
  • PGR admissions

 MBBS medical degree program at Norwich Medical School in the following:

  • Biochemistry lead for the MBBS degree
  • SSS Biochemistry theme lead
  • Mentor for SSS as a pathway to research

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or