Katie Doores

2023 United Kingdom Award Winner — Faculty

Katie Doores

Current Position:
Reader in Molecular Virology

King's College London

Immunology & Microbiology

Recognized for: Paradigm-shifting discoveries in the characterisation of antibody responses to viral infections, including the persistent and acute human infections HIV-1, hantaviruses, phleboviruses, and SARS-CoV-2.

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Virology, Glycobiology, Immunology

Previous Positions:

MChem and DPhil, University of Oxford
Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute, USA
Lecturer & MRC Career Development Fellow, King’s College London
Senior Lecturer & MRC Career Development Fellow, King’s College London
Senior Lecturer, King’s College London

Research Summary:

The human immune system employs many different strategies when attacking an invading pathogen. One of these strategies is the creation of antibodies—molecular tags that direct immune cells toward antigens such as viruses. Antibodies can be created to target any part of an invading virus, including proteins on the viral surface that are critical for entry into our healthy cells. Some of these surface proteins are glycoprotein, or long chains of amino acids with carbohydrate groups attached. Antibodies that target glycoproteins can inhibit a virus’ ability to enter cells, effectively neutralizing the virus; these types of antibodies are called “neutralizing antibodies”.

Katie Doores, DPhil, studies the biology and co-evolution of viral surface glycoproteins and neutralizing antibodies. Glycoproteins on the surface of HIV-1 were originally thought to shield the virus from the immune system; however, Doores showed that these glycoproteins are, instead, the targets of neutralizing antibodies. In the process of this discovery, she revealed that an HIV glycoprotein produced for clinical trials, gp120, differed significantly from the naturally occurring protein, explaining why past immunization regimes may have failed.

In 2020, Doores transitioned her work to studying antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 by defining the kinetics, magnitude, and durability of the antibody response. Through a national virology consortium, called genotype to phenotype (G2P-UK), Doores provided important guidance to UK policy makers during the pandemic. In addition to her work on HIV and SARS-CoV-2, she has identified and characterized neutralizing antibodies to many other emerging zoonotic viruses, which will aid in the development of glycoprotein vaccines for Hantaan virus, Rift Valley Fever Virus, New World Arenaviruses, including Machupo and Junin virus.

"My lab studies how our immune system responds to viral infections to inform the development of vaccines against biomedically important viruses. Through this research we aim to aid in our preparedness for potential future pandemics."

Key Publications:

  1. Huettner, et al, K.J. Doores. Cross-reactivity of glycan-reactive HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies with parasite glycans. Cell Reports, 2022.
  1. Seow, et al, K.J. Doores. Longitudinal observation and decline of neutralizing antibody responses in the three months following SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. Nat Microbiol, 2020.
  1. Graham, C. et al, J. Doores. Neutralization potency of monoclonal antibodies recognizing dominant and subdominant epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 Spike is impacted by the B.1.1.7 variant. Immunity, 2021.
  1. Rissanen, et al, K.J. Doores. Structural basis for a neutralizing antibody response elicited by recombinant Hantaan virus Gn immunogen. mBio, 2021.

Other Honors:

2021 Medical Research Foundation Emerging Leader Prize for COVID-19 research
2018-2021 EMBO Young Investigator
2015 FEBS Anniversary Prize
2013-2018 Medical Research Council Career Development Award
2009-2011 MGH/Ragon Institute Training Programme Fellowship
2001 Woodward Prize for Chemistry, Jesus College, University of Oxford
2000-2003 Open Scholarship, Jesus College, University of Oxford

In the Media:

Nature - Long COVID burden and risk factors in 10 UK longitudinal studies and electronic health records

Channel 4 - ‘Perhaps we’re not going to be producing long-term antibody responses that would prevent infection’ – Dr Katie Doores, King’s College London

The Guardian - Immunity to Covid-19 could be lost in months, UK study suggests

Nature - What the immune response to the coronavirus says about the prospects for a vaccine