Professor Liam Fanning

Prof. Liam Fanning

Additional Role:

Director, Molecular Virology Diagnostic & Research Laboratory






Ph.D. 1992, National University of Ireland, Cork.

Research Interests

Currently our research is focused on three virus Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis B. Together these viruses infect more than 500 million persons. The activation of the host immune system following host penetration and invasion by a virus initiates a conflict that results in either viral clearance or viral persistence. The correlates associated with viral clearance or persistence are not fully determined. Our research in Cork is aimed at advancing our understanding of the molecular diversity of these viruses and how this impacts on disease outcome.

Areas currently under investigation:

Hepatitis C Virus
  • HCV in vitro models
  • Quasispecies
  • Host-Virus interactions
  • Viral growth modelling
  • Translational research
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Molecular Diversity
  • Resistance
Hepatitis B Virus
  • Molecular diversity
  • Infection networks
Human Papilloma Virus
  • Molecular diversity and effects of vaccination on epidemiology

Recent Publications

Clinical relevance of detectable HCV RNA in the context of direct acting antivirals. O'Sullivan K, Levis J, Hegarty K, Crosbie O, Kenny-Walsh E, Fanning LJ. Hepatology. 2012 in press

Constraints on Viral Evolution During Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Arising from a Common-Source Exposure. Bailey JR, Laskey S, Wasilewski L, Munshaw S, Fanning LJ, Kenny-Walsh E, Ray SC. J Virol. 2012 Sep 12.

Insertion and recombination events at the HVR1 over 9.6 years of hepatitis C virus chronic infection. Palmer BA, Moreau I, Levis J, Harty C, Crosbie O, Kenny-Walsh E, Fanning LJ. J Gen Virol. 2012 Sep 12.

Hepatitis C quasispecies adaptation in the setting of a variable fidelity polymerase. Daniel Schmidt-Martin, Orla Crosbie, Elizabeth Kenny-Walsh, Liam J Fanning. Virus Adaptation and Treatment 2012:4 43–50.

The prevalence and genotype of human papillomavirus on cervical samples from an Irish female population with external genital warts. Cremin S, Menton JF, Canier L, Horgan M, Fanning LJ. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Jul 1;8(7):916-20. doi: 10.4161/hv.20122. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

The pan-genotype specificity of the hepatitis C virus anti-core monoclonal antibody C7-50 is contingent on the quasispecies profile of a population. Palmer BA, Menton J, Levis J, Kenny-Walsh E, Crosbie O, Fanning LJ. Arch Virol. 2012 Jul 25.

World Health Organization collaborative study to calibrate the 3rd International Standard for Hepatitis C virus RNA nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT)-based assays. Baylis SA, Heath AB; Collaborative Study Group. Vox Sang. 2011 May;100(4):409-17.

Teaching and Outreach

Liam currently teaches various aspects of molecular virology to undergraduate medical and dental students, to general practioners, and to nursing staff at Cork University Hospital.  Liam participates in undergraduate programs as part of the B.Sc. in Genetics and the BioMedical Science Degree. He also engages in education forums and outreach programs for patient support groups and junior certificate to leaving certificate students.


Current Molecular Virology Diagnostics

  • Hepatitis C Virus
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Hepatitis B Virus

Range of tests currently performed

  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative
  • Genotype
  • Treatment Resistance

Molecular Biology Research - custom laboratory services

Molecular Biology Research - custom laboratory services available at the MVDRL:

  • Automated large scale DNA isolation
    • Source material: Whole blood, cell lines, serum viruses (RNA or DNA)
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis for HIV, Hepatitis C Virus and Hepatitis B Virus
  • Genotype identification for Hepatitis C Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, Human Papilloma Virus
  • Real time (RT)-PCR
  • Tissue culture


For further information contact Liam Fanning at

Department of Medicine

Roinn na Sláinte

Clinical Sciences Building, Cork University Hospital , T12 EC8P