After completing a BSc in Biochemistry at Leeds University, Paul undertook a PhD in Biochemistry in protein chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Following a postdoctoral position at the University of Cambridge in bacterial genetics he joined The Pirbright Institute to study the molecular virology of coronaviruses. After an initial period working on the porcine coronavirus, transmissible gastroenteritis virus, he moved onto work with the avian coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus (IBV).
His main research interest is studying the basic molecular virology of IBV to understand how changes can lead to attenuation of the virus for the generation of new and safer vaccines. He was responsible for the development of the first reverse genetics system for IBV allowing the generation of recombinant viruses with specific mutations.
Paul is an Editor on Nidoviruses and positive strand RNA viruses for the Journal of General Virology, a Member of the Houghton Trust and was the Chair of COST Action FA1207 “Towards control of Avian Coronaviruses: Strategies for vaccination, Diagnosis and Surveillance” 2013 – 2015.