Charles Bangham qualified in medical sciences at Cambridge University and in clinical medicine at Oxford University, and worked as a hospital physician for three years before carrying out a PhD on viral immunology at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and Oxford University. In 1995 he was appointed to the Chair of Immunology in Imperial College London, and in 2013 Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases.
Since 1987 he has conducted research on the human T-cell leukaemia virus, HTLV-1. His contributions include the discovery of the virological synapse, the mechanism by which viruses including HTLV-1, HIV and murine leukaemia virus are transmitted from cell-to-cell, starting a new field in virology.
Charles is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has chaired many national and international grant review panels. He was awarded the BMC Retrovirology Prize 2007, the International Retrovirology Association Basic Science Prize, 2015, and the David Derse Memorial Award from the National Cancer Institute, USA, in 2018. He is a Visiting Professor, Kyoto University, Japan.