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Leading research to understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases
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Kanta Subbarao, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.


Chief, Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section

Laboratory of Infectious Diseases

Major Areas of Research

  • Study viral pathogenesis and immune responses in animal models
  • Identify and prioritize potential pandemic strains of influenza to target for vaccine development
  • Generate attenuated vaccine viruses by reassortment or plasmid-based reverse genetics
  • Evaluate antigenic relatedness and cross-protection between influenza viruses
  • Evaluate candidate vaccine viruses in preclinical studies in animal models
  • Conduct clinical evaluation of suitable candidate vaccines to establish safety, immunogenicity, and infectivity of live, attenuated vaccines

Program Description

Our research is focused on understanding the pathogenesis of influenza and the development of vaccines against pandemic strains of influenza.


Dr. Subbarao received her M.B.B.S. in 1982 from the Christian Medical College, Vellore, University of Madras, India, and completed a residency in pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Memorial Hospital for Children at St. Louis University. She completed a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases and earned her M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. After postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID) at the National Institutes of Health, she served on the faculty at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and subsequently served as chief of the Molecular Genetics Section of the Influenza Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Subbarao joined LID as a senior investigator in 2002.

Research Group

Yumiko Matsuoka, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Catherine Luke, Ph.D.
Andrew Broadbent, Ph.D.
Seema Lakdawala, Ph.D.
Kobporn Boonnak, Ph.D.
Christopher O’Donnell, Ph.D.
Mariana Baz Etchebarne, Ph.D.
Ian Moore, D.V.M.
Elaine Lamirande
Celia Santos
Leatrice Vogel
Myeisha Paskel
Heather Kenny

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Selected Publications

Boonnak K, Paskel M, Matsuoka Y, Vogel L,  Subbarao K. Evaluation of replication, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of a live attenuated cold-adapted pandemic H1N1 influenza virus vaccine in nonhuman primates. Vaccine. 2012.

O’Donnell CD, Vogel L, Wright A, Das SR, Wrammert J, Li GM, McCausland M, Zheng NY, Yewdell JW, Ahmed R, Wilson PC, Subbarao K. Antibody pressure by a human monoclonal antibody targeting the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus hemagglutinin drives the emergence of a virus with increased virulence in mice. mBio 2012 May 29;3(3). pii:e00120-12.

Talaat KR, Karron RA, Liang PH, McMahon BA, Luke CJ, Thumar B, Chen GL, Min JY, Lamirande EW, Jin H, Coelingh KL, Kemble GW, Subbarao K. An open-label phase I trial of a live attenuated H2N2 influenza virus vaccine in healthy adults. Influenza Other Respi Viruses. 2012 Mar 14.

Lau YF, Wright AR, Subbarao K. The contribution of systemic and pulmonary immune effectors to vaccine-induced protection from H5N1 influenza virus infection. J Virol. 2012 May;86(9):5089-98.

Lakdawala SS, Lamirande EW, Suguitan AL Jr, Wang W, Santos CP, Vogel L, Matsuoka Y, Lindsley WG, Jin H, Subbarao K. Eurasian-origin gene segments contribute to the transmissibility, aerosol release, and morphology of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002443.

Broadbent AJ, Subbarao K. Influenza Virus Vaccines: Lessons from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Curr Opin Virol. 2011 Oct;1(4):254-262.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

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Yang CF, Kemble G, Subbarao K, Murphy B. Influenza hemagglutinin and neuraminidase variants. United States patent US 7,744,901. 29 Jun 2010.

Yang CF, Kemble G, Subbarao K, Murphy B. Influenza hemagglutinin and neuraminidase variants. United States patent US 7,504,109. 17 Mar 2009.

Last Updated November 09, 2012