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Marshall Bloom, M.D.
Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Building 28, Room 1A130
903 South 4th Street Hamilton, MT 59840-2932
Phone: 406-375-7479
Fax: 406-375-9661

Laboratory of Virology

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Marshall E. Bloom, M.D.

Photo of Marshall E. Bloom, M.D.

Chief, Tickborne Flavivirus Pathogenesis Section, LV
Associate Director for Science Management, Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Major Areas of Research

  • Comparative analysis of viral replication in mammalian and arthropod systems
  • Viral determinants of neuro-virulence and neuro-invasiveness
  • Viral and host determinants of effective vertical (through the tick life stages) and horizontal (from tick to mammalian host) transmission

Program Description

The laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of viruses belonging to the tickborne encephalitis (TBE) virus complex of flaviviruses. Endemic throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, these viruses can cause severe encephalitis, meningitis, or hemorrhagic fevers with relatively high mortality rates. Our research utilizes two animal models of infection, the mouse and the tick, to examine viral and host determinants of transmission and virulence and to compare replication in the mammalian and arthropod host. Understanding these aspects of pathogenesis will provide targets for the design of therapeutics and vaccines. Methods employed include confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, electron cryotomography, immunohistochemistry, microarray analysis, nucleic acid sequencing, and molecular virology.

Cell infected with flavivirus.
Reconstructed electron tomogram depicting endoplasmic reticulum (green), viral induced vesicles (blue), and virions (red) in Vero cells infected for 40 hours with a tickborne flavivirus. The vesicles are thought to form by budding into cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum and to contain viral replication complexes, sequestering them from intracellular antiviral sensors.

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Dr. Bloom received his M.D. in 1971 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and then joined the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) of NIAID in 1972 as a research associate. From 1975 to 1977, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the NIAID Laboratory of the Biology of Viruses on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. He returned to RML as a tenured investigator in 1977 and was a charter member of the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases. He is a world expert in the molecular biology and pathogenesis of parvoviruses and is considered an authority in biocontainment. In 2004, Dr. Bloom’s research group changed its focus to the pathogenesis of tickborne flaviviruses. In 2002, Dr. Bloom was appointed Associate Director for RML in NIAID’s Division of Intramural Research, and among his duties have been program supervision of the permitting, construction, and staffing of NIAID's first Biosafety Level-4 facility. In 2008, Dr. Bloom was named Associate Director for Science Management for RML in NIAID’s Division of Intramural Research. He has also served as Acting Chief of the NIAID's new Laboratory of Virology and Acting Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis.

Research Group

Kristin McNally, Ph.D., Research Fellow; Katherine Graef, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow; James B. Wolfinbarger (Wolf), Special Volunteer; Danielle Offerdahl, M.S., Microbiologist, Technician; Niall Gallagher-Clancy, Student IRTA; James Makinen, Post-baccalaureate IRTA

Photo of research group members
Top L to R: Katherine Graef, Danielle Offerdahl Front L to R: Kristin McNally, Marshall Bloom, Jim Wolfinbarger

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Selected Publications

McNally KL, Mitzel DN, Anderson JM, Ribeiro JM, Valenzuela JG, Myers TG, Godinez A, Wolfinbarger JB, Best SM, Bloom ME. Differential salivary gland transcript expression profile in Ixodes scapularis nymphs upon feeding or flavivirus infection. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2012 Feb;3(1):18-26.

Engel AR, Mitzel DN, Hanson CT, Wolfinbarger JB, Bloom ME, Pletnev AG. Chimeric tickborne encephalitis/dengue virus is attenuated in Ixodes scapularis ticks and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2011 Jun;11(6):665-74.

Laurent-Rolle M, Boer EF, Lubick KJ, Wolfinbarger JB, Carmody AB, Rockx B, Liu W, Ashour J, Shupert WL, Holbrook MR, Barrett AD, Mason PW, Bloom ME, García-Sastre A, Khromykh AA, Best SM. The NS5 protein of the virulent West Nile virus NY99 strain is a potent antagonist of type I interferon-mediated JAK-STAT signaling. J Virol. 2010 Apr;84(7):3503-15.

Risi GF, Bloom ME, Hoe NP, Arminio T, Carlson P, Powers T, Feldmann H, Wilson D. Preparing a community hospital to manage work-related exposures to infectious agents in BioSafety level 3 and 4 laboratories. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Mar;16(3):373-8.

Mitzel DN, Best SM, Masnick MF, Porcella SF, Wolfinbarger JB, Bloom ME. Identification of genetic determinants of a tick-borne flavivirus associated with host-specific adaptation and pathogenicity. Virology. 2008 Nov 25;381(2):268-76.

Park GS, Morris KL, Hallett RG, Bloom ME, Best SM. Identification of residues critical for the interferon antagonist function of Langat virus NS5 reveals a role for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domain. J Virol. 2007 Jul;81(13):6936-46 Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Last Updated September 11, 2012

Last Reviewed September 11, 2012