The following is an alphabetical list of Division of Intramural Research (DIR) laboratories with brief research descriptions. Scientists in these laboratories conduct peer-reviewed research in the areas described. These major laboratories comprise two or more labs (sections or units) headed by tenured or tenure-track principal investigators. DIR investigators are listed under Contact Information.
Use of animals in biomedical research is necessary to expand our ability to curtail infectious diseases, characterize new diseases, combat bioterrorism, and discover new ways to augment or harness the body's immune system. The mission of the Comparative Medicine Branch is to provide the animals in their care with a comfortable, stable environment that eliminates research variables, to serve as a resource for Division of Intramural Research investigators, and to support research activities.
Laboratory of Allergic Diseases (LAD) investigates disorders of immediate hypersensitivity, including classic allergic diseases. Basic research includes studies of mast cell and eosinophil biology and signaling pathways in inflammation. Clinical projects investigate the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation and the role of various cells and cytokines in this process. Research findings are translated into improved treatments for asthma, mast cell diseases, and other disorders.
Josh Milner, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Bacteriology (LB) studies bacteria that cause important human infections, including Chlamydia, Coxiella,Francisella, Rickettsia, and Salmonella. In addition, LB conducts research with pathogens listed as serious or urgent threats in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. The ultimate goal of our research is to identify novel or improved strategies to control bacterial diseases, including development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics.
Frank R. DeLeo, Ph.D., Laboratory Chief
The Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology (LCIM) conducts clinical and basic science, and epidemiologic research into human immunologic, inflammatory, and infectious diseases. Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) that arise from a variety of mutations in genes involved in the immune system are a major focus area of the laboratory. Clinical and basic science aspects of bacterial, fungal, and viral microbiology and pathogenesis are another major concentration of LCIM investigators.
Luigi D. Notarangelo, M.D., Laboratory Chief
The Laboratory of Immune System Biology (LISB) is focused on the basic genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology of the immune system, as well as on human disease informed by these more basic studies. How dysregulation of the immune system results in immunodeficiencies, autoimmunity, inflammation, allergy, chronic infections, and lymphoproliferative diseases and what strategies might be valuable for therapeutic or vaccine development related to these conditions as well as cancer are important topics of interest, as is the behavior of the meta-organism.
Ronald N. Germain, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Immunogenetics (LIG) research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the signaling functions of immune cell receptors. Research encompasses a wide spectrum of experimental approaches, from the structural determination of immune receptors to the live cell image analysis of the behavior of chemotactic receptors. Development of new chemotherapies for tuberculosis is also a major area of study.
Susan K. Pierce, Ph.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Immunoregulation (LIR) studies the regulation of the human immune system in health and disease, with emphasis on the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and disease progression. Research includes studies of cytokines and chemokines in HIV replication, the latent reservoir of HIV-infected cells in AIDS and its implications for antiretroviral therapy, and immunologic approaches to the treatment of HIV infection.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (LID) focuses on viral vaccine development, host immune response to viruses, and viral molecular biology and genetics. Major long-term programs are dedicated to understanding and preventing viral hepatitis, severe childhood respiratory diseases, and viral gastroenteritis. Newer programs focus on developing vaccines for pandemic influenza, West Nile virus, human metapneumovirus, and SARS-CoV—from basic research to clinical trials.
Jeffrey I. Cohen, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research (LMVR) studies disease-transmitting insects and broad areas of malaria biology and pathogenesis at locations on the National Institutes of Health campus and overseas. Basic discoveries support the development of new drug treatments, diagnostic tools, and vaccines. The LMVR environment is highly collaborative and is organized to foster research teamwork by experts in various disciplines of the biological, physical, and medical sciences.
Thomas E. Wellems, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology (LMIV) conducts basic research in malaria immunology and pathogenesis, develops and produces prototype malaria vaccines, and conducts early-phase clinical trials of promising vaccine candidates. The lab's goal is to develop malaria vaccines that will reduce severe disease and death among African children and pregnant women and to eliminate malaria from low-transmission areas of the world.
Patrick Duffy, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Molecular Immunology (LMI) studies immune system function in health and disease with special interest in delineating mechanisms controlling specific leukocyte movement. Other research areas include G protein-coupled receptors of the immune system; mimics of chemotactic factors and their receptors in infectious agents; gut mucosal immunity; basic properties of dendritic cells; and molecular pathogenesis of complex infectious and immunologic diseases.
Philip M. Murphy, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology (LMM) conducts research on primate (HIV, SIV, HTLV) and murine retroviruses, with emphasis on HIV. Investigations focus on viral gene regulation, protein structure and function, and particle assembly; development of animal models for pathogenesis studies and development of vaccines and therapeutics; and studies of endogenous retroviral-related sequences present in mammalian genomes.
Malcolm A. Martin, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases (LPD) conducts basic and clinical studies to prevent, control, and treat diseases caused by parasitic protozoa (leishmania, toxoplasma, giardia, plasmodia, trypanosomes, cryptosporidia, entamoeba) and helminths (filariae, Schistosoma, Strongyloides,Taenia). Research includes basic aspects of host-pathogen interaction in humans, animal models, and invertebrate vectors of important parasites.
Tom Nutman, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Persistent Viral Disease (LPVD) studies the role of persistent infection in the development of immunosuppression and neurological disease. Models being examined include human, murine, and equine retroviruses; rabies virus; Aleutian disease virus of mink; and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases) such as scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Bruce W. Chesebro, M.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Viral Diseases (LVD) studies the basic mechanisms of viral entry into cells, regulation of viral gene expression, viral DNA replication, assembly and transport of viral proteins and particles, viral virulence, and humoral and cellular immunity. Applied research includes development of recombinant expression vectors, candidate vaccines, and antiviral agents. DNA and RNA viruses are studied, including HIV, poxviruses, papillomaviruses, and influenza.
Bernard Moss, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory Chief
Laboratory of Virology (LV) , at the DIR Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, conducts innovative scientific research on viral agents requiring high or maximum containment (Biosafety Level-2 to Biosafety Level-4) to understand transmission, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and host immune responses, with the goal of developing diagnostics and countermeasures.
Heinz Feldmann, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory Chief
The Research Technologies Branch (RTB) allows investigators in the Division of Intramural Research access to state-of-the-art research technologies. During the past 30 years, the advent of the biotechnology industry and the development of new scientific disciplines have resulted in an explosion of new technologies. In addition, advances in optics, lasers, and computer technology have revolutionized well-established disciplines such as microscopy (both light and electron), flow cytometry, and genomics.
Robert J. Hohman, Ph.D., Chief
Virus infections within the human population impose a significant annual burden in morbidity, mortality, and economic loss. The immune system and viruses have evolved and continue to evolve in response to each other. The mission of the Viral Immunology Section is focused on extending our basic understanding of the interaction between the immune system and viruses.
Jack Bennink, Ph.D., Section Chief