The Disease Modeling and Transmission section aims to investigate emerging and re-emerging viral pathogens that cause serious illness in humans. Our group focuses on vector-borne viruses spread by rodents such as Lassa virus and Hantaviruses and insects such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. To investigate these viruses we develop animal models that recapitulate human disease, use these models to understand how the virus causes disease and then evaluate antivirals and vaccines that protect against disease. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic our lab has evaluated candidate antivirals and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Research from our lab has resulted in multiple vaccines and antivirals against these serious human pathogens. These therapeutics are in multiple stages of pre-clinical and clinical development.
In addition to our laboratory activities, our lab has active research ongoing at field sites in Mali and Uganda where we conduct surveillance in vector and human populations to understand disease prevalence and transmission in regions where these viruses are endemic. Our efforts aim to support local public health systems and develop public health strategies that limit infection of at-risk populations.
Heinz Feldmann, M.D.
Chief, Disease Modeling and Transmission Section
Chief, Laboratory of Virology
Chief Scientist of the RML BSL4 Laboratories
Ph.D., 1988, University of Marburg, Germany
M.D., 1987, University of Marburg, Germany
Heinz Feldmann graduated from Medical School in 1987 (MD) and received his Ph.D. in 1988 both from the University of Marburg, Germany. His postdoctoral research was conducted in the field of virology (filoviruses and hantaviruses) at the Institute of Virology in Marburg and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA (‘National Research Council’ fellowship).
Julie A. Callison, M.Sc.
M.S., Microbiology, University of Montana
B.S., Microbiology, University of Montana
My work and interests are to assist research projects that focus on disease modeling and transmission of emerging viral pathogens. These projects also involve evaluating vaccines and therapeutics.
David W. Hawman, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver
B.S., Microbiology, Penn State University
Shanna S. Leventhal, B.S., B.A.
B.S., Molecular and Cellular Biology, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
My research focuses on understanding viral determinants of disease and evaluating vaccine candidates against pathogenic viruses. My work involves in vivo animal models and in vitro assays which are aimed at uncovering viral proteins that cause disease, these are used to inform the development of therapeutics and vaccine candidates.
Matthew C. Lewis, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California Irvine
B.S., Chemistry, Oregon State University
B.S., Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University
My research interests lie in modeling novel viral diseases and testing vaccines and drugs for efficacy against those viral diseases. I provide support and assistance with various research projects involving diseased modeling and transmission of emergent viral pathogens.
Kimberly D. Meade-White, M.Sc.
M.S., Microbiology/Biochemistry, University of Montana
B.S., Biology, Carroll College
Atsushi Okumura, Ph.D., D.V.M.
Ph.D., Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary science, Azabu University
M.S./D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University
B.S., Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University
Languages Spoken: Japanese
My research interests are focused on the host immune response to virus infection with a current concentration on the host response.
Deepashri Rao, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Viral Immunology, NIMHANS University, India
M.Sc, Microbiology, Bangalore University, India
B.Sc, Chemistry, Botany, Microbiology, Bangalore University, India
Languages Spoken: Kannada, Hindi
My research is primarily focused on the immunology of viral infections, especially innate immunity. I investigate immune mechanisms that are protective or detrimental to the host, which can then lead to the development of therapeutics for pathogenic viruses.
Kyle T. Rosenke, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
B.S., Science, University of Wyoming
Thomas Tipih, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Medical Virology, University of the Free State
M.Sc, Virology, Liverpool John Moores University
B.Sc, Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
Languages Spoken: Shona
My research focuses on development of vaccines and therapeutics for emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viral pathogens. My work involves the development of animal models to study pathogenesis, immunology of viral infections and evaluating vaccines and therapeutics.
Former Research Group Members
Laura Baseler, DVM, Ph.D. (Predoctoral Fellow) (7/2012 – 8/2015) - Veterinary Pathologist, NAMSA (North American Science Associates), Northwood, OH, USA
Bharti Bhatia, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (1/2018 – 5/2021) – Delhi, India
Blair DeBuysscher, Ph.D. (Predoctoral Fellow) (6/2008 – 9/2014) – Researcher, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA
Emmie de Wit, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow, Staff Scientists) (9/2009 – 8/2019) – Tenure-Track Investigator, DIR, NIAID, Hamilton, MT, USA
Hideki Ebihara, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist) (3/2009 – 7/2016) – Director, Department of Virology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan
Darryl Falzarano, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (6/2010 – 11/2014) – Research Scientist, VIDO-InterVac, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Wakako Furuyama, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (6/2017 – 9/2019) - Assistant Professor, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
Thomas Hoenen, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (3/2011 – 8/2015) – Laboratory Head (Privatdozent), Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Greifswald, Germany
Caleb Marceau, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (1/2017 – 1/2018) - Sr Research Scientist-Clinical Virology, Gilead Sciences, San Francisco, CA, USA
Joshua Marceau, Ph.D. (Predoctoral Fellow) (8/2011 – 12/2016) – Postdoctoral Researcher, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA
Andrea Marzi, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow, Staff Scientist, Associate Scientist) (10/2008 – 8/2019) – Tenure-Track Investigator, NIAID, Hamilton, MT, USA
Masfique Mehedi, Ph.D. (predoctoral Fellow) (12/2010 – 10/2012) – Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA
Vincent Munster, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (9/2009 – 1/2013) – Senior Investigator, DIR, NIAID, Hamilton, MT USA
Joseph Prescott, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow) (6/2009 – 6/2017) – Research Group Lead, Robert-Koch-Institute, Berlin, Germany
Barry Rockx, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (7/2008 – 8/2012) – Principal Investigator, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Jessica Spengler, DVM, Ph.D. (Predoctoral Fellow) (9/2008 – 5/2012) – Research Veterinary medical Officer, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA
David Safronetz, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow, Staff Scientist) (10/2008 – 7/2015) – Chief Special Pathogens, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Tsing-Lee Tang-Huau, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (6/2018 – 11/2021) – Research Lead, Sanofi, Orlando, FL, USA
Yoshimi Tsuda, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) (6/2009 – 2/2011) – Researcher, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
Marko Zivcec, Ph.D. (Predoctoral Fellow) (9/2009 – 12/2013) – Researcher, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada