Major Areas of Research
- Disease modeling using rodent and nonhuman primate models
- Emergency vaccines using different replication-competent and replication-deficient viral vector platforms
- Antivirals and therapeutics
- Virus transmission in reservoir and host species
The Disease Modeling and Transmission Section was established in August 2008. Its mission is to study emerging and re-emerging viral pathogens, in particular those that cause hemorrhagic fever, with an aim of developing diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. The section focuses on the lifecycle of certain viral pathogens that are likely to cause serious or lethal human disease for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are not available. The research objective is to learn how to interfere with the viral lifecycle and the virus-induced host responses to identify targets of intervention and to develop measures of prevention. Animal disease modeling is a critical component of all research objectives.
Heinz Feldmann graduated from medical school in 1987 (M.D.) 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, University of Marburg, Germany, and the special pathogens branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he held a fellowship from the National Research Council. Following his postdoctoral training, he was as an assistant and associate professor with the Institute of Virology at the University of Marburg, Germany. During this time he was trained as an infectious disease specialist with a focus on laboratory diagnostics. From 1999 to 2008, Dr. Feldmann held the position of chief of the special pathogens program of the National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada. Since 2008, he has been the chief of Laboratory of Virology and the chief scientist at the RML BSL-4 laboratories. In addition, he is an associate professor with the department of medical microbiology, University of Manitoba. Dr. Feldmann is a laboratory expert on high containment viruses (BSL-4) and serves as a consultant on viral hemorrhagic fevers and related pathogens for the World Health Organization and, thus, has field experience and expertise in outbreak management. He is a member of national and international professional societies, and serves on the editorial board of several journals, as well as being an invited reviewer for multiple journals from related fields. Dr. Feldmann is an external scientific reviewer for national and international organizations and serves as a scientific consultant for high containment laboratories. His professional interest is in the pathogenesis of hemorrhagic fever viruses, such as filoviruses, arenaviruses and bunyaviruses, and other emerging viral pathogens (containment level BSL-3 and BSL-4) and the development of countermeasures against those pathogens.
Laura Baseler, D.V.M., Graduate Student
Julie Callison, M.S., Biologist
Elaine Haddock, Ph.D., Biologist
Thomas Hoenen, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Eva Horne, Contractor
Shelby Kramer, Post-baccalaureate IRTA
Joshua Marceau, Graduate Student
Cynthia Martellaro, Contractor
Andrea Marzi, Ph.D., Staff Scientist
Kyle Rosenke, Ph.D., Biologist
David Safronetz, Ph.D., Staff Scientist
Emmie de Wit, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Marzi A, Robertson SJ, Haddock E, Feldmann F, Hanley PW, Scott DP, Strong JE, Kobinger G, Best SM, Feldmann H. VSV-EBOV rapidly protects macaques against infection with the 2014/15 Ebola virus outbreak strain. Science. 2015 Aug 14;349(6249):739-42.
Safronetz D, Prescott J, Feldmann F, Haddock E, Rosenke R, Okumura A, Brining D, Dahlstrom E, Porcella SF, Ebihara H, Scott DP, Hjelle B, Feldmann H. Pathophysiology of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in rhesus macaques. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 13;111(19):7114-9.
de Wit E, Rasmussen AL, Falzarano D, Bushmaker T, Feldmann F, Brining DL, Fischer ER, Martellaro C, Okumura A, Chang J, Scott D, Benecke AG, Katze MG, Feldmann H, Munster VJ. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes transient lower respiratory tract infection in rhesus macaques. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 8;110(41):16598-603.
Mehedi M, Hoenen T, Robertson S, Ricklefs S, Dolan MA, Taylor T, Falzarano D, Ebihara H, Porcella SF, Feldmann H. Ebola virus RNA editing depends on the primary editing site sequence and an upstream secondary structure. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(10):e1003677.
Falzarano D, de Wit E, Rasmussen AL, Feldmann F, Okumura A, Scott DP, Brining D, Bushmaker T, Martellaro C, Baseler L, Benecke AG, Katze MG, Munster VJ, Feldmann H. Treatment with interferon-α2b and ribavirin improves outcome in MERS-CoV-infected rhesus macaques. Nat Med. 2013 Oct;19(10):1313-7.
Marzi A, Engelmann F, Feldmann F, Haberthur K, Shupert WL, Brining D, Scott DP, Geisbert TW, Kawaoka Y, Katze MG, Feldmann H, Messaoudi I. Antibodies are necessary for rVSV/ZEBOV-GP-mediated protection against lethal Ebola virus challenge in nonhuman primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 29;110(5):1893-8.