Laboratory of Virology

Heinz Feldmann, M.D., Ph.D., Chief

The Laboratory of Virology (LV) conducts innovative scientific research on viral agents requiring high or maximum containment (biosafety level-2 to biosafety level-4). These agents include filoviruses, bunyaviruses, arenaviruses, and flaviviruses. Research studies focus on vector/reservoir transmission, viral ecology, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and host immune response of these viral pathogens. A significant goal is to develop diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics against these agents.

LV scientists broadly study pathogens that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers, viral encephalitis, and certain respiratory diseases. This work employs investigations in cell culture; animal models, including nonhuman primates; reservoir species; and arthropod hosts in order to elucidate the viral pathogenesis, immune responses, molecular evolution, cellular and molecular biology, and vector-host interactions.

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    Major Areas of Research

    • Study pathogenesis and pathophysiology of high-containment viral pathogens using molecular technologies, including reverse genetics.
    • Study immune responses to infection and vaccination of high-containment viral pathogens, and develop new vaccine candidates.
    • Study vector/reservoir transmission of high-containment viral pathogens using appropriate animal models
    • Use in vitro and in vivo systems to study the interactions between viral pathogens or viral components and host cells, and develop new antiviral strategies.
    • Study the epidemiology and ecology of high-containment pathogens using newly developed rapid, sensitive, and specific diagnostic-test systems, including those that can be applied under field conditions.


    The Laboratory of Virology includes the following principal investigators, staff scientists, and/or staff clinicians:

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