Peter Jahrling, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist, Integrated Research Facility
Chief, Emerging Viral Pathogens Section

Major Areas of Research

  • Development of animal models for human diseases involving Category A viral pathogens
  • Evaluation of immunization strategies and therapeutic interventions based on antiviral drugs, passive immunization, and targeted reversal of pathophysiological processes
  • Isolation and characterization of viral agents associated with previously uncharacterized diseases (pathogen discovery)

    Program Description

    The Emerging Viral Pathogens Section (EVPS) conducts basic research to elucidate the pathophysiological processes associated with the severe morbidity caused by infections with viral hemorrhagic fevers and other Category A pathogens. In addition to developing animal models by using authentic microbial agents, EVPS develops treatment strategies that include vaccines, antimicrobials, immunoprophylaxis, and inhibitors of the coagulation cascade and cytokine storm to reverse the consequences of viral infection. Pathogen discovery also is a component of EVPS activities.

    Countermeasure development and improved medical outcomes are the objectives of this research initiative. Generic solutions to broad classes of microbial agents should emerge from an understanding of disease processes. Thus, EVPS will assess a broad spectrum of diseases, including newly discovered pathogens, for commonalities amenable to generic intervention strategies.


    Dr. Jahrling received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Cornell Medical College. Upon graduation, he served as an Army officer at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where he specialized in viral hemorrhagic fevers requiring biosafety level (BSL)-4 containment. After fulfillment of his military obligation, Dr. Jahrling converted to civilian status and was eventually appointed scientific advisor for the institute. In 2005, Dr. Jahrling accepted appointments as chief scientist of the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Frederick, Maryland, and chief of the Emerging Viral Pathogens Section.

    Selected Publications

    Hensley LE, Mulangu S, Asiedu C, Johnson J, Honko AN, Stanley D, Fabozzi G, Nichol ST, Ksiazek TG, Rollin PE, Wahl-Jensen V, Bailey M, Jahrling PB, Roederer M, Koup RA, Sullivan NJ. Demonstration of cross-protective vaccine immunity against an emerging pathogenic Ebolavirus speciesPLoS Pathog. 2010 May 20;6(5):e1000904.

    Kuhn JH, Jahrling PB. Clarification and guidance on the proper usage of virus and virus species namesArch Virol. 2010 Apr;155(4):445-53.

    Alkhalil A, Strand S, Mucker E, Huggins JW, Jahrling PB, Ibrahim SM. Inhibition of monkeypox virus replication by RNA interference.Virol J. 2009 Nov 4;6:188.

    LeDuc JW, Anderson K, Bloom ME, Carrion R Jr, Feldmann H, Fitch JP, Geisbert JB, Geisbert TW, Holbrook MR, Jahrling PB, Ksiazek TG. Potential impact of a 2-person security rule on BioSafety Level 4 laboratory workersEmerg Infect Dis. 2009 Jul;15(7):e1.

    Geisbert TW, Daddario-Dicaprio KM, Lewis MG, Geisbert JB, Grolla A, Leung A, Paragas J, Matthias L, Smith MA, Jones SM, Hensley LE, Feldmann H, Jahrling PB. Vesicular stomatitis virus-based ebola vaccine is well-tolerated and protects immunocompromised nonhuman primatesPLoS Pathog. 2008 Nov;4(11):e1000225.

    Le Duc JW, Anderson K, Bloom ME, Estep JE, Feldmann H, Geisbert JB, Geisbert TW, Hensley L, Holbrook M, Jahrling PB, Ksiazek TG, Korch G, Patterson J, Skvorak JP, Weingartl H. Framework for leadership and training of Biosafety Level 4 laboratory workers.Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Nov;14(11):1685-8.

    Visit PubMed for a complete publication list.


    Nabel GJ, Sullivan NJ, Geisbert, TW, Jahrling, PB, inventors; Government of the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Method of accelerated vaccination against Ebola viruses. United States patent US 7,635,485. 2009 Dec 22.

    Haynes JR, Schmaljohn CS, Fuller DL, Schmaljohn A, Jahrling PB, inventors; PowerJect Vaccines Inc., assignee. Genetic induction of anti-viral immune response and genetic vaccine for filovirus. United States patent US 6,200,959. 2001 Mar 13.

    Content last reviewed on January 27, 2017