Laboratory Research at Yale on Human Viral Pathogens


Dr. Kahn has isolated a new human coronavirus and is exploring its role in disease.

Hepatitis B virus
Dr. Robek is studying the cell and molecular biology of intracellular defenses that inhibit HBV replication. Dr. Cheng is developing new drugs with anti-HBV activity.

Hepatitis C virus

Dr. Pyle is studying the structure and dynamic behavior of the HCV replication machinery. Dr. Harding is attempting to establish better animal and cell culture models of HCV replication. Dr. Kozal is interested in the evolution of HCV strains. Dr. Lindenbach is studying aspects of in vitro replication of HCV.

Herpes viruses

Dr. Miller is studying transcriptional regulation by Epstein Barr Virus and Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus and the basis for the switch between latent and lytic infection by these viruses. Dr. Joan Steitz is studying the role of small viral RNAs and cell activation in herpes virus replication and transformation. Dr. Means is studying the molecular mechanisms employed by herpes viruses to evade the immune response. Dr. Cheng is testing the activity small molecule inhibitors of herpes virus replication. Dr. Iwasaki is characterizing mucosal immunity to herpes virus infection. Dr. Van den Pol is studying the mechanisms of infection and treatment for CMV infections of the central nervous system.


Dr. DiMaio is exploring the role of viral oncogenes in maintaining cervical cancer cells and in bypassing senescence. He is also using the bovine papillomavirus E5 protein as a platform to develop new anti-viral approaches. Dr. Brandsma is studying the replication of the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus. Drs. DiMaio and Brandsma are both developing new vaccination strategies to prevent and treat papillomavirus infections. These latter studies are carried out in collaboration with colleagues in Immunobiology, Pathology, Comparative Medicine, Microbial Pathogenesis, and Biomedical Engineering.


Drs. Kahn and Martinello are studying respiratory syncytial virus and human metopneumovirus with emphasis on their role in human disease and the emergence of drug resistance.


Dr. Tattersall is exploring the mechanisms of parvovirus DNA replication and packaging and the use of parvoviruses as vaccines and oncolytic agents. Drs. Kahn and Tattersall study the epidemiology and biology of human bocavirus, a new pathogen.


Dr. Pyle studies proteins critical for transcription of vaccinia virus, which is closely related to variola major, which causes smallpox.

Dr. Mothes is examining the molecular mechanisms of cell entry and virus maturation by retroviruses, including HIV. Dr. Kozal is interested in the evolution of HIV in response to drug treatment. Drs. Tom Steitz, Xiong, and Anderson are studying the biochemistry and structural biology of HIV replication proteins. Dr. Cheng is testing the activity small molecule inhibitors of HIV replication, and Drs. Glazer, Schepartz, and DiMaio are exploring novel methods to block HIV infection.


Dr. Rose is studying rhabdovirus replication and developing VSV as a novel vaccine agent against multiple viral pathogens including HIV, papillomavirus, and influenza. Dr. Van den Pol and Dr. Tattersall are exploring the use of VSV and other viruses as oncolytic agents.

West Nile virus

Dr. Fikrig is studying the immunology and replication of West Nile virus, and attempting to develop new strategies to inhibit virus replication. Dr. Modis recently solved the structure of the West Nile virus capsid.