Peter Tattersall, PhD

Professor of Laboratory Medicine and of Genetics

Departments & Organizations

Laboratory Medicine


Molecular Virology: Virology Laboratories

Yale Cancer Center: Virus and Other Infection-associated Cancers

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics and Development

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Tattersall received his B.Sc. in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1968, and his doctorate from University College, London, England, in 1971, for studies on parvoviral DNA structure, replication and S-phase dependence, carried out at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), now Cancer UK. Then followed two years of postdoctoral fellowship at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, in Nutley, New Jersey, where he worked out the structural protein strategy of these viruses, and then two further years in Yale University’s Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Department, where he formulated the rolling hairpin model for parvoviral DNA replication.

In 1975, he returned to the UK, working at the ICRF’s Mill Hill Laboratories on parvoviral interactions with differentiating cells. He moved back to Yale University in 1979, initially on the faculty of the Department of Genetics and then in Laboratory Medicine, where he was appointed professor in 1993.

His laboratory continues to focus its efforts on understanding the basis of selective oncotropism of rodent parvoviruses for human tumor cells, and the molecular mechanisms by which mammalian parvoviruses target and enter particular cell types, express their genes, take over their host cells and replicate their own DNA.

Education & Training

PhD University of London (1971)
BSc (Hon) University of Glasgow, Molecular Biology (1968)
Postdoc Yale University
Postdoc Roche Institute of Molecular Biology

Honors & Recognition

  • Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2007)

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Contact Info

Peter Tattersall, PhD
Mailing Address
Laboratory MedicinePO Box 208035
333 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8035
Research Image 1

Left - depth-cued, space filling model of MVM, looking down the cylinder at a 5-fold symmetry axis. Upper right - cross-section of the channel down the center of the cylinder, showing two of the five β-ribbons that comprise the cylinder, with the G-rich residues, from 28 to 37 of VP2, in gray. Lower right - view down the 5-fold cylinder, with the five β-ribbons differentially shaded.