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Craig B. Wilen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor Term; Medical Director, Immune Monitoring Core Facility

Contact Information

Craig B. Wilen, MD, PhD

Research Summary

We are interested in how viruses, particularly coronaviruses and norovirus, interact with and evade the immune system. We use a variety of mouse and human models to identify the molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis with our long term goal being to leverage these basic science discoveries to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics for human norovirus and SARS-CoV-2. To identify novel drug targets and therapeutics, we are currently performing genome-wide CRISPR screens and high-throughput drug screens with SARS-Cov2. We utilize SARS-CoV2 reporter viruses and infectious SARS-CoV2 in the BSL3 laboratory. To discover how SARS-Cov2 causes disease, we utilize single-cell RNA sequencing of infected primary human cells and tissues in the BSL3. Finally, we test drug and vaccine targets in SARS-CoV2 susceptible mouse models. Human norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis globally. However, our understanding about how human norovirus infects cells, evades the immune system, and causes disease is limited which has hampered vaccine development. In a recent genome-wide CRISPR screen, we discovered CD300lf as the receptor for murine norovirus, the first receptor identified for a norovirus of any species. We then leveraged this finding to identify a rare epithelial cell called tuft cells as the target cell for murine norovirus in the intestines.

Extensive Research Description

Host-pathogen interaction, viral immunity


Research Interests

Immune System Diseases; RNA Viruses; Virology; Coronavirus; Norovirus; Immune Evasion; COVID-19

Research Images

Selected Publications