Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Baric, Ralph S.
Location The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Primary Field Microbial Biology
 Election Citation
Ralph S. Baric's research focuses on RNA virus evolution, cross species transmission, pathogenesis, and immunity, and examines emerging coronaviruses, noroviruses, and dengue viruses.
 Research Interests
Ralph Baric's laboratory is interested in RNA virus evolution, cross species transmission, pathogenesis, and immunity. His group primarily studies three important RNA viruses of humans: the emerging coronaviruses like SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV2 and MERS-CoV that cause severe respiratory infections, the noroviruses that cause fatal diarrhea disease in infants and children, and dengue viruses, which are the most important mosquito borne viral pathogen of humans. His group has studied the evolutionary processes and mechanisms that contribute to coronavirus emergence from zoonotic reservoirs and identified the mechanisms leading to norovirus evolution and escape from human herd immunity. Another common research theme is to identify host susceptibility genes that regulate viral pathogenesis. Using human studies and recombinant inbred mouse models, his group has mapped host polygenic traits and genes that regulate emerging coronavirus and norovirus susceptibility and pathogenesis in mammals. A third major theme is to elucidate the functions of viral genes in evolution, immune evasion, and pathogenesis, informing the development of countermeasures designed to control disease severity after infection. Finally, his group has developed novel strategies to map major neutralizing epitopes in RNA viruses, informing structure-guided vaccine designs and identifying broad-based immunotherapeutics, designed to prevent or control disease severity in human populations.

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