Joanna L Shisler

Program Director, National Science Foundation

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Research Topics

Host-Pathogen Interactions, Virology

Disease Research Interests

Infectious Diseases

Education

B.A. (Microbiology), Miami University, 1990
Ph.D. (Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis), Emory University, 1996
Postdoctoral (Virology), Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 1997-2001

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Professional Information

Immune evasion strategies of viruses; molecular disinfection of viruses; molecular tracking viruses in the environment

Viruses are one of the most abundant microorganisms on the planet, infecting every form of life from humans to bacteria. Mammalian viruses, many of which are zoonotic (i.e., transmitted to humans from other animals), are directly responsible for some of the worst diseases known to man (e.g., Ebola virus, HIV), and for common causes of morbidity and mortality around the world (e.g., norovirus, influenza virus).

Understanding, detecting and controlling viruses continue to be grand challenges in science because so little is known about the fundamental properties of viruses and their interactions with the environment, and because they vary greatly with respect to their genomes and replication cycles.

I am interested in asking fundamental questions about virology:

  • What are the molecular properties of viruses that make them resistant or susceptible to disinfection in natural settings versus hospitals or water treatment plants?
  • How do viruses evade the immune system to cause disease?
  • How does the physical environment affect virus evolution and spread?

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