2012 Symposium Speaker Bios

Dr. Terence S. Dermody is the Dorothy Overall Wells Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program and the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He received his B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1978 and his M.D. degree from Columbia University in 1982. He completed an internal medicine residency at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York in 1985 and fellowships in infectious diseases and molecular virology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School in 1988. He was an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard from 1988 to 1990. Dr. Dermody joined the Department of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1990 and was promoted to Professor in 2001. He also is Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at Vanderbilt and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Meharry Medical College. Dr. Dermody is a virologist with interests in viral pathogenesis and vaccine development. Most of his research has focused on mammalian reovirus, an important experimental model for studies of viral replication and disease. Chief among his research contributions include identification of reovirus attachment and internalization receptors, elucidation of reovirus-induced innate immune response signaling pathways, and development of plasmid-based reverse genetics for reovirus. He has published more than 170 articles, reviews, and chapters, and he has been recognized for his research accomplishments by the Vanderbilt Ernest W. Goodpasture Faculty Research Award and an NIH MERIT Award. Dr. Dermody is an editor for the Journal of Virology and mBio, and he chairs the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award Advisory Committee. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and past president of the American Society for Virology.

Dr. Shou-Wei Ding is a Professor in Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology, University of California, Riverside. Dr. Ding’s research programs focus on host immune responses to RNA viruses in model plant and animal host systems. He was the first to demonstrate RNA interference (RNAi) as a natural antiviral defense mechanism in the animal kingdom using a Drosophila model. Dr. Ding discovered the 2b protein encoded by Cucumber mosaic virus and later through collaboration identified 2b as one of the first viral suppressors of RNAi. His work established the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a small animal model for antiviral immunity studies. His lab recently developed new culture-independent approaches for the discovery of viruses and viroids based on deep sequencing and computational analysis of total host small RNAs. Dr. Ding is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Ding currently is Section Editor of PLoS Pathogens and serves on the editorial boards of Virology and Journal of Virology.

Dr. Grant McFadden’s lab has been investigating how viruses, particularly poxviruses, evade the immune system. In 2007, following his relocation from Canada to UF, Dr. McFadden was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Currently, he is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief for PLoS Pathogens, a senior Editor for Journal of Virology. His own specific scientific expertise is in the field of viral immune evasion by poxviruses and how this relates to virus-host tropism. Dr. McFadden’s lab has pioneered the field of viral immunomodulation, and is credited with the discovery of a wide variety of viral inhibitors of the immune system. His lab is also developing one particular poxvirus, called myxoma virus (MYXV), as an oncolytic virotherapeutic to treat various human cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma and metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Racaniello considers himself lucky to have been trained by two outstanding scientists, Peter Palese and David Baltimore. He is the recipient of the Searle Scholars Award, the Eli Lilly Award of the American Society for Microbiology in 1992, and was a Harvey Society Lecturer in 1991. He is a co-author of Principles of Virology, Third Edition (ASM Press), an established virology textbook, and blogs and podcasts about viruses at virology.ws. The research in Dr. Racaniello's laboratory has focused on the mechanisms of poliovirus replication and pathogenesis. His research has produced the first infectious clone of an RNA virus, the discovery of the cell receptor for poliovirus, and the establishment of a transgenic mouse model for poliomyelitis. These contributions have revolutionized the study of animal RNA viruses.