Asit K. Pattnaik, Ph.D.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
109 Morrison Center
Lincoln, NE 68583-0900

Telephone: (402) 472-1067
Fax: (402) 472-3323

Research Program

Studies in my laboratory focus on molecular biology of replication and immunopathogenesis of human and animal RNA viruses. We have been studying vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a non-segmented negative-strand RNA virus in the family Rhabdoviridae in the order Mononegavirales to understand the mechanisms of viral RNA transcription, replication as well as virus assembly. My laboratory also conducts research on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), a positive-strand RNA virus in the family Arteriviridae and order Nidovirales. PRRSV is an economically important pathogen, causing serious diseases in swine worldwide. In addition, we have been studying the recently emerged Zika virus (ZIKV) and SARS-CoV-2 to understand the immunopathogenic mechanisms of the viruses and develop vaccines and antivirals.

Our studies with VSV address four major areas of research: (1) understand the role of sequences within the viral genome that control transcription and replication processes; (2) understand structure-function relationships of the viral proteins involved in genome replication, transcription, and virus assembly; (3) generate and characterize recombinant viruses encoding heterologous viral proteins for vaccine development; and (4) examine the host cell functions in viral genome replication and pathogenic outcomes.  

Using the infectious cDNA clone of PRRSV developed in our laboratory, we have addressed questions regarding replication and pathogenesis of this important swine pathogen. We have shown that the PRRSV evades host cells’ immune response by employing “glycan shielding” mechanism. We have mapped the determinants of virulence and attenuation of PRRSV, identified the viral glycoproteins that interact with the receptor for entry of the virus into the host cells and have also shown that several of the PRRSV nonstructural proteins possess the inherent ability to suppress the host cell’s innate immune response. These studies along with other ongoing studies in our laboratory position us to generate second generation differential PRRSV vaccines by reverse genetic methods.

With the emergence of ZIKV epidemic and most recent SARS-CoV-2COVID-19 pandemic, we have been studying immunopathogenic mechanisms of these viruses. We have generated an infectious molecular clone of ZIKV and have shown that glycosylation of its envelope (E) and non-structural 1 (NS1) proteins are important determinants of viral neuroinvasion and virulence. In addition, we have identified small molecule inhibitors of ZIKV through in silico analysis by targeting the viral polymerase. Our most recent studies focus on examining the role of host cell signaling as well as metabolic pathways that regulate replication of ZIKV.  Current attempts are focused on developing vaccine candidates for ZIKV and SARS-CoV-2 using several different approaches.

Selected Recent Publications

Majee, P., Pattnaik, A., Sahoo, B. R., Shankar, U., Pattnaik, A. K., Kumar, A., Nayak, D. (2021). Inhibition of Zika virus replication by G-quadruplex-binding ligands. Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids. 23: 691-701. doi: 10.1016/j.omtn.2020.12.030. eCollection 2021 Mar 5. PubMed PMID: 33575115; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7851496.

Muthuraj, P. G., Sahoo, P. K., Kraus, M., Bruett, T., Annamalai, A. S., Pattnaik, A., Pattnaik, A. K., Byrareddy, S. N., Natarajan, S. K. (2021). Zika virus infection induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis in placental trophoblasts. Cell Death and Discovery. 7(1): 24. doi: 10.1038/s41420-020-00379-8. PubMed PMID: 33500388; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7838309.

Sahoo, B. R., Pattnaik, A., Annamalai, A. S., Franco, R., Pattnaik, A. K. (2020). Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Signaling Activation Antagonizes Autophagy to Facilitate Zika Virus Replication. Journal of Virology. 94 (22): e01575-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01575-20. Print 2020 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 32878890; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7592218.

Pattnaik, A., Sahoo, B. R., and Pattnaik, A. K. (2020). Current Status of Zika Virus Vaccines: Successes and Challenges. Vaccines (Basel). 8(2). doi: 10.3390/vaccines8020266. PubMed PMID: 32486368; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7349928.

Annamalai, A. S., Pattnaik, A., Sahoo, B. R., Guinn, Z. P., Bullard, B. L., Weaver, E. A., Steffen, D., Natarajan, S. K., Petro, T. M., Pattnaik, A. K. (2019). An Attenuated Zika Virus Encoding Non-Glycosylated Envelope (E) and Non-Structural Protein 1 (NS1) Confers Complete Protection against Lethal Challenge in a Mouse Model. Vaccines (Basel), 7(3): 112.

Pattnaik, A., Palermo, N., Sahoo, B. R., Yuan, Z., Hu, D., Annamalai, A. S., Vu, H. L. X., Correas, I., Prathipati, P. K., Destache, C. J., Li, Q., Osorio, F. A., Pattnaik, A. K., Xiang, S. H. (2018). Discovery of a non-nucleoside RNA polymerase inhibitor for blocking Zika virus replication through in silico screening. Antiviral Research, 151: 78-86.

Annamalai, A. S., Pattnaik, A., Sahoo, B. R., Muthukrishnan, E., Natarajan, S. K., Steffen, D., Vu, H. L. X., Delhon, G., Osorio, F. A., Petro, T. M., Xiang, S. H., Pattnaik, A. K. (2017). Zika Virus Encoding Nonglycosylated Envelope Protein Is Attenuated and Defective in Neuroinvasion. Journal of Virology, 14;91(23): e01348-17.

Vu, H. L. X., Pattnaik, A. K., and Osorio, F. A. (2017). Strategies to broaden the cross-protective efficacy of vaccines against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Vet. Microbiol, 206: 29-34

Sun, H., Pattnaik, A. K., Osorio, F. A., Vu, H. L. X. (2016). Identification of viral genes associated with the interferon-inducing phenotype of a synthetic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain. Virology, 499: 313-321.

Das, A., Dinh, P. X., Pattnaik, A. K. (2015). Trim21 regulates Nmi-IFI35 complex-mediated inhibition of innate antiviral response. Virology, 485: 383-92.

Pattnaik, A. K. and Whitt, M. A. (Editors) (2015). Biology and Pathogenesis of Rhabdo- and Filoviruses. World Scientific Publishing Co., Pte, Ltd, Singapore and New Jersey, USA.

Das, A., Dinh, P. X., Panda, D., Pattnaik, A. K. (2014). Interferon-inducible protein IFI35 negatively regulates RIG-I antiviral signaling and supports vesicular stomatitis virus replication. Journal of Virology, 88(6): 3103-13.

Dinh, P. X., Beura, L. K., Das, P. B., Panda, D., Das, A., and Pattnaik, A. K. (2013). Induction of Stress Granule (SG)-Like Structures in Vesicular Stomatitis Virus-Infected Cells. Journal of Virology, 87(1):372-383. PMID: 23077311

Hasan, M., Koch, J., Rakheja, D., Pattnaik, A. K., Brugarolas, J., Dozmorov, I., Levine, B., Wakeland, E. W., Lee-Kirsch, M. A., and Yan, N. (2013). Trex1 regulates lysosomal biogenesis and interferon-independent activation of antiviral genes. Nature Immunology, 14(1):61-71. PMID: 23160154

Dinh, P. X., Das, A., Franco, R., and Pattnaik, A. K. (2013). hnRNP K Supports Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Replication by Regulating Cell Survival and Cellular Gene Expression. Journal of Virology, 87(18):10059-10069. PMID: 23843646

Beura, L. K., Subramaniam, S., Kwon, B. J., Vu, H. L. X., Pattnaik, A. K., and Osorio, F. A. (2012). Identification of amino acid residues important for anti-IFN activity of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus non-structural protein 1. Virology, 433(2):431-9. PMID: 22995188

Gangaplara, A., Massilamany, C., Brown, D. M., Delhon, G., Pattnaik, A. K., Chapman, N., Rose, N., Steffen, D., and Reddy, N. J. (2012). Coxsackievirus B3 infection leads to the generation of cardiac myosin heavy chain-α-reactive CD4 T cells in A/J mice. Clinical Immunology, 144(3): 237-249. PMID: 22854287

Marozin, S., Altomonte, J., Apfel, S., Dinh, P. X., De Toni, E., Rizzani, A., Nussler, A., Kato, N., Schmid, R., Pattnaik, A. K., and Ebert, O. (2012). Post-Translational Modification of VSV G Protein, but not JNK inhibition, is the antiviral mechanism of SP600125. Journal of Virology, 86(9): 4844-4855. PMID: 22345438

Panda, D., Das, A., Dinh, P. X., Subramaniam, S., Nayak, D., Barrows, N. J., Pearson, J. L., Thompson, J., Kelly, D. L., Ladunga, I., and Pattnaik, A. K. (2011). RNAi Screening Reveals Requirement for Host Cell Secretory Pathway in Infection by Diverse Families of Negative-Strand RNA Viruses. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA, 108(47): 19036-19041. PMID: 22065774

Dinh, P. X., Beura, L. K., Panda, D., Das, A., and Pattnaik, A. K. (2011). Antagonistic Effects of Cellular Poly(C) Binding Proteins on Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Gene Expression. Journal of Virology, 85(18): 9459-9471. PMID: 21752917

Beura, L. K., Dinh, P. X., Osorio, F. A., and Pattnaik, A. K. (2011). Cellular Ploy(C) Binding Proteins 1 and 2 Interact with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Non-Structural Protein 1β and Support Viral Replication. Journal of Virology, 85(24): 12939-12949. PMID: 21976648


A complete list of my publications can be found at My Bibliography (NCBI):


M.S. in Life Sciences, 1978
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

Ph.D. Molecular Virology, 1984
Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.


2005-Present: Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE.

11/2002-2005: Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE.

1999-2002: Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL.

10/1992-5/1999: Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL.

1987-1992: Research Associate, Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School, Birmingham, AL

1984-1987: Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UCLA School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, CA.


Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, India) Fellowship, 1978-1980, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Postgraduate Research Scholarship, 1980-1983, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

The Stanley Glaser Research Foundation Award, University of Miami, 1993

Honored for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Molecular Virology, Recipient of J. B. Haldane Memorial Award, KIIT University, INDIA, 2013

Guest Lecturer for a minicourse on “Vaccines Against Human Viral Pathogens”, Sponsored by the Government of India through the Global Initiative in Academic Network (GIAN) Program, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, India, July 2018.

Member, ASM (1987-present); ASV (1989-present); AAAS (1994-present); Society for General Microbiology, U.K. (1994-2014).