Graduate and Postgraduate Programs


The Nebraska Center for Virology focuses on the pathogenesis of viral diseases of humans, animals, and plants, including viral oncology. Our goal is to develop junior scientists and investigators who are well grounded in the fundamental knowledge of virology and laboratory research, preparing them for careers at universities and in industry to confront current and future viral infectious diseases. Our faculty preceptors are experienced researchers from the University of Nebraska. We provideGraduate Research ASsistant  fellowships funded by individual lab grants. The primary objective of the NCV program is to prepare individuals with exceptional academic credentials and potential, for careers that have a significant impact on the Nation's biomedical research agenda. Please contact individual labs about postion and funding availability. 


Only US citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply. Minorities are encouraged to apply.

What Fellowships Include

Fellowships include a nationally competitive stipend established by NIH, predoctoral tuition, health insurance, and a travel allowance to attend relevant scientific meetings that may occur during the trainee's period of appointment. Predoctoral fellowships provide funding for up to two years. Predoctoral appointments include a rotation through three labs the first semester and then provide concentrated training with one selected mentor for the remainder of the appointment. Postdoctoral fellowship funding is provided for one year.


Predoctoral positions require admission to the graduate program of the UNL School of Biological Sciences. Postdoctoral positions carry a payback obligation of an equal period of health-related research, health-related research training, or health-related teaching for each month of award received up to 12 months.

Faculty Preceptors and Areas of Study

  • Dr. Deborah Brown:
    CD4 T-cell responses to influenza viruses, mechanisms of protection against lethal infection.

  • Dr. Shilpa Buch:
    Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which drugs of abuse synergize with HIV/SIV proteins to enhance progression of HIV associated neurological disorders

  • Dr. Howard Fox
    SIV/nonhuman primate models in the study of neuroAIDS along with "omics" approaches to understand and treat neurodegenerative disorders.

  • Dr. Howard Gendelman:
    Neuroprotective, antiviral and anti-inflammatory therapies for infectious and degenerative disease of the nervous system.

  • Dr. Clinton Jones:
    Analyze the mechanism by which herpes simplex virus type 1 and bovine herpesvirus-1 establish, maintain, and reactivate from latency in sensory neurons.

  • Dr. Qingsheng Li:
    Understanding of the interaction of HIV-1 with its host during mucosal transmission, and development of anti-viral topical microbicide and vaccine.

    • Dr. Fernando Osorio:
      Tropism, immunopathogenesis, and vaccinology of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) a major pathogen of swine.

    • Dr. Asit Pattnaik:
      Replication and Pathogenic Mechanisms of RNA viruses

    • Dr. Jay Reddy:
      Cellular and molecular mechanisms of auto-immunity.

    • Dr. James Van Etten:

      Characterization of large dsDNA (>300 kb genomes) viruses that infect certain chlorella-like green algae.

    • Dr. Matt Wiebe:
      Understanding intracellular defenses against foreign DNA by using poxvirus-infected cell models.

    • Dr. Charles Wood:

      HIV and the Kaposi’s sarcoma associated human herpesvirus transmission, evolution, and disease pathogenesis.

    • Dr. Jialin Zheng:

      HIV associated dementia and Parkinson's disease.

Associate Preceptors

  • Dr. Peter Angeletti:

    HIV replication, encapsidation, and pathogeneses.

  • Dr. Shi-Hua Xiang:

    HIV envelope glycoprotein structure, function, vaccine design, and utilizing commensal bacteria for anti-HIV infection.

  • Dr. Luwen Zhange

    Herpesvirus-host interactions in innate immunity and cancer formation.

Apply for NIH Fellowships that include:

Nationally Competitive Stipend

Predoctoroal Tuition

Health Insurance

Travel allowance to attend relevant scientific meetings

Application Process

To apply, prepare all application materials and submit as described below. Any communications or questions about the application process can be directed via email to or with "NIH Training Application" in your subject line or by phone at (402) 472-4560. 

Predoctoral NIH Training Application

DUE DATE: The due date for applying for our NIH predoctoral fellowship awards, corresponds to the "Deadline" for applications to the UNL School of Biological Sciences each semester. This information can be found on their website linked below.

  1. The first step in applying for a predoctoral training award is to complete the UNL School of Biological Sciences (SBS) graduate school application process and apply for admission into that program:

  2. Prepare and submit a letter of interest addressed to Dr. Charles Wood, University of Nebraska, Nebraska Center for Virology, 102 Morrison Center, Lincoln, NE 68583-0900. Your letter should include the following:
    a) Notification that you have completed and submitted the SBS graduate school application as stated in step 1 above. 
    b) An expression of your interest in our NIH predoctoral training program.
    c) Description of your experience in research and your interest in virology research.

  3. Contact the SBS graduate coordinator and request that a copy of your complete graduate school application be forwarded to the Nebraska Center for Virology.

Postdoctoral NIH Training Application

DUE DATE: We conduct an ongoing review of applications for postdoctoral positions. Review continues until all positions are filled.

  1. Prepare and submit an application document including:
    d) A two page single-spaced description of your research plan. You may use one additional page for references and figures.
    e) A statement describing the significance of your project as related to an area of virology.
    f) A statement indicating that you have met or will comply with the training program requirements and that all publications resulting from your appointment will acknowledge support by citing NIH with the following language: "This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award 1 T32 AIO60547 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases."

  2. Submit a Biographical Sketch completed in NIH format. The form is available at

  3. Forward a copy of your graduate school transcript.

  4. Include a letter of support from your proposed UNL mentor. The letter should explain your qualifications, the significance of the proposed research, and the ability of the mentor to support your research program.

  5. Submit three letters of support from referees that include a description of your qualifications.