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JEFFERY TAUBENBERGER, M.D., PH.D.

JEFFERY TAUBENBERGER, M.D., PH.D.

Title: Senior Investigator

Institution: National Institutes of Health

Dr. Taubenberger initiated a project to recover the 1918 influenza virus from autopsy tissues of its victims in 1995, and his laboratory published the first 1918 sequence fragments in 1997. Since then, he has worked to determine the complete genetic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus. Dr. Taubenberger serves as the principal investigator of Project 1, which seeks to determine the small noncoding sequences on the ends of the 1918 influenza gene segments; to develop methods for viral RNA-fragment enriched cDNA libraries to allow for more efficient archaevirology of additional case material, both of pre-1918 and post-1918 influenza pneumonia autopsy cases; and to develop methods to enhance mRNA yield from these archival cases to allow gene array analysis.

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PETER PALESE, PH.D.

PETER PALESE, PH.D.

Title: Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology

Institution: Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Dr. Palese is focusing on understanding the potential role of the regulatory noncoding regions of the 1918 genes, as well as the NP and P genes, in viral pathogenicity. These viral factors form the molecular replication machinery responsible for viral protein production and therefore are a critical limiting step in the rate of generation of infectious virus particles. The potential role in virulence of the newly discovered pro-apoptotic influenza virus-encoded protein, PB1-F2, is also being analyzed. Pathogenicity studies are performed in close collaboration with Drs. Katze and Tumpey. In addition to providing one more piece of the puzzle required for understanding the virulence of the 1918 virus, this project is critical to all project components that use live influenza virus recombinants containing 1918 genes. These viruses are generated by Dr. Palese’s lab, in collaboration with Dr. Tumpey, using reverse genetics techniques under high biocontainment level.

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TERRENCE M. TUMPEY, PH.D.

TERRENCE M. TUMPEY, PH.D.

Title: Senior Microbiologist, Influenza Branch

Institution: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Dr. Tumpey is responsible for the rescue and characterization of infectious influenza viruses containing 1918 genes and for the investigation of the most appropriate countermeasures to prevent disease in the mouse model. Once recombinant viruses are rescued, Dr. Tumpey oversees animal pathotyping under the institutional guidelines of animal care and polices and practices outlined for BioSafetly Level 4 Laboratory. In addition, he is investigating whether some of the 1918 genes conserve sufficient avian characteristics to still be able to function in avian hosts. These studies are helping to define the genetic requirements for adaptation of an avian influenza virus to a human host.

News from the CDC

Researchers reconstruct 1918 pandemic influenza virus; effort designed to advance preparedness

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