Ralph S. Baric
The Baric laboratory uses genetic, immunologic and biochemical approaches to study the molecular mechanisms regulating viral replication, pathogenesis, evolution, virus-host interactions and cross species transmission using coronaviruses and noroviruses as model systems. They also deconstruct the fundamental viral/host genetic and pathogenic pathways that modulate virulence in vivo using young and aged models of human disease. One outcome is to harness unique biological processes encoded in viral genomes as tools for developing safe efficacious vaccines and/or vector platforms for the treatment of human diseases. Laboratory expertise includes virus reverse genetic approaches for several positive strand RNA viruses, phylogenetic and structural modeling of virus-receptor interactions, functional genomics and next gen sequencing, and evolutionary genetic approaches to understand virus persistence and pathogenic mechanisms in human populations. The laboratory has a particular interest and tract record in using synthetic genomics to manipulate viral genomes and reconstruct noncultivatable viruses from in silica sequence information sources, including the synthetic reconstruction of the largest RNA virus genome to date from in silica sequence signatures; a platform to ask fundamental questions into virus emergence and disease.