Herbert Virgin, MD, PhD

Primary Academic Title

Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine

Research Interest

We study issues at the interface between virology and immunology, working from the hypothesis that viruses manipulate the immune response as the immune response attempts to eradicate the virus. Thus, mechanisms of immune evasion are central to most of the research projects in the lab. Analysis of these issues is key to understanding chronic diseases caused by viruses. Two concepts drive our approach: 1.) the simultaneous analysis of immune and 2.) viral mechanisms allows novel insights and genetic tests in vivo are necessary to establish mechanisms. The experimental models used in the lab are infection of mice with herpesviruses murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) and murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (gammaHV68). Both viruses establish latency despite active immunity. In addition, we have developed models of gammaHV68 induced B cell lymphoma and vasculitis that allow us to study the role of viral immune evasion in tumorigenesis and vascular disease. Lastly, we are searching for novel human pathogens responsible for human diseases of unknown etiology.


  • 1985: MD/PhD, immunology, Harvard Medical School, Boston


  • 1986 - 1990: Postdoctoral fellow, microbiology and molecular genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston
  • 1990 - 1991: Fellow, infectious diseases, Washington University, St. Louis

Journal Articles

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