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David Wang, PhD

David Wang, PhD

Associate Professor



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  • BS: Stanford University, Stanford, CA (1992)
  • PhD: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1998)

Research Interests

Research in the Wang laboratory is situated at the interface of molecular and cellular virology, genomics and bioinformatics with the overall goal of understanding the causes of infectious diseases. As such, a major effort is dedicated to the identification of novel or unrecognized viral pathogens in both established and emerging infectious diseases. This is motivated by the fact that the etiologies of many human and animal syndromes remain cryptic; for example, ~70% of cases of viral encephalitis and ~30% of respiratory tract infections defy the most sophisticated diagnostic tests used today, suggesting that unknown agents are likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Furthermore, newly emerging viruses or ‘outbreaks’ such as sin nombre hantavirus (1992), nipah virus (1998) and SARS (2003) pose constant threats to public health and accentuate the need to develop novel methods for viral identification.

Toward this end, we develop and apply state of the art technologies for detection of viruses. These include pan-viral DNA microarrays and NextGen sequencing platforms aimed at identifying novel viruses present in a variety of specimen types. Ongoing research includes microarray and sequencing based pathogen identification projects in respiratory tract infections, childhood diarrhea, cancer, and acute human and animal diseases of unknown etiology. Identification of novel viral agents will serve as the launching point for additional studies focused on demonstrating disease causality and dissecting mechanisms of viral pathogenesis.

A new direction in our laboratory is the characterization of novel viruses infecting C. elegans, a robust model organism widely used in biology. Our goal is to capitalize upon our recent discovery of the first viruses known to infect C. elegans to systematically define modalities of antiviral immunity present in C. elegans.

Service to the Department

2010 – Present Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Pathology & Immunology
2004 – 2010 Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Pathology & Immunology

DBBS Graduate Program Affiliation

  • Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Immunology
  • Computational and Systems Biology
  • Plant Microbial Biosciences


Pub Med Search

Krishnamurthy S and Wang D “Extensive conservation of prokaryotic ribosome binding site sequences in known and novel picobirnaviruses” Virology 2018 Jan 12;516:108-114. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2018.01.006. Jiang H, Chen K, Sandoval L, Leung C, Wang D “An evolutionarily conserved pathway required for Orsay virus infection of C. elegans” mBio 2017: 8(5). pii: e00940-17. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00940-17 PMCID: PMC5587906
Zhao G, Vatanen T, Droit L, Park A, Kostic AD, Poon TW, Vlamakis H, Siljander H, Härkönen T, Hämäläinen A, Peet A, Tillman V, Ilonen J, Wang D, Knip M, Xavier RJ, Virgin HW “Intestinal Virome Changes Precede Autoimmunity in Type 1 Diabetes Susceptible Children” PNAS, 2017: 114(30):E6166-E6175. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1706359114 PMCID: PMC5544325
Janowski AB, Bauer I, Holtz L, Wang D “Propagation of astrovirus VA1, a neurotropic human astrovirus, in cell culture”. J. Virol. 2017: pii: JVI.00740-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00740-17. PMCID: PMC5599743
Zhao G, Wu G, Lim ES, Droit L, Krishnamurthy S, Barouch DH, Virgin HW, Wang D. VirusSeeker, a computational pipeline for virus discovery and virome composition analysis.” Virology 2017: 503:21-30. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2017.01.005. PMCID: PMC5326578
Krishnamurthy S, Janowski AB, Zhao G, Barouch D, Wang D “Hyperexpansion of RNA bacteriophage diversity” PLoS Biology 2016: 14(3): e1002409. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002409. PMCID: PMC4807089
Lim ES, Zhou Y, Zhao G, Bauer IK, Droit L, Ndao IM, Warner BB, Tarr PI, Wang D*, Holtz LR* “Early life dynamics of the human gut virome and bacterial microbiome in infants” Nature Medicine 2015: doi10.1038/nm.3950. PMCID: PMC4710368
Norman JM, Handley SA, Baldridge MT, Droit L, Liu C, Keller BC, Kambal A, Monaco, CL, Zhao G, Fleshner P, Stappenbeck TS, McGovern DPB., Keshavarzian A, Mutlu EA, Sauk J, Gevers D, Xavier R, Wang D, Parkes M, and Virgin HW “Disease-specific Alterations in the Enteric Virome in Inflammatory Bowel Disease” Cell 2015: 160: 447-60. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.01.002. PMCID: PMC4312520
Felix MA, Ashe A, Pifaretti J, Wu G, Nuez I, Belicard T, Jiang Y, Zhao G, Franz CJ, Goldstein LD, Sanroman M, Miska EA, Wang D, “Natural and experimental infection of Caenorhabditis nematodes by novel viruses related to nodaviruses” PLoS Biology 2011: 9: e1000586. PMCID: PMC3026760

Lab Phone: 314-286-1124
Office Location: McDonnell Pediatric Research Building, Room 8250