Christopher A. Nelson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology


  • BS, Chemical Engineering: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (1985)
  • PhD, Immunology & Molecular Biology: Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1994)

Research Interests

Several poxvirus immune evasion proteins make use of a conserved β-sandwich-domain that we propose calling a “PIE scaffold”. PIE domain-containing proteins are abundant among chordopox. We estimate there may be as many as 20 separate PIE families. My current aim is to determine the function of as many PIEs as possible, to understand their role in immune evasion, and by x-ray crystallography understand how they bind so many disparate ligands.

Service to the Department

1998-present Research Instructor
1994-1998 Post-Doctoral Research Associate
1989-1994 Graduate Student

Service to the University

1986-1989 Research Technician, Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Research Gate

Christopher A Nelson, Megan L Epperson, Sukrit Singh, Jabari I Elliott, Daved H Fremont: Structural Conservation and Functional Diversity of the Poxvirus Immune Evasion (PIE) Domain Superfamily. Viruses 09/2015; 7(9). DOI:10.3390/v7092848
Christopher A Nelson, Julia T Warren, Michael W-H Wang, Steven L Teitelbaum, Daved H Fremont: RANKL Employs Distinct Binding Modes to Engage RANK and the Osteoprotegerin Decoy Receptor. Structure 10/2012; 20(11). DOI:10.1016/j.str.2012.08.030
Christopher A Nelson, Marcel D Fremont, John R Sedy, Paula S Norris, Carl F Ware, Kenneth M Murphy, Daved H Fremont: Structural Determinants of Herpesvirus Entry Mediator Recognition by Murine B and T Lymphocyte Attenuator. The Journal of Immunology 02/2008; 180(2). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.180.2.940
Christopher A. Nelson, Paula S. Norris, Kenneth M. Murphy, Chris A. Benedict, Daved H. Fremont, Carl F. Ware: 136 Herpesvirus Entry Mediator and Cytomegalovirus ORF UL144 Bind a Common Region of B And T Lymphocyte Attenuator. Cytokine 07/2007; 39(1). DOI:10.1016/j.cyto.2007.07.141
Christopher A Nelson, Andrew Pekosz, Chung A Lee, Michael S Diamond, Daved H Fremont: Structure and Intracellular Targeting of the SARS-Coronavirus Orf7a Accessory Protein. Structure 02/2005; 13(1). DOI:10.1016/j.str.2004.10.010

Office Location: Clinical Sciences Building, Room 7712A