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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


Mark R. Denison, M.D.

Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics (Pediatric Infectious Disease)
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
D-7235 Medical Center North
Nashville, TN 37232-2581

  • M.D. - University of Kansas, 1980
  • Fellowship - Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center, 1985
  • Residency - University of Iowa Healthcare, 1983
  • Internship - University of Iowa Healthcare, 1981
Research Specialty

Coronavirus / SARS replication Virus cell biology Emerging viruses in biodefense Synthetic biology

Research Description

The Denison Lab studies the coronaviruses, a family of plus-strand RNA viruses that cause important infections in many animals and colds in humans. A new coronavirus recently has been identified as the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The Denison laboratory studies the model coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) to understand the replication, cell biology, and protein functions of coronaviruses. The laboratory uses biochemical and genetic approaches, including the recent introduction of reverse genetic approaches, to define the specific functions of replicase proteins in the formation and function of viral replication complexes. In addition, the laboratory has a program to define the replication of the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and develop virus mutants as live virus vaccine candidates. The Denison laboratory has an active training program for students and postdoctoral fellows to develop new investigators in viral cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics. .