“New Insights into the Pathogenesis of Flaviviruses including Zika and West Nile viruses”

Start Date & Time: 
Thursday, 20 July, 2017 - 09:30
End Date & Time: 
Thursday, 20 July, 2017 - 10:30

Level 2
Duke-NUS Medical School
8 College Road
Singapore 169857


Speaker Details: 

Michael Diamond, MD, PhD
Professor, Departments of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, Pathology & Immunology. 
Associate Director, Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs,  Washington University School of Medicine. 



Although Zika virus (ZIKV) was isolated approximately 70 years ago, few experimental studies had been published prior to 2016. Concomitant with its recent spread to countries in the Western Hemisphere, which was associated with reports of microcephaly, congenital malformations and Guillain-Barré syndrome, the pace of discovery of ZIKV biology has accelerated greatly. Within a short time period, we and others have established useful mouse and non-human primate disease models, and pre-clinical evaluation of therapeutics and vaccines has begun. Unexpectedly, ZIKV exhibits a broad tropism and persistence in body tissues and fluids, which contributes to the clinical manifestations and epidemiology that have been observed during the current epidemic. In this talk, I will focus on studies from my laboratory that generated mouse models of ZIKV infection and pathogenesis during pregnancy as well as in the male reproductive tract. I will cover the effects of gestational age on ZIKV pathogenesis in utero, analysis of tropism, and discuss novel approaches for counter-measures including therapeutic antibodies and vaccines.


Michael Diamond received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University. He completed his post-doctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley, and his internship, residency, and fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco.

He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Society of Clinical Investigation. His current research focuses on the interface between viral pathogenesis and the host immune response. Many globally important human pathogens are studied including West Nile encephalitis, Zika, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and Chikungunya viruses.  

The Diamond laboratory investigates mechanisms of pathogenesis of emerging viruses of global concern. Novel interdisciplinary approaches are used to explore the interface between the virus and host with particular interest in understanding cell- and tissue-specific antiviral immune responses, especially in the brain. In summary, the Diamond laboratory focuses on both the virus and the host to define basic mechanisms of viral pathogenesis, host immunity, and cellular homeostasis, which can be utilized to mitigate disease.


Dr Lok Shee Mei
Associate Professor
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases


Contact Person: 

Ms Shirley William