Department of Immunology and Microbial Science
The Scripps Institute
La Jolla, California, USA
Professor and Resident Scholar
The University of Alabama
Presentation Title: “Virus Biodiversity: Mutation, Genetic Differences, Selection, Propagation, Disease”
Michael B.A. Oldstone is a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute, where he heads the Viral-Immunobiology Laboratory.
His contributions include understanding how both acute and persistent viral infection disorders the host’s immune system, causing disease, and therapeutic remedies to overcome such infections. His studies on persistent infection uncovered the role for genetic biodiversity of viruses and viral-induced host factors that subvert the immune system. The combination of genetically selected mutant virus and host factors like interferon type I, IL-10 and PD-1/PD-L1 can lead in vivo to viral persistence in differentiated cells resulting in disordered homeostasis and disease. Persistent viral infections in hosts with the appropriate genetic background can also initiate or enhance autoimmune disease.
By the fruits of his laboratory’s findings, Oldstone was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and he has been the recipient of numerous international and national scientific awards and honors.
Oldstone is also a visiting professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, at The University of Alabama’s main campus in Tuscaloosa.