Despite the development of vaccines and anti-viral drugs, viruses remain a leading cause of major diseases in humans, animals, and plants.  Some, such as Epstein-Barr virus, papilloma viruses, hepatitis B virus, and immunodeficiency viruses, cause widespread human misery, cancer, and death. The National Research Council/Institute of Medicine (Microbial Threats to Health: Emergence Detection and Response, M. Smolinski,  M. Humburg, and J. Letterberg, National Academy Press, 2003) predicts that emerging pathogens such as Ebola, SARs and new, highly pathogenic strains of influenza will continue to expand in their impact on human health.  This all comes at a time when the number of scientists entering the field of virology is diminishing, a situation that could lead to a crisis in our national ability to respond to these emerging new diseases. The Madison virology community includes scientists working on many major and emerging human pathogens including Ebola, Zika and highly pathogenic strains of influenza. Thus this training program provides predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees with a broad-based knowledge of virology and prepares them to become heads of laboratories doing research in academic, government, and research institutes, as well as industrial settings.

Predoctoral Trainees

Anthony R. Dawson

Credentials: Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Position title: MEHLE LABORATORY

Anna Heffron

Credentials: Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program/MD

Position title: D. O'CONNOR LABORATORY

Glora P. Larson

Credentials: Microbiology PhD Program

Position title: MEHLE LABORATORY

Sofia Romero Ferrufino

Credentials: Microbiology PhD Graduate Program


Nicholas D. Van Sciver

Credentials: Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Program


Postdoctoral Trainees

Adityarup Chakravorty, PhD

Credentials: Cellular and Molecular Biology


Soyeong Park, PhD

Credentials: Cancer Biology



 The University of Wisconsin-Madison requires all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NIH funding to utilize Individual Development Plans (IDPs) to set academic and career goals and facilitate conversations with their mentors. Additionally, the University recommends that all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers utilize IDPs, regardless of funding source.

The University offers a collection of resources and tools to support mentees, mentors, and PIs in implementing IDPs. These include a UW-Madison IDP template, workshops for mentees (both face-to-face and online videos), peer learning groups for mentees, as well as guidelines for mentors. More information can be found here:

IDP activity for NIH-funded graduate students and postdoctoral researchers is tracked in the University’s IDP reporting system, a tool that maintains mentee privacy yet allows mentors and PIs to monitor IDP-related activity.

All of the trainees supported by this training grant have created IDPs and most have indicated they are beneficial in helping them to set goals and assess progress toward those goals. Trainees are encouraged to re-evaluate their IDPs on a regular basis and to discuss them with mentors and other trainers in the program.