Kristen Bernard, DVM, PhD

Position title: PROFESSOR


Phone: (608) 263-7114, (608) 263-2408

4270c Veterinary Medicine Building
2015 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706


Associate Professor of Virology, School of Veterinary Medicine

The central theme of Dr. Bernard’s research program is to further the understanding of the virus-host interaction. By understanding this interaction, new therapies and vaccines can be developed. In particular, she studies the pathogenesis of arthropod-borne viruses, including the flavivirus, West Nile virus (WNV), a significant cause of human disease in the United States. There are currently three major projects in her laboratory: (1) to characterize the interface of arboviruses with mosquitoes and vertebrate hosts, using WNV as a model; (2) to determine the mechanisms of WNV persistence in the vertebrate host; and (3) to develop novel therapies and control measures for arboviruses. Research opportunities for trainees will provide broad training in classical and molecular virology, viral pathogenesis, and mosquito transmission of arboviruses. Trainees will become skilled in diverse methods and techniques, including many virologic techniques (e.g., virus isolation, plaque assays, quantitative RT-PCR, molecular cloning of the viral genome, and site-directed mutagenesis), immunologic techniques (e.g., flow cytometry, T cell assays), animal manipulations (e.g., disease assessment, necropsies, and tissue harvesting), mosquito biology (e.g., rearing, dissections, and feeding), biosafety in the BSL-3 laboratory/vivarium, bioinformatics (e.g., sequencing, gene expression, microarrays), histopathology, and microscopy. Trainees will be encouraged to work with other investigators in the program, providing valuable expertise for their projects. Dr. Bernard’s laboratory currently collaborates with a number of faculty on campus, including Drs. Striker, Osorio, Knoll and Christensen. Through this interdisciplinary approach, trainees will be well prepared for high-level careers in the areas of virology, tropical medicine, and emerging diseases. Dr. Bernard’s lab is supported by 2 grants from the NIAID.