Thomas C. Friedrich, PhD



Phone: (608) 265-3381, (608) 265-3389

Room 127
585 Science Dr
Madison, WI 53711


Associate Professor of Pathobiological Sciences

The overarching goal of research in the Friedrich laboratory is to understand the processes by which viruses emerge (and re-emerge) to cause disease. They use animal models and human studies to investigate evolutionary processes governing RNA viral emergence and re-emergence. The primary areas of focus are on adaptation to replication and transmission in new hosts and immune evasion. Some key contributions from Friedrich laboratory over the past 5 years include: 1) The discovery that influenza antigenic variants are present at low frequency in some naturally infected humans, but are rarely transmitted, likely due to tight transmission bottlenecks (work led by PhD students Jorge Dinis and Nicholas Florek); 2) The discovery that adaptation of avian influenza viruses to mammalian transmission involves selective sweeps on the hemagglutinin (HA) gene during transmission, suggesting that nonrandom, selective transmission bottlenecks may be a hallmark of influenza virus transition from an avian to mammalian phenotype (work led by PhD students Jorge Dinis and Louise Moncla); and 3) Establishment of a new nonhuman primate model for Zika virus pathogenesis, including the capacity for efficient mosquito-borne transmission and the demonstration that mosquito transmission involves a random genetic bottleneck in Zika virus populations (collaborative work, with contributions from the Friedrich laboratory led by PhD students Joseph Lalli and Chelsea Crooks). Dr. Friedrich collaborates Drs. Evans, D. O’Connor, Mehle, Kawaoka, S. O’Connor, Reynolds, Striker and Suresh. Dr. Friedrich’s lab is supported by multiple grants from NIAID including an R01 (PI), other NR01s and an R21 on which he is co-PI or co-investigator, and support from the Primate Center P51.