Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, PhD
Position title: PROFESSOR
Phone: (608) 265-4925, (608) 265-5141
575 Science Dr
Madison, WI 53711
Professor of Pathobiological Sciences
Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka is a leading scientist in the influenza virus field. His lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to interspecies transmission of the virus, which is a major cause of influenza pandemics in humans. His lab also studies the molecular pathogenesis of influenza in several animal models. Dr. Kawaoka has been a pioneer in modifying influenza viruses and uses this technology to identify the viral determinants of virulence, transmissibility, and antigenicity. As part of his thesis project, Dr. Kawaoka’s graduate student, Tony Hanson, a VTG trainee, pursued studies on identifying mutations in the viral HA gene of a highly virulent strain on influenza that contribute to increased fitness for human transmission (Hanson et al., J. Virology 2015 PMID: 26719265). Tony, who co-authored 9 additional papers while in Dr. Kawaoka’s lab, received his PhD in 2015 and is now on the staff of WiSys, the technology transfer office that assists University of Wisconsin system faculty with their intellectual property needs. Tony will participate in the 2018 Wisc-E-Sota Symposium’s inaugural career development workshop. Dr. Kawaoka also studies Ebola virus and has applied the same techniques he established for influenza virus to evaluate the role of viral proteins in pathogenesis and viral replication, and to develop novel vaccines. Dr. Kawaoka currently collaborates with Drs. Ahlquist, Suresh and Friedrich. Dr. Kawaoka’s lab is funded by two grants from NIAID (U19 and a Centers of Excellence grant) and an HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority grant.