Dr. Ralph Baric
Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of North Carolina, United States
Dr. Baric is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology from North Carolina State University and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from North Carolina State University. He conducted postgraduate research at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in the department of Microbiology. His group has published over 375 papers, in journals like PNAS, Nature Medicine, Science, Nature, Cell, NEJM, PloS Medicine and PloS Pathogens.
The Baric laboratory uses genetic, immunologic, molecular and biochemical approaches to study the molecular mechanisms regulating virus replication, pathogenesis, molecular evolution and cross species transmission using emerging coronaviruses, flaviviruses (Dengue) and noroviruses as model systems. We have pioneered new strategies for developing reverse genetic approaches for manipulating the SARS-CoV, SAR-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV genomes and are actively studying the role of multiple genes that function in cross species transmission, virulence, pathogenesis, viral transcription and RNA fidelity, using novel mouse models of human disease. The Baric laboratory is also identifying key neutralizing epitopes in emerging coronaviruses, dengue and noroviruses using human monoclonal antibodies and structure guided immunogen design to develop broadly active vaccines and immunotherapuetics against these pathogens. Finally, his group has developed novel animal models of human disease and identified dozens of host susceptibility loci that regulate emerging CoV pathogenesis and vaccine performance.