Melanie Ott, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology
Department of Medicine
+1 415 734-4807
Research Overview: 

We study viruses of today to be prepared for the viruses of tomorrow. Currently, we focus on multiple human pathogens—the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), Zika virus, the hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV), influenza A and B , SARS-CoV-2 and multiple common cold coronaviruses. We use four main technologies—human organoids, rapid quantitative diagnostics, a viral protein expression library, and transcriptomics. We deliberately apply lessons learned from one virus to others; specifically, we search for common host and viral factors that can be targeted by panviral therapeutics against respiratory viruses, define new ways to silence and cure chronic viral infections such as HIV and HBV and develop versatile, easy to reprogram CRISPR diagnostics that use mobile phones as readers. We welcome graduate students into our diverse and friendly research teams as equal partners and nurture their scientific success and personal growth.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
Molecular Pathogenesis of HIV and Hepatitis C Virus Infections



De novo-designed minibinders expand the synthetic biology sensing repertoire.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology

Weinberg ZY, Soliman SS, Kim MS, Chen IP, Ott M, El-Samad H

Assembly reactions of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein with nucleic acid.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology

Zhao H, Syed AM, Khalid MM, Nguyen A, Ciling A, Wu D, Yau WM, Srinivasan S, Esposito D, Doudna JA, Piszczek G, Ott M, Schuck P

Protocol for an in vitro assay to study HIV-1 Tat methylation.

STAR protocols

Boehm D, Kaehlcke K, Schnoelzer M, Ott M

Hepatitis C virus infects and perturbs liver stem cells.


Meyers NL, Ashuach T, Lyons DE, Khalid MM, Simoneau CR, Erickson AL, Bouhaddou M, Nguyen TT, Kumar GR, Taha TY, Natarajan V, Baron JL, Neff N, Zanini F, Mahmoudi T, Quake SR, Krogan NJ, Cooper S, McDevitt TC, Yosef N, Ott M