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



A Single-Component Luminescent Biosensor for the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein.

Journal of the American Chemical Society

Ravalin M, Roh H, Suryawanshi R, Kumar GR, Pak JE, Ott M, Ting AY

Omicron mutations enhance infectivity and reduce antibody neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Syed AM, Ciling A, Taha TY, Chen IP, Khalid MM, Sreekumar B, Chen PY, Kumar GR, Suryawanshi R, Silva I, Milbes B, Kojima N, Hess V, Shacreaw M, Lopez L, Brobeck M, Turner F, Spraggon L, Tabata T, Ott M, Doudna JA

Accelerating PERx Reaction Enables Covalent Nanobodies for Potent Neutralization of SARS-Cov-2 and Variants.


Yu B, Li S, Tabata T, Wang N, Cao L, Kumar GR, Sun W, Liu J, Ott M, Wang L

Tropism of SARS-CoV-2 for human cortical astrocytes.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Andrews MG, Mukhtar T, Eze UC, Simoneau CR, Ross J, Parikshak N, Wang S, Zhou L, Koontz M, Velmeshev D, Siebert CV, Gemenes KM, Tabata T, Perez Y, Wang L, Mostajo-Radji MA, de Majo M, Donohue KC, Shin D, Salma J, Pollen AA, Nowakowski TJ, Ullian E, Kumar GR, Winkler EA, Crouch EE, Ott M, Kriegstein AR

Viral E protein neutralizes BET protein-mediated post-entry antagonism of SARS-CoV-2.

Cell reports

Chen IP, Longbotham JE, McMahon S, Suryawanshi RK, Khalid MM, Taha TY, Tabata T, Hayashi JM, Soveg FW, Carlson-Stevermer J, Gupta M, Zhang MY, Lam VL, Li Y, Yu Z, Titus EW, Diallo A, Oki J, Holden K, Krogan N, Fujimori DG, Ott M