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



SARS-CoV-2 protein ORF8 limits expression levels of Spike antigen and facilitates immune evasion of infected host cells.

The Journal of biological chemistry

Kim IJ, Lee YH, Khalid MM, Chen IP, Zhang Y, Ott M, Verdin E

Mercapto-pyrimidines are reversible covalent inhibitors of the papain-like protease (PLpro) and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 (SCoV-2) replication.

RSC advances

Bajaj T, Wehri E, Suryawanshi RK, King E, Pardeshi KS, Behrouzi K, Khodabakhshi Z, Schulze-Gahmen U, Kumar GR, Mofrad MRK, Nomura DK, Ott M, Schaletzky J, Murthy N

Mild SARS-CoV-2 infection results in long-lasting microbiota instability.


Upadhyay V, Suryawanshi RK, Tasoff P, McCavitt-Malvido M, Kumar RG, Murray VW, Noecker C, Bisanz JE, Hswen Y, Ha CWY, Sreekumar B, Chen IP, Lynch SV, Ott M, Lee S, Turnbaugh PJ

Structure-Based Discovery of Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp14 N7-Methyltransferase.

Journal of medicinal chemistry

Singh I, Li F, Fink EA, Chau I, Li A, Rodriguez-Hernández A, Glenn I, Zapatero-Belinchón FJ, Rodriguez ML, Devkota K, Deng Z, White K, Wan X, Tolmachova NA, Moroz YS, Kaniskan HÜ, Ott M, García-Sastre A, Jin J, Fujimori DG, Irwin JJ, Vedadi M, Shoichet BK

Post-acute immunological and behavioral sequelae in mice after Omicron infection.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology

Ma T, Suryawanshi RK, Miller SR, Ly KK, Thomas R, Elphick N, Yin K, Luo X, Kaliss N, Chen IP, Montano M, Sreekumar B, Standker L, Münch J, Damron FH, Palop JJ, Ott M, Roan NR