The Racaniello Laboratory

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Our lab is part of the Microbiology Department located on the Health Sciences Campus of Columbia University. In addition to information about our research interests, this site also provides links to other sites we like, and a library containing the abstracts of many of our publications. Finally, this server is also the home of the Polio Information Center Online (PICO), a site that explains issues related to poliovirus to nonscientists.

Virology Podcasts

W3310 Download video podcasts of Dr. Racaniello's 2010 undergraduate virology course at Columbia. Please visit the course website or iTunes University.
G6021 Download video podcasts of Dr. Racaniello's 2008 graduate level virology course at Columbia. Please visit the course website or iTunes University.
TWiV Dr. Racaniello is also co-host of "This Week in Virology", a podcast about viruses and viral disease. The podcast can be found at, or on iTunes.
TWiP Dr. Racaniello is also co-host of "This Week in Parasitism", a podcast about eukaryotic parasites. The podcast can be found at MicrobeWorld, or on iTunes.

Racaniello Lab Members

Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (click to view c.v.)

Name Years Position Project
Esther Francisco 2007- Ph.D. student Function of protein 3A in rhinovirus infection

Angela Rasmussen, Esther Francisco (front row), Juliet Morrison, Vincent Racaniello, and Jennifer Drahos. Angela and Juliet have moved on to postdoctoral fellowships, and Jennifer is working at a consulting firm.


Former Racaniello Lab Members

Name Years Position Project Current Position
Nicola La Monica, Ph.D. 1983-1987 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Molecular Studies of Poliovirus Neurovirulence in Mice Senior Investigator
Rome, Italy
Cathy Mendelsohn, Ph.D. 1984-1989 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Isolation of Molecular Clones Encoding Human Poliovirus Receptors Associate Professor, Columbia University
Eric Moss, Ph.D. 1985-1990 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Structural Determinants of Virulence in Poliovirus Associate Professor
University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ
Robert O'Neill, Ph.D. 1985-1991 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Translational Control in Poliovirus-Infected Cells Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines and Pediatrics
Mary Morrison, Ph.D. 1987-1993 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Murine Homolog of the Poliovirus Receptor (PVR): Molecular Cloning, Expression, and Mapping of Poliovirus-Receptor Interactions Assistant Professor
Lycoming College
Ruibao Ren, Ph.D. 1988-1992 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Development and Characterization of a Transgenic Mouse Model for Poliomyelitis
Download thesis (3.8 MB pdf file)
Associate Professor
Brandeis University
Elizabeth Colston, M.D., Ph.D. 1989-1994 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Genetic Determinants of the Poliovirus-Receptor Interaction
Michael Bouchard, Ph.D. 1989-1997 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: A Mouse Model of Poliovirus Neurovirulence and Human Poliovirus Receptor Function Assistant Professor
Drexel University College of Medicine
Suhua Zhang, Ph.D. 1991-1997 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Studies on Enterovirus Pathogenesis Using Transgenic Mice and Virus Receptor Transformed Cell Lines Marketing Manager, US Ellence/Aromasin Team, Pfizer Inc
Alan Dove, Ph.D. 1991-1998 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: The Behavior of Wild-Type and Mutant Poliovirus at Low Temperatures Freelance science writer
Sa Liao, Ph.D. 1992-1998 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Adaptation of Poliovirus to Variant Cell Receptors Attorney
Morgan Lewis & Buckius
Yanzhang Dong, Ph.D. 1992-1998 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: The Cellular Function of mph, a Member of the Poliovirus Receptor Gene Family, and its Role in Spermatogenesis Anesthesiologist
St. Anthony Medical Center, Crown Pt., IN
Yi Lin, M.D., Ph.D. 1994-1999 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Identification of Poliovirus Capsid Residues Involved in Receptor Interactions with Chimeric Pvr-Mph Receptor
Brian McDermott, Ph.D. 1995-2001 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Poliovirus-Receptor Interaction: Kinetics and Visualization
Download thesis (3.1MB pdf file)
Assistant Professor
Case Western Reserve University
Melissa Stewart Kim, Ph.D. 1998-2003 Ph.D. Student Thesis title: Cell killing by enterovirus 70: Receptor interaction and VP4-mediated event determine the lytic nature of infection Manager, Competitive Intelligence
Steven Kauder, Ph.D. 1999- 2004 Ph.D. Student Poliovirus Organ Tropism and Attenuation are not Determined by Organ-Specific Internal Ribosome Entry Postdoctoral scientist, Laboratory of Eric Verdin, UCSF
Julie R Harris, Ph.D. 1999- 2005 Ph.D. Student Characterization of host range variants of rhinoviruses and the identification of host cell proteins involved in viral replication Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC
Amy Rosenfeld, Ph.D. 1999 - 2005 Ph.D. student Cell proteins required for IRES function Postdoctoral scientist, Laboratory of Nahum Sonenberg, McGill University
Juliet Morrison, Ph.D. 2004 - 2009 Ph.D. student Poliovirus interferon resistance Postdoctoral scientist, Laboratory of Adolfa Garcia-Sastre, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Angela Rasmussen, Ph.D. 2004 - 2009 Ph.D. student Mouse model for rhinovirus infection Postdoctoral scientist, Laboratory of Michael Katze, University of Washington
Jennifer Drahos, Ph.D. 2006 - 2009 Ph.D. student Antagonism of the innate immune response by rhinovirus Senior Research Analyst, Advisory Board Co, Washington DC
Gerardo Kaplan, Ph.D. 1983-1985
Postdoctoral Construction and Characterization of Poliovirus Subgenomic Replicons; Isolation of HeLa Cell Lines that Do Not Express PVR; Isolation of Poliovirus Mutants Resistant to Soluble PVR Chief, Laboratory of Hepatitis, CBER, Food and Drug Administration
Marion Freistadt, Ph.D. 1988-1991 Postdoctoral Expression and Mutagenesis of PVR Associate Professor
Tulane University
Michael Shepley, M.D., Ph.D. 1991-1994 Postdoctoral A Monoclonal Antibody Against CD44 Blocks Poliovirus Attachment to PVR  
Ornella Flore, Ph.D. 1993-1995 Postdoctoral Isolation of Thermostable Poliovirus Mutants Assistant Professor
New York University
Juan Salas-Benito, M.D. 1998-2000 Postdoctoral Poliovirus Axonal Transport Escuela Nacional de Medicina y Homeopatía del Instituto Politénico Nacional, Mexico City
Scott Hughes, Ph.D. 1997-2004 Postdoctoral Mouse model for echovirus infection Rutgers University


Ph.D. Theses from the Racaniello Laboratory

The Ph.D. thesis is a scholarly summary of years of work, and may often contain interesting unpublished information. Nevertheless, few Ph.D. theses are ever seen by individuals outside of the institution in which the work was done.

To date, seventeen students have written Ph.D. theses in this laboratory. I hope to eventually post all of my students' theses in the previous table.


Click thumbnail for a larger image

Vincent Racaniello as a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Peter Palese, Mt. Sinai, N.Y., on 14 October 1977.
Vincent Racaniello as a postdoc in the Baltimore Laboratory, MIT, 1981. Ihor Lemischka in the background.
Vincent Racaniello as a postdoc in the Baltimore Laboratory, MIT, 1981.
Left to right: Gerardo Kaplan, Philip Minor, Vincent Racaniello, Morag Ferguson, at Europic '89, Seillac, France, 1989.
Bert Semler, Vincent Racaniello, Jeff Almond, Dave Brown, Jim Hogle at Jena, Germany for Europic '98
Vincent Racaniello, Rosa Ma. del Angel, Lorena Gutierrez at Davis, CA for ASV 2003
View from my office, November 2004.
V. Racaniello, H. Koprowski, R. Kessin, April 2005, at Dr. Koprowski's History of Science lecture at P&S
Participants at the Viruses and Cells Gordon Research Conference, Castelvecchio Postoli, Italy, May 2005. Recognize anyone?
Sarah Sebastian, Elena Sokolskaja, Jennifer Drahos, Angela Rasmussen, June 2006. Sarah & Elena are Ph.D. students of Jeremy Luban.
Jennifer Drahos, Juliet Morrison, Angela Rasmussen, Vincent Racaniello, June 2006.



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