Center for Molecular Medicine & Infectious Diseases (CMMID)
CMMID   Research   Academics & Research   VA-MD Vet Med

CMMID Research

The CMMID has a number of faculty members with national and international reputation in their fields. This center is unique in that it is the only one in the university whose primary objective is the use of molecular biotechnology and immunological techniques in the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines, and that addresses basic problems of infectious, immunological, and biochemical diseases of humans and animals.

There are commercial vaccines for the prevention of hemorrhagic enteritis virus (turkeys), porcine circovirus (SuvxyanTM PCV2 One Dose, swine) and brucellosis (Brucella abortus RB51TM, cattle) that have been developed at CMMID and used nationally and internationally.

An essential infrastructure facility to accomplish some of the objectives of CMMID is the presence of two biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories and adjoining ABSL-3 animal quarters that are located in the infectious disease unit of the center. Thus the center can work with a variety of pathogens in the laboratory or in infected animals in a safe manner.

The faculty at the CMMID are actively working in the following areas:

  • A better understanding of host-pathogen immunity and interactions for bacterial viral and parasitic diseases.
  • Development of improved vaccines and diagnostic assays for: bacteria (Brucella species, Francisella tularensis, Hemophilus somnus): viral (Hepatitis, Hemorrhagic Enteritis, New Castle Disease), and parasites (Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii)
  • Molecular Cell signaling involving pro-inflammatory cytokines and other activation signals
  • Investigating the basis of autoimmune and developmental immunotoxicological disorders.
  • Use of viruses in Cancer therapy.
  • Using fish as an alternative animal model for drug testing
  • Developing immunocontraception for domesticated species
  • Food Safety research especially involving food-borne pathogens

Advanced Research Training

Postdoctoral fellows, research associates, graduate students, and a limited number of honors and undergraduate students work with the faculty members on research projects. Students are trained at both the master in science and doctoral degree levels to pursue careers in biomedical science in academics, industry, and government. Undergraduate students from colleges throughout the university work with faculty members to obtain experience in basic and applied research.

DVM- Education

  • Senior DVM students also undergo clinical immunology and clinical virology clerkships, which are held at the CMMID. Senior students take 17 blocks of Immunology and Virology Clerkships as a part of their laboratory service clerkships.
  • DVM students (freshman and sophomore) also have opportunities to conduct research during summer. This program is funded by NIH T35 training grant and Merck-Merial training grants (Program Director: Dr. Ansar Ahmed; Co-PI: Dr. Roger Avery).
  • Post-DVM PhD. program opportunities are also available at CMMID and VMRCVM. This program is supported by NIH T32 program (Dr. X-J. Meng, Program Director)

Research Sponsors

  • National Institutes of Health
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Army
  • Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Private Research Foundations

Virginia Tech (0342)
1410 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6377
Expanded CMMID facility:
CMMID-CRC (0491)
1800 Kraft Drive, 2nd floor
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-1995