Ralph S. Baric
Dr. Ralph Baric is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is also a member of the Linberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill.
Baric has spent the past three decades studying coronaviruses. and warning that they represent a significant and ongoing global health threat. The Baric Lab uses coronaviruses as models to study the genetics of RNA virus transcription, replication, persistence, pathogenesis, genetics and cross-species transmission. He has used alphavirus vaccine vectors to develop novel candidate vaccines. Baric's study of zoonotic viruses recognize them as a potentially rich source of new emerging pathogens in humans, with detailed studies of the molecular, genetic and evolutionary mechanisms that regulate the establishment and dissemination of such a virus within a newly adopted host. Specifically, he works to decipher the complex interactions between the virion and cell surface molecules that function in the entry and cross-species transmission of positive-strand RNA viruses.