Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy

A biological approach to global health challenges

Evolution has refined the immune system and the stealthy viruses that thwart our natural frontline defenses against infection. The Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy takes advantage of these natural systems to create novel therapies for cancer and infectious diseases.

Our research focuses on understanding how microbial pathogens cause disease and the cellular and systemic mechanisms used by animal and human hosts to respond immunologically to pathogens and vaccines.



Grant McFadden, PhD


Grant McFadden studies how poxviruses cause immunomodulation through interactions with the host immune system. He has pioneered the field of viral immune subversion (called “anti-immunology”) and is credited with the discovery of a wide spectrum of virus-derived inhibitors of the immune system. He also investigates host-virus tropism and the deployment of poxviruses for oncolytic virotherapy for the treatment of cancer, particularly with a rabbit-specific poxvirus called myxoma virus (MYXV).

Faculty members

Joseph Blattman

Assistant Professor

Yung Chang


Qiang “Shawn” Chen


Esther Borges Florsheim

Assistant Professor

Brenda Hogue


Ian Hogue

Assistant Professor

Bertram Jacobs

Faculty Member

Karen Kibler

Assistant Research Professor

Wei Kong

Associate Research Professor

Jeffrey Langland

Assistant Research Professor (FSC)

Yize Li

Yize "Henry" Li

Assistant Professor

Hugh Mason

Associate Professor

Grant McFadden

Center Director and Professor

Tsafrir Mor


Masmudur Rahman

Associate Research Professor

Faculty associates

Abhinav Acharya

Assistant Professor

C Athena Aktipis

Associate Faculty

Karen Anderson


Heather Bean

Assistant Professor

Douglas Lake

Associate Professor

Alexandra Lucas

Research Professor

Carlo Maley

Assistant Professor

Krijn Paaijmans

Assistant Professor

Yixin Shi

Associate Professor

Jessica Weaver

Assistant Professor


View the whole team