Training Program in Neurovirology

Training Sites

  • University of Pennsylvania
    Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine


The NIH sponsored program offers training to postdoctoral trainees in research related to viruses that affect the central nervous system or that are used as vectors to deliver genes to the nervous system. The trainees are given a solid background in virology and molecular biology and, through formal coursework, are introduced to neurological problems where the discipline can play a role. The program is conducted by eleven trainers, each of whom has independent funding. Trainers work on DNA and RNA viruses including: human immunodeficiency virus, coronaviruses, alphaviruses and herpes viruses as well as on viral vectors. Each trainee selects one of the laboratories for his/her primary research project, but has free access to other trainers for advice, technical help, and collaboration. Weekly trainee research seminars provide constant interchange between trainees and trainers. More formal monthly seminars are presented both by members of the group and outside speakers. The institution also has an extensive didactic program in neurosciences, virology, microbiology, and gene therapy, that can be individually tailored to each trainee in order supplement the laboratory experience. Seminar series, conferences and retreats supplement the laboratory-based program. Responsible conduction of research training is provided as well. Information about individual investigators can be found either in their personal web pages or on our Faculty page.


  • Susan R. Weiss, PhD, Program Director, School of Medicine, Pathogenesis of murine coronavirus; viral antagonism of host interferon response, organ specific virus-host interactions
  • Dennis Kolson, MD, PhD, Program Co-Director, Neurology, Neurology, School of Medicine, HIV neuropathogenesis; apoptosis; survival pathways
  • Gary Cohen, PhD, Microbiology, School of Dental Medicine, Herpes virus entry, structural analysis of viral glycoproteins & receptors
  • Ronald G. Collman, MD, Medicine, School of Medicine, HIV tropism
  • Harvey Friedman, Herpes simplex virus pathogenesis, vaccines.
  • Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, PhD, Pathology, School of Dental Medicine, Mechanisms underlying neuronal loss in neurodegenerative disorders; neuronal responses in HIV encephalitis
  • Glenn Rall, PhD, Measles virus pathogenesis, and immune response in the CNS
  • Matthias Schnell, rabies virus pathogenesis, rabies virus vaccine vectors
  • Matthew Weitzman, PhD, Pathology, Children’s Hospital, Cellular host responses to virus infection and the environment encountered and manipulated by viruses
  • John H. Wolfe, VMD, PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine

Interested candidates should contact:
Susan Weiss, PhD
Program Director
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Department of Microbiology
203 A Johnson Pavilion
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076
TEL 215-898-8013