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Ralph Baric, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Ralph Baric, Ph.D. Ralph Baric, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Epidemiology | UNC-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC, UNITED STATES

Dr. Ralph Baric performs research using coronaviruses as models to study the genetics of RNA viruses.

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Session 5: Potential Benefits of GOF Research II: Treatment and Response Defeating respiratory disease in children

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Biography

After Ralph Baric attended N.C. State University on a swimming scholarship, he stuck around to complete a PhD in microbiology in 1983, the year the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was isolated. He is known for his research on the replication and pathogenesis of coronaviruses, which include SARS, and more recently of noroviruses such as the Norwalk virus. His work has crossed the boundaries of microbiology, virology, immunology and epidemiology, looking especially at the population genetics of viruses to find the molecular building blocks for more effective vaccines.

Industry Expertise (2)

Education/Learning

Research

Areas of Expertise (7)

Microbiology

Virology

Immunology

Epidemiology

Coronaviruses

Sars

MERS

Accomplishments (4)

Gillings Innovation Laboratory (professional)

2008-2010

Finalist, World Technology Award (professional)

2004

Established Investigator (professional)

1989-1994 American Heart Association

Harvey Weaver Scholar (professional)

1984-86 National Multiple Sclerosis Society Fellowship

Education (2)

North Carolina State University: Ph.D., Microbiology 1983

North Carolina State University: B.S., Zoology 1977

Affiliations (3)

  • American Society for Microbiology : Member
  • American Society for Virology : Member
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science : Member

Media Appearances (10)

UNC researchers have studied coronavirus for years, now working on possible treatment

WRAL  tv

2020-01-27

A new strain of coronavirus is spreading faster than anticipated, with at least 80 deaths and thousands of people sickened since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China. Researchers at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been working for years on the same family of viruses.

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The Wuhan Coronavirus Is Spreading Fast. Will Doctors Be Able to Find a Treatment Before the Outbreak Ends?

TIME  online

2020-01-22

Cases of a novel pneumonia-like viral illness that originated in Wuhan, China in December have now been confirmed in South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, and the U.S. The virus’ geographic reach, as well as its newly discovered ability to spread via person-to-person contact, has health officials worried about the prospect of global spread. The Wuhan virus (officially referred to as 2019-nCoV) belongs to the coronavirus family, a category that includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and that typically results in respiratory illnesses. While SARS and the new coronavirus are not identical, their similarities could make it easier to “cannibalize” prior research and start developing vaccines and therapeutics on an accelerated timeline, says Ralph Baric, who researches coronaviruses at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

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WHO Calls for Emergency Meeting as Chinese Virus Spreads to Health Care Workers

Scientific American  online

2020-01-21

The new coronavirus has sickened people in several countries, and there has been at least one confirmed case of human-to-human transmission.

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Local expert explains coronavirus outbreak in southeast Asia as CDC confirms first US case

WTVD  tv

2020-01-21

Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine Professor Ralph Baric talked about the mystery virus, which is only the seventh identified coronavirus that can affect humans.

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Virus in China Is Part of a Growing Threat

The Wall Street Journal  print

2020-01-19

Coronaviruses, named for crown-like spikes on their surfaces, mutate rapidly.

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Inside the $105 million lab that wants to wipe out MERS and Ebola

PBS NewsHour  online

2015-06-05

“That process can generate aerosols from the virus particles in the lungs and lead to a larger spread, said microbiologist Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “During the SARS epidemic, these mechanical procedures were sometimes associated with superspreaders.”...

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Norovirus candidate vaccine induces broad antibody responses in trial participants

EurekAlrert!  online

2015-03-24

A multivalent candidate vaccine elicits broad antibody responses to a range of norovirus strains, including strains not included in the vaccine or previously encountered by participants, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine. The results of the study, led by Lisa Lindesmith and Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, indicate that a vaccine to norovirus may be available in the future...

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Norovirus vaccine may be available in the future

News Medical  online

2015-03-25

A multivalent candidate vaccine elicits broad antibody responses to a range of norovirus strains, including strains not included in the vaccine or previously encountered by participants, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine. The results of the study, led by Lisa Lindesmith and Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, indicate that a vaccine to norovirus may be available in the future...

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Academy meeting on risky virus studies struggles to find common ground

AAAS  online

2014-12-17

Other speakers defended GOF studies of MERS and SARS coronaviruses. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and others argued that their attempts to adapt the MERS virus to mice in order to develop an animal model for the virus are crucial for vaccine and drug studies. Nobody is attempting to alter the virus in ways that would make it spread more easily among people, which would be difficult to do, they said. Because of the ongoing MERS epidemic, “it is critical” that the funding ban be lifted for MERS, Baric said. At least one prominent voice on the anti-GOF side was convinced: Including coronaviruses in the ban "has muddied the waters. … Let's take it out," said Peter Hale of the Foundation for Vaccine Research in Washington, D.C...

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How A Tilt Toward Safety Stopped A Scientist's Virus Research

NPR  online

2014-11-07

One of those researchers is Ralph Baric, a virologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. "Any virus that has pandemic potential, and that's any respiratory virus that emerges from animals, is a major public health concern," Baric says...

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Event Appearances (5)

Development of TGEV Replicon Particles

American Society for Virology Annual Meeting, July 2002  Lexington, KY.

McRoy, W and Baric, RS. Molecular Mechanisms of MHV Cross Species Transmission

American Society for Virology Annual Meeting, July 2002  Lexington, KY.

Mechanisms of MHV Cross species Transmission

Southeastern Virology Meeting, 2002  Atlanta, GA.

NLV Vaccines

Southeastern Virology Meeting, April 2002  Atlanta, GA.

Systemic, mucosal and heterotypic protection against Norwalk like viruses using Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus replicons

International Symposium on Positive Strand RNA Viruses, 2001  Paris, Fr.

Articles (5)

Norwalk virus: how infectious is it?

Journal of Medical Virology

2008 ABSTRACT: Noroviruses are major agents of viral gastroenteritis worldwide. The infectivity of Norwalk virus, the prototype norovirus, has been studied in susceptible human volunteers...

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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Open Reading Frame (ORF) 3b, ORF 6, and Nucleocapsid Proteins Function as Interferon Antagonists▿

Journal of Virology

2006 ABSTRACT: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is highly pathogenic in humans, with a death rate near 10%. This high pathogenicity suggests that SARS-CoV has developed mechanisms to overcome the host innate immune response...

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Human susceptibility and resistance to Norwalk virus infection

Nature Medicine

2003 ABSTRACT: Infectious diseases have influenced population genetics and the evolution of the structure of the human genome in part by selecting for host susceptibility alleles that modify pathogenesis. Norovirus infection is associated with approx 90% of epidemic non- ...

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Systematic Assembly of a Full-Length Infectious cDNA of Mouse Hepatitis Virus Strain A59

Journal of Virology

2002 ABSTRACT: A novel method was developed to assemble a full-length infectious cDNA of the group II coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus strain A59 (MHV-A59). Seven contiguous cDNA clones that spanned the 31.5-kb MHV genome were isolated. The ends of the cDNAs were engineered with unique junctions and assembled with only the adjacent cDNA subclones, resulting in an intact MHV-A59 cDNA construct of ∼31.5 kb in length...

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Human papillomavirus and head and neck cancer: epidemiology and molecular biology

Head & Neck

1998 BACKGROUND: Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are known to cause cancers of the cervix and other anogenital tract sites. Molecular biology has provided some evidence as to the specific mechanisms involved in the HPV-related carcinogenesis. Epidemiologic and molecular biology studies have also suggested that HPV infection may be associated with cancers of the head and neck...

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