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Srinivas S. Rao, D.V.M., Ph.D., MBA

Chief, Laboratory Animal Medicine
Animal Program Director
Vaccine Research Center, NIH

Current Roles:
Srinivas S. Rao serves as both the Animal Program Director and Chief, Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM) at the Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH. As a clinical veterinarian and board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Rao oversees and provides support for all animal studies conducted at the VRC, ensuring compliance with animal care and safety regulations including local, state and federal regulatory requirements. He is also a consultant for several research and safety committees, including the VRC Prevention and Control of TB committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), the Filovirus  Project Team, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Dr. Rao is a senior scientist and his laboratories’ research focuses on developing animal models for various infectious diseases including HIV/SIV, influenza viruses (pandemic H1N1, avian H5N1), and Chikungunya. These animal models include mice, chickens, ferrets, horses, pigs, and nonhuman primates. He currently holds three patents, and his most recent publications feature the development of a virus-like particle vaccine for Chikungunya, the investigation of a potential universal influenza vaccine, and studies in macaque models for primary infection of HIV vaccine trial participants, among others.  

NIH Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) (2003 – present)
NIH Animal Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) Subcommittee (2003 – present)
NIH Vaccine Research Center Institutional Biosafety Committee (2009-current)
Filovirus Project Team and Filovirus Animal Study Subteam (FAAST) (2009- current)

1.     Rao SS, Kong WP, Wei CJ, Van Hoeven N, Gorres JP, Nason M, Andersen H, Tumpey TM, Nabel GJ. Comparative Efficacy of Hemagglutinin, Nucleoprotein, and Matrix 2 Protein Gene-based Vaccination against H5N1 Influenza in Mouse and Ferret. Accepted for publication in PLoS One, February 2010.

2.     Akahata W, Yang Z, Andersen H, Sun S, Yoder JD, Kong WP, Lewis MG, Higgs S, Rossman MG, Rao SS, Nabel GJ.  A VLP . Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2105 (2010).

3.     Rao SS, Permar SR, Bao S, Murray C, Gorres JP, Brown CR, Mankowski JL, Hirsch VM, Letvin NL. Severe Lung Pathology in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-infected, Measles Virus-Vaccinated Rhesus Monkeys After Measles Viruse Infection.
*in preparation for submission to Veterinary Pathology

4.     Rao SS, Kong WP, Wei CJ, Van Hoeven N, Gorres JP, Andersen H, Tumpey T, Nabel G. Comparative Efficacy of Hemagglutinin, Nucleoprotein, and Matrix 2 Protein Gene-based Vaccination against H5N1 Influenza in Mouse and Ferret.
*submitted for publication in PLoS One, Dec 2009

5.     Whitney JB,  Luedemann C, Bao S, Miura A, Rao SS, Mascola JR, and Letvin NL. Monitoring HIV vaccine trial participants for primary infection: studies in the SIV/macaque model.  AIDS. 2009 Jul; 23(12):1453-60

6.     Johnson TR, Rao SS, Seder RA, Chen M, Graham BS. TLR9 agonist, but not TLR7/8, functions as an adjuvant to diminish FI-RSV vaccine-enhanced disease, while either agonist used as therapy during primary RSV infection increases disease severity. Vaccine 2009 May; 27(23):3045-52

7.     Yeh WW,  Jaru-ampornpan P, Nevidomskyte D, Asmal M, Rao SS, Buzby AP, Montefiori DC , Korber BT, Letvin NL. Partial Protection of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)-Infected Rhesus Monkeys against Superinfection with a Heterologous SIV Isolate. J Virol. 2009 Mar; (6): 2686-2696

8.     Rao SS, Bryant M, Herbert R, Sullivan N, Murray C, Bacher J, Safdar N. Idiopathic Chondrolysis Condition in Two Young, Wild-caught Cynomolgus Monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) Reared in Captivity. Vet Path. 2009 May; 46(3): 509-13.

9.     Rao SS, Styles D, Kong W, Andrews C, Gorres JP, Nabel GJ. A Gene-Based Avian Influenza Vaccine in Poultry.Poult Sci. 2009 88: 860-866.

10.   Rao SS, Kong WP, Wei CJ, Yang ZY, Nason M, Styles D, DeTolla LJ, Sorrell EM, Song H, Wan H, Ramirez-Nieto GC, Perez D, Nabel GJ.  Multivalent HA DNA Vaccination Protects against Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza in Chickens and Mice. PLoS One. 2008 Jun; 3(6): e2432

11.   Permar SR, Kang HH, Carville A, Mansfield KG, Gelman RS, Rao SS, Whitney JB, Letvin NL. Potent simian immunodeficiency virus-specific cellular immune responses in the breast milk of simian immunodeficiency virus-infected, lactating rhesus monkeys. J Immunol. 2008 Sep 1;181(5):3643-50.

12.   Permar SR, Rao SS, Sun Yue, Bao S, Buzby AP, Kang HH, Letvin NL. Clinical Measles after Virus Challenge in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Measles Virus-Vaccinated Rhesus Monkeys. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2007; 196:1784-1793

13.   Letvin NL, Rao SS, Dang V, Buzby AP, Korioth-Schmitz B, Dombagoda D, Parvani JG, Clarke RH, Bar L, Carlson KR, Kozlowski PA, Hirsch VM, Mascola JR, Nabel GJ. No evidence for consistent virus-specific immunity in simian immunodeficiency virus-exposed, uninfected rhesus monkeys. J Virol. 2007 Nov; volume81:pages"12368-74. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

14.   Shu Y, Winfrey S, Yang ZY, Xu L, Rao SS, Srivastava I, Barnett SW, Nabel GJ, Mascola JR. Efficient protein boosting after plasmid DNA or recombinant adenovirus immunization with HIV-1 vaccine constructs. Vaccine. 2007 Feb.; 25(8): 1398-408.

15.   Brenchley JM, Price DA, Schacker TW, Asher TE, Silvestri G, Rao S, Kazzaz Z, Bornstein E, Lambotte O, Altmann D, Blazar BR, Rodriguez B, Teixeira-Johnson L, Landay A, Martin JN, Hecht FM, Picker LJ, Lederman MM, Deeks SG, Douek DC. Microbial translocation is a cause of systemic immune activation in chronic HIV infection. Nat Med. 2006 Dec.; 12(12):1365-1371.

16.   Sun Y, Schmitz JE, Buzby AP, Barker BR, Rao SS, Xu L, Yang ZY, Mascola JR, Nabel GJ, Letvin NL. Virus-specific cellular immune correlates of survival in vaccinated monkeys after simian immunodeficiency virus challenge. J Virol. 2006 Nov.; 80(22): 10950-6.

17.   Liu X, Lagenaur LA, Simpson DA, Essenmacher KP, Frazier-Parker CL, Liu Y, Tsai D, Rao SS, Hamer DH, Parks TP, Lee PP, Xu Q. Engineered vaginal lactobacillus strain for mucosal delivery of the human immunodeficiency virus inhibitor cyanovirin-N, Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Oct.; 50(10):3250-9.

18.   Letvin NL, Mascola JR, Sun Y, Gorgone DA, Buzby AP, Xu L, Yang ZY, Chakrabarti B, Rao SS, Schmitz JE, Montefiori DC, Barker BR, Bookstein FL, Nabel GJ. Preserved CD4+ central memory T cells and survival in vaccinated SIV-challenged monkeys. Science. 2006 Jun.; 312(5779):1530-3.

19.   Srinivas S. Rao, Phillip Gomez, John R. Mascola, Vi Dang ,Georgia R. Krivulka, Faye Yu, Carol I. Lord, Ling Shen,  Robert Bailer, Gary J. Nabel, Norman L. Letvin. Comparative Evaluation of Three Different Intramuscular Delivery Methods for DNA Immunization in a Nonhuman Primate Animal Model. Vaccine. 2006 Jan.; 24(3):367-73.

Note: Srinivas S. Rao was previously S. Srinivas