Michael Vahey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314 935-8427

  • mvahey@wustl.edu

  • Biophysical mechanisms of infectious disease

Research Abstract:

The goal of my research group is to understand the physical and biological factors that guide the replication and transmission of infectious disease, with an emphasis on enveloped viruses and the long-term goal of developing new therapies. My approach to this challenge spans multiple scales, working to understand how molecules give rise to specific viral phenotypes, and how these phenotypes determine the virus’s ability to propagate under the constraints found in cells, tissues, and organisms. To pursue this goal, I develop new chemical tools for imaging and reconstituting enveloped virus assembly and new technologies for modeling the physiological environment in which replication takes place. These tools will help determine the mechanistic links between the molecular basis of virus assembly and the transmission of viruses within and between hosts. An engineering-level understanding of how enveloped viruses assemble and navigate the host environment will establish a foundation for understanding a wide variety of other questions in biological assembly, for identifying new small molecule inhibitors of virus assembly, and for developing new virus-based anticancer therapies.

Selected Publications:

Kuppan JP, Mitrovich MD, Vahey MD. "A morphological transformation in respiratory syncytial virus leads to enhanced complement deposition," Elife (2021).

Vahey MD, Fletcher DA. "Influenza A virus surface proteins are organized to help penetrate host mucus," Elife (2019).

Vahey, M.D. & Fletcher, D.A., “Low-fidelity assembly of influenza A virus promotes escape from host cells,” Cell 176, 1–14 (2019).

Belardi, B., S. Son, M.D. Vahey, J. Wang, J. Hou, and D.A. Fletcher “Claudin-4 reconstituted in unilamellar vesicles is sufficient to form tight interfaces that partition membrane proteins,” Journal of Cell Science jcs.221556 (2018).

Lu, P., D. Min, F. DiMaio K.Y. Wei, M.D. Vahey, S.E. Boyken, Z. Chen, J.A. Fallas, G. Ueda, W. Sheffler, V.K. Mulligan, W. Xu, J.U. Bowie, D. Baker, “Accurate computational design of multipass transmembrane proteins,” Science 359(6379): pp.1042-1046 (2018).

Vahey, M.D., D.A. Fletcher, “The biology of boundary conditions: cellular reconstitution in one, two, and three dimensions,” Current Opinion in Cell Biology 26: pp. 60-68 (2014).

Good, M.C., M.D. Vahey, A. Skandarajah, D.A. Fletcher, R. Heald, “Cytoplasmic volume modulates spindle size during embryogenesis,” Science 342(6160): pp. 856-860 (2013).

Vahey, M.D., J.P. Svensson, L. Quiros-Pesudo, L.D. Samson, and J. Voldman, “Microfluidic genome-wide profiling of intrinsic electrical properties in Saccharomyces cerevisiae,” Lab on a Chip 13: pp. 2754-63 (2013).

Vahey, M.D. and J. Voldman, "Emergent behavior in particle-laden microfluidic systems informs strategies for improving cell and particle separations," Lab on a Chip 11: p 2071-80 (2011).

Vahey, M.D. and J. Voldman, "Characterization of Diverse Cell and Particle Types Using Iso-Dielectric Separation," Analytical Chemistry 81(7): pp. 2446-55 (2009). Research Profile: “Double duty: isodielectric technique imultaneously separates and characterizes particles,” Analytical Chemistry 81(7): p. 2417 (2009).

Desai, S.P., M.D. Vahey, and J. Voldman, "Vesicle Libraries - Tools for Dielectrophoresis Metrology," Langmuir 25(6): pp. 3867-75 (2009).

Last Updated: 2/26/2022 2:49:44 PM

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