Andrew B. Janowski, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program

  • 314-273-6794

  • 314-273-6794

  • MSC-8116-16-06

  • MPRB 6231

  • abjanowski[at]


  • Virology, microbiology, pathogen discovery, host-virus interactions, viral immunity, astroviruses, encephalitis, myocarditis, viral RNA structures

  • Characterization of human diseases associated with novel viral infections

Research Abstract:

Dr Janowski's research concentrates on the discovery of novel viruses and determining what diseases these novel viruses can cause in humans. His current focus is on a family of RNA viruses known as astroviruses. For the past 40 years, these viruses have been considered primary pathogens of the gastrointestinal tract. Recently, these viruses have been identified to cause central nervous system infections in humans and other mammals. He has developed the first cell culture and animal model of infection with astrovirus VA1, a recently discovered astrovirus strain that is the most commonly identified astrovirus from cases of human encephalitis in children and adults. Surprisingly, astrovirus VA1 also has the capacity to infect cells of the heart and to cause myocarditis in mice, suggesting this virus could also cause cardiovascular diseases in humans. He aims to understand the mechanisms in which this virus causes disease in the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, and to develop treatments for patients with astrovirus infections.

In parallel, he has developed a reverse genetics system for astrovirus VA1. He is now using the system to dissect the important viral factors necessary for viral replication. Currently, he is focused on determining the function of the s2m element, a shared RNA sequence with a secondary structure that is rigorously conserved and present in other RNA viruses including SARS CoV-1, SARS CoV-2, picornaviruses, reoviruses, and calciviruses.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:

My mentorship philosophy is for everyone to be an active learner. Being a learner in science does not come by passive diffusion, but requires active uptake and participation of knowledge. I am a strong believer in the Socratic teaching method, aiming for the learner to teach me as much as he/she may know, and for me to fill in any gaps. Practicing science requires attention to detail with chance favoring the prepared mind. My goal is to provide the tools in which enables the learner to make decisions in any number of situations. It is not just about what you publish, but the skills that you learn. 

My dedication to teaching started in early in my life as I volunteered in elementary school classrooms in high school and college. Teaching remains one of my best skills, having earned the most Outstanding Fellow Teaching Award from the Department of Pediatrics. In the short-time my lab has started I am two for two in aiding my research technicians in being accepted to graduate school. 

The Janowski lab is committed to inclusion and diversity at Washington University. The lab continues to foster growth and equity of all members of the research community and to reach out to those underrepresented. My training in medicine has brought me to the forefront of disparities in our communities as I treat children of all backgrounds. My own background is representative of the diversity I aim to foster as I am of Chinese and European decent, as my maternal grandparents immigrated to the US from China around 70 years ago. 

Selected Publications:

Janowski AB, Owen MC, Dudley H, López T, Espinosa R, Elvin-Lewis M, Colichon A, Arias CF, Burbelo PD, Wang D. High Seropositivity Rate of Neutralizing Antibodies to Astrovirus VA1 in Human Populations. mSphere. 2021;e0048421.

Smith BK, Janowski AB, Fremont AC, Adams LJ, Dai YN, Farnsworth CW, Gronowski AM, Roper SM, Wang D, Fremont DH. Progression of SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in St. Louis, Missouri, through January 2021. mSphere. 2021;e0045021.

Janowski AB. Beyond the Gastrointestinal Tract: The Emerging and Diverse Tissue Tropisms of Astroviruses. Viruses. 2021;13(5).

Smith BK, Janowski AB, Danis JE, Harvey IB, Zhao H, Dai YN, Farnsworth CW, Gronowski AM, Roper S, Fremont DH, Wang D. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Children and Adults in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. mSphere. 2021;6(1). 

Dehority W, Janowski AB, Messacar K, Polgreen PM, Beekmann SE. Variability in the Use of Novel Diagnostic Technology in Children With Suspected Encephalitis and in the Management of Emerging Encephalitides by Pediatric Infectious Disease Providers. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2020. 

Janowski AB, Dudley H, Wang D. Antiviral activity of ribavirin and favipiravir against human astroviruses. J Clin Virol. 2019;123:104247. 

Kolawole AO, Mirabelli C, Hill DR, Svoboda SA, Janowski AB, Passalacqua KD, Rodriguez BN, Dame MK, Freiden P, Berger RP, Vu DL, Hosmillo M, O'Riordan MXD, Schultz-Cherry S, Guix S, Spence JR, Wang D, Wobus CE. Astrovirus replication in human intestinal enteroids reveals multi-cellular tropism and an intricate host innate immune landscape. PLoS Pathog. 2019;15(10):e1008057.

Janowski AB, Klein RS, Wang D. Differential In Vitro Infection of Neural Cells by Astroviruses. MBio. 2019;10(4). 

Bricker TL, Shafiuddin M, Gounder AP, Janowski AB, Zhao G, Williams GD, Jagger BW, Diamond MS, Bailey T, Kwon JH, Wang D, Boon ACM. Therapeutic efficacy of favipiravir against Bourbon virus in mice. PLoS Pathog. 2019;15(6):e1007790.

Janowski AB, Bauer IK, Holtz LR, Wang D. Propagation of astrovirus VA1, a neurotropic human astrovirus, in cell culture. J Virol. 2017.

Janowski AB, Krishnamurthy SR, Lim ES, Zhao G, Brenchley JM, Barouch DH, Thakwalakwa C, Manary MJ, Holtz LR, Wang D. Statoviruses, A novel taxon of RNA viruses present in the gastrointestinal tracts of diverse mammals. Virology. 2017;504:36-44.

Krishnamurthy SR, Janowski AB, Zhao G, Barouch D, Wang D. Hyperexpansion of RNA Bacteriophage Diversity. PLoS Biol. 2016;14(3):e1002409.

Last Updated: 6/20/2022 2:52:57 PM

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