John T. Patton joined our faculty last August as an associate professor and will serve as the department's first Lawrence M. Blatt Chair of Virology.
“John’s seminal contributions to the field of rotaviruses and RNA viruses, as well as the general virology community, have been outstanding. We're excited to have someone with John's experience and expertise to step into this role of further developing virology research and education within our department,” said Greg Demas, chair and professor of biology.
Patton obtained his Ph.D. in microbiology from Virginia Tech and was a postdoctoral fellow in virology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining IU Biology, he was an associate professor at the University of Maryland. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Patton's research involves the molecular biology of rotaviruses—important pathogens causing gastroenteritis in infants and young children. His focus is on the mechanisms used by these viruses to replicate their segmented RNA genomes and to suppress innate immune responses.
The Lawrence M. Blatt Chair of Virology is funded by a $2 million endowment from alumnus Larry Blatt. Blatt received a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from IU in 1983. He is a pioneering virologist and founder of Alios BioPharma Inc. (a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that developed therapeutics for a range of viral infections).