Dr. Makino studies the molecular biology and host cell-virus interactions of two different RNA viruses: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SCoV) and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). SCoV is the etiological agent of the recently emerged human respiratory disease SARS. The Makino group studies various aspects of SCoV-host cell interactions, attempting to understand SCoV pathogenesis at the molecular level. RVFV causes severe epidemics in ruminants and is also recognized as a human pathogen. In humans, RVFV, a potential agent of bioterrorism, can cause fever and myalgia, a hemorrhagic syndrome, ocular disease, and encephalitis. His group has developed reverse genetics system of RVFV and uses it for understanding viral RNA synthesis, assembly, virus-host cell interactions and generation of RVFV vaccines.