Faculty bio page2
Nikos Vasilakis, PhD

Nikos Vasilakis, PhD, FASTMHProfessor and Vice Chair for Research

Department of Pathology
Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Center for Tropical Diseases
Institute for Human Infections and Immunity
Phone: (409) 747-0650
Lab:
(409) 747-2420
Cell:
(409) 771-2699
Email:
nivasila@utmb.edu

Nikos Vasilakis, PhD

  • Basic research on evolution and pathogenesis of arthropod-borne viruses, virus – mosquito, virus – host interactions and vaccine development
  • Role of viral intra-genic variation in transmission dynamics and emergence
  • Vaccine development
  • Discovery and characterization of novel/new viruses
BA Hofstra University Biology 1988
MA Hofstra University Biology 1992
PhD University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX Experimental Pathology 2007
Postdoctoral University of Pittsburgh Vaccine Development 2009
2001 Wyeth - Ayerst Research ‘Above and Beyond’ Award
2006 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
2007 Robert L. Harrison Award for Molecular/Cell Biology Research
2007 American Society of Virology Travel Award to attend 26th ASV - Corvallis, OR
2007 Dennis Bowman Memorial Scholarship Award
2008 American Society of Virology Travel Award to attend XVIth ICV - Istambul
2008 The Fine Foundation Scholar
2008 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Young Investigator Award
2011 American Society of Virology Travel Award to attend XVth ICV – Sapporo
2016 Researcher of the Year, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch
2016 Eagleson Lecture Award, presented by ABSA International at the 59th Annual Biosafety Conference
2016 Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FASTMH)
National
1999-Present American Society for Virology, Full member
2003-Present American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2003-Present American Society for Virology, Full member
2003-Present American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2003-Present American Committee on Arthropod-borne Viruses (ACAV)
2003-Present American Committee on Medical Entomology (ACME)
2010-Present Subcommittee on the Interrelationships Among Catalogued Arboviruses (SIRACA)
American Committee on Arthropod-borne Viruses (ACAV)
2013-2017 Executive Committee Council, American Committee on Arthropod-borne Viruses (ACAV) (elected position)
2015-2017 Chair, Executive Committee Council, American Committee on Arthropod-borne Viruses (ACAV)
2016-Present Member, Task Force on Zika, Global Virus Network (GVN)
2017-2020 Member, Digital Education Committee (DEC), American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2018-2021 Member, ASTMH Scientific Program Committee – Virology subcommittee, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
International  
2014 – 2020 International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses: Rhabdoviridae Study Group
2014 – 2020 International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses: Nyamiviridae Study Group
2014 – 2017 International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses: Mononegavirales Study Group
2015 – 2020 International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses: Mesoniviridae Study Group
  1. Vasilakis, N.; Cardosa, J.; Diallo, M.; Sall, A.A.; Holmes, E.C.; Hanley, K.A.; Weaver, S.C. Sylvatic Dengue Viruses Share the Pathogenic Potential of Urban Dengue Viruses. J. Virol. 84:3726-3727; 2010 [PMID: 20212326]
  2. Vasilakis, N.; Deardorff, E.R.; Kenney, J.; Rossi, S.L.; Hanley, K.A.; Weaver, S.C. Mosquitoes Put the Brake on Evolution: Experimental Evolution Reveals Slower Mutation Accumulation in Mosquito Cells than Vertebrate Cells. PLoS Pathogens, 5(6):e1000467; 2009 [PMID: 19503824] [PMCID: PMC2685980]
  3. Tang, X.; Li, G.; Vasilakis, N.; Zhang, Y.; Shi, Z.; Zhong, Y.; Wang, L-F.; Zhang, S. Differential Stepwise Evolution of SARS Coronavirus Functional Proteins in Different Host Species. BMC Evol. Biol. 9:52; 2009 [PMID: 19261195][PMCID: PMC2676248]
  4. Vasilakis, N.; Durbin, A.; Travassos da Rosa, A.A.P.; Munoz-Jordan, J.; Tesh, R.B.; Weaver, S.C. Antigenic Relationships between Sylvatic and Endemic Dengue Viruses. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 79:128-132; 2008 [PMID: 18606776]
  5. Vasilakis, N.; Fokam, E.B.; Hanson, C.T.; Weinberg, E.; Sall, A.A.; Whitehead, S.S.; Hanley, K.A.; Weaver, S.C. Genetic and Phenotypic Characterization of Sylvatic Dengue Virus Type 2 Strains. Virology 377:296-307; 2008 [PMID: 18570968]
  6. Coffey, L.L.; Vasilakis, N.; Brault, A.C.; Powers, A.; Tripet, F.; Weaver, S.C. Arbovirus Evolution in vivo is Constrained by Host Alternation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:6970 - 6975; 2008 [PMID: 18458341][PMCID: PMC2383930]
  7. Vasilakis, N.; Tesh, R.B.; Weaver, S.C. Sylvatic Dengue Virus Type 2 Activity in Humans, Nigeria, 1966. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 14:502 - 504; 2008 [PMID: 18325274][PMCID: PMC2570833]
  8. Vasilakis, N.; Holmes, E.C.; Fokam, E.B.; Faye, O.; Diallo, M.; Sall, A.A.; Weaver, S.C. Evolutionary Processes among Sylvatic Dengue-2 Viruses. J. Virol. 81:9591 - 9595; 2007 [PMID: 17553878][PMCID: 1951459]
  9. Vasilakis, N.; Shell, E.J.; Fokam, E.F.; Mason, P.W.; Hanley, K.A.; Estes, D.M.; Weaver, S.C.  Potential of Ancestral Dengue-2 Viruses to Re-emerge. Virology 358:402 - 412; 2007 [PMID: 17014880]
  10. Vasilakis, N.; Falvey, D.; Gangolli, S.; Coleman, J.; Kowalski, J.; Zamb, T.; Udem, S.A.; Kovacs, G.R. Transfection - independent Production of Alphavirus Replicon Particles Based on Poxvirus Expression Vectors. Nature Biotechnology 21:932 - 935; 2003 [PMID: 12845329]
  11. Kovacs, G.R.; Parks, C.L.; Vasilakis, N.; Udem, S.A. Enhancement of Genetic Rescues of a Mononegavirus Using a Novel Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara-T7 Polymerase Vector and DNA Replication Inhibitors.  J. Virol. Methods 111:29 - 36; 2003 [PMID: 12821194]
  12. Gangolli, S.G.; Vasilakis, N.; Kovacs, G.R.; Zamb, T.J.; Kowalski, J. A Method of Alphavirus Replicon Particle Titration Based on Expression of Functional Replicase/Transcriptase. J. Virol. Methods 109:133 - 138; 2003 [PMID: 12711055]
  13. Parks, C. L.; Wang, H.-P.; Kovacs, G. R.; Vasilakis, N.; Kowalski, J.; Nowak, R. M.; Lerch, R.A.; Walpita, P.; Sidhu, M.S.; Udem, S.A. Expression of a Foreign Gene by Recombinant Canine Distemper Virus Recovered from Cloned DNAs. Virus Research 83:131 - 147; 2002 [PMID: 11864746]
  14. Kovacs, G.R.; Vasilakis, N.; Moss, B. Regulation of Viral Intermediate Gene Expression by the Vaccinia Virus B1 Protein Kinase. J. Virol. 75: 4048 - 4055; 2001 [PMID: 11287554] [PMCID: 114150]

Book Chapters:

  1. Vasilakis, N. and Weaver, S.C. (2008). The History and Evolution of Human Dengue Emergence. In: Maramorosch, K., Murphy, F.A. and Shatkin, A.J., Eds. Advances in Virus Research, vol. 72, pp. 1-76; Academic Press, Burlington, USA. ISBN: 978-0-12-374322-0 [PMID: 19081488]
  2. Vasilakis, N.; Hanley, K.A.; Weaver, S.C. (2010). Dengue Virus Emergence from its Sylvatic Cycle. In: "Frontiers in Dengue Virus Research” (Hanley, K.A. and Weaver, S.C., Eds). Caister Academic Press, Norwich, UK. ISBN: 978-1-904455-50-9

NIH Biosketch

Nature Reviews Microbiology: Fever from the forest: prospects for the continued emergence of sylvatic dengue virus and its impact on public health.