Luis Enjuanes has been working in the virology field for more than 40 years, including 36 years in coronaviruses. His present interest is the study of the mechanism of replication, transcription, virulence and virus-host interaction in coronavirus. He has published more than 235 peer reviewed articles and 65 book chapters. At present, he is Research Professor and Head of the Coronavirus Laboratory at the National Center of Biotechnology of the Spanish National Research Council (CNB-CSIC). He has been an NIH Fogarty Visiting Fellow at Bethesda, MD, and a Visiting Scientist at FCRC, NIH, MD. He is Professor of Virology at the University of Madrid and the Institute Pasteur of Paris. He has been named “Distinguish Senior Virologist” by the Spanish Society of Virology, and a Member of the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain. He is also a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, and an International member of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. He has been awarded the Medal to Merit in Research and University Education by the Government of Spain. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Virus Research.

Research Interests

Enjuanes group engineered the first infectious coronavirus cDNA clone using bacterial artificial chromosomes, which facilitated studies of virus replication and pathogenesis. They identified key viral and cellular proteins that interact with coronavirus RNA and are critical for virus replication. They made major contributions to understanding how short distance and long-distance RNA interactions were required for optimal coronavirus RNA transcription and replication. Enjuanes team was the first to show how a single small membrane protein (E) was critical for virus assembly, and regulated cell stress and the unfolded protein response. E protein was a virulence factor including a PDZ binding motif (PBM) at the carboxy-terminus of the three deadly human CoVs. This PBM binds a cellular protein (syntenin) activating p38 MAPK and leading to lung inflammation, edema, and mice death. Inhibitors of this signaling pathway significantly increased mice survival after infection with SARS-CoV. A second virulence factor described by Enjuanes team, the ion channel activity encoded in SARS-CoV E protein, regulates Ca++ transportation activating inflammasome and leading to lung edema. Enjuanes group has developed MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, based on replication-competent propagation-defective RNA replicons RNA replicons providing sterilizing immunity. These vaccines are delivered in two formats: chemically defined, composed of the RNA replicon and nanoparticles, or on propagation deficient virus-like particles (VLPs). These replicons induce sterilizing immunity in mice models.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences