Diane E. Griffin

Johns Hopkins University

Primary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Secondary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2004)


Diane E. Griffin, MD PhD is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Vice President of the US National Academy of Sciences. She earned her BA in Biology from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL and her MD and PhD in Immunology from Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in virology and infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and joined the Department of Medicine faculty in 1974. She is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Association of American Physicians and the AAAS and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Medicine and the NAS. She has been President of the American Society for Virology and the American Society for Microbiology and Vice President of the NAS. Awards include the Rudolf Virchow Medal, FASEB Excellence in Science, Maxwell Finland Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and Alice C Evans Award from the American Society for Microbiology.

Research Interests

Dr. Griffin's research on RNA viruses that cause two different acute diseases (measles and alphavirus encephalitis) seeks to understand the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, recovery and development of protective immunity. These studies involve identification and characterization of viral determinants of virulence and host responses to infection in animal model systems. Both measles virus and encephalitis viruses cause acute infections with disease lasting about a week.  Immune-mediated clearance of infectious virus occurs promptly but viral RNA persists after apparent recovery. The mechanism(s) of non-cytolytic viral clearance from mature neurons during recovery from encephalomyelitis is currently under study. Viral RNA persistence may lead to unexpected late complications of infection but during recovery from measles virus infection continued stimulation of the immune response may also contribute to development of lifelong protective immunity.

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