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Joanna L Shisler

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Contact Information

Note: Dr. Shisler works for the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Va.
Program Director at the National Science Foundation

Research Interests

Research Topics

Host-Pathogen Interactions, Virology

Disease Research Interests

Infectious Diseases

Research Description

Immune evasion strategies of viruses; molecular disinfection of viruses; molecular tracking viruses in the environment

Viruses are one of the most abundant microorganisms on the planet, infecting every form of life from humans to bacteria. Mammalian viruses, many of which are zoonotic (i.e., transmitted to humans from other animals), are directly responsible for some of the worst diseases known to man (e.g., Ebola virus, HIV), and for common causes of morbidity and mortality around the world (e.g., norovirus, influenza virus).

Understanding, detecting and controlling viruses continue to be grand challenges in science because so little is known about the fundamental properties of viruses and their interactions with the environment, and because they vary greatly with respect to their genomes and replication cycles.

I am interested in asking fundamental questions about virology:

  • What are the molecular properties of viruses that make them resistant or susceptible to disinfection in natural settings versus hospitals or water treatment plants?
  • How do viruses evade the immune system to cause disease?
  • How does the physical environment affect virus evolution and spread?


B.A. (Microbiology), Miami University, 1990
Ph.D. (Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis), Emory University, 1996
Postdoctoral (Virology), Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 1997-2001

Additional Campus Affiliations

Affiliate, Microbiology

Recent Publications

Uprety, S., Ngo, I., Maggos, M., Dangol, B., Sherchan, S. P., Shisler, J. L., Amarasiri, M., Sano, D., & Nguyen, T. H. (2024). Multiple pathogen contamination of water, hands, and fomites in rural Nepal and the effect of WaSH interventions. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 257, Article 114341.

Usmani, M., Brumfield, K. D., Magers, B., Zhou, A., Oh, C., Mao, Y., Brown, W., Schmidt, A., Wu, C. Y., Shisler, J. L., Nguyen, T. H., Huq, A., Colwell, R., & Jutla, A. (2024). Building Environmental and Sociological Predictive Intelligence to Understand the Seasonal Threat of SARS-CoV-2 in Human Populations. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 110(3), 518-528.

Cong, W., Pike, A., Gonçalves, K., Shisler, J. L., & Mariñas, B. J. (2023). Inactivation Kinetics and Replication Cycle Inhibition of Coxsackievirus B5 by Free Chlorine. Environmental Science and Technology, 57(47), 18690-18699.

Mao, Y., Zeineldin, M., Usmani, M., Jutla, A., Shisler, J. L., Whitaker, R. J., & Nguyen, T. H. (2023). Local and Environmental Reservoirs of Salmonella enterica After Hurricane Florence Flooding. GeoHealth, 7(11), Article e2023GH000877.

Oh, C., Zhou, A., O’Brien, K., Schmidt IV, A. R., Shisler, J. L., Schmidt, A. R., Keefer, L., Brown, W. M., & Nguyen, T. H. (2023). Improved performance of nucleic acid-based assays for genetically diverse norovirus surveillance. medRxiv.

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