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Faculty Research Labs
The major focus of the Tilston Lab is to understand how novel bunyaviruses with distinct pathologies emerge via reassortant.

Tilston Lab

The major focus of the Tilston lab is to understand how novel bunyaviruses with distinct pathologies emerge via reassortant. Bunyaviruses are tri-segmented negative-sense RNA viruses that are primarily arthropod-transmitted. Bunyaviruses cause a spectrum of human and veterinary diseases. Lassa hemorrhagic fever, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever and Rift Valley fever are a few examples of devastating bunyaviral diseases. The segmented nature of the bunyavirus genome allows these viruses to undergo rapid evolution through a process of genome reassortment with other related bunyaviruses. Reassortment is responsible for antigenic shifts in influenza viruses which have been critical for the emergence of pandemic strains. Such effects on bunyaviruses are poorly understood. The goal of the Tilston Lab is to now fill in some of these knowledge gaps.

The main approaches utilized in the laboratory include molecular biology techniques, classical virology, multiplex in situ hybridization, RNA-RNA interaction assays, genomics and in vivo experiments.

To learn more, please visit our lab website.

Current Research Funding

NIH 4R00 AI153464-03

Understanding the Molecular Determinants of Reassortment in Orthobunyaviruses and Phleboviruses

Recent Publications

Nambulli S, Rennick LJ, Acciardo AS, Tilston-Lunel NL, Ho GW, BaCrossland NA, Hardcastle K, Nieto B, Bainbridge G, Williams T, Sharp CR, Duprex WP. FeMV is a cathepsin dependent unique morbillivirus infecting the kidneys of domestic cats. PNAS 2022, PMID: 36251995

Tilston-Lunel NL, Welch SR, Nambulli S, de Vries RD, Ho GW, Wentworth DE, Shabman R, Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF, de Swart RL, Rennick LJ, Duprex WP. Sustained Replication of Synthetic Canine Distemper Virus Defective Genomes In Vitro and In Vivo. mSphere 2021, PMID: 34550005

Nambulli S, Xiang Y, Tilston-Lunel NL, Rennick LJ, Shang Z, Klimstra WB, Reed DS, Crossland NA, Shi Y, Duprex WP (2021). Inhalable Nanobody (PiN-21) prevents and treats SARS-CoV-2 infections in Syrian hamsters at ultra-low doses, Science Advances, 7(22). PMID: 34039613

Barbeau DJ, Albe JR, Nambulli S, Tilston-Lunel NL, Hartman AL, Lakdawala S, Klein E, Duprex WP, McElroy AK (2020). Rift Valley Fever virus infection causes acute encephalitis in the ferret. mSphere, 5(5):e00798-20. PMID: 33115835

Hartman AL, Nambulli S, McMillen CM, White AG, Tilston-Lunel NL, Albe JR, et al. (2020) SARS-CoV-2 infection of African green monkeys results in mild respiratory disease discernible by PET/CT imaging and shedding of infectious virus from both respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. PLOS Pathogens, 16(9): e1008903. PMID: 32946524

View a full list of publications

Research Team

62379-Tilston-Lunel, Natasha

Natasha L. Tilston-Lunel, PhD

Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

Read Bio Natasha L. Tilston-Lunel, PhD

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Krista Gunter

Research Technician