Immunology Experts

Richard W Compans, Phd

Emory University School of Medicine
United States of America


Dr. Compans is a Professor in (and former Chair of) the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Emory University School of Medicine and is the Scientific Director of the Influenza Pathogenesis & Immunology Research Center (IPIRC). Before coming to Emory in 1992, he was a professor in the microbiology department of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Compans received his Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University. 

Research Interest

Richard W. Compans, Ph.D is Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Emory University School of Medicine, and Scientific Director of the Emory/UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance.. He received his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University, where he studied the structure and assembly of parainfluenza viruses with Dr. Purnell W. Choppin, and carried out postdoctoral research on influenza virus with Dr. Frank Fenner at the Australia National University. Early studies on influenza virus by Dr. Compans and colleagues included characterization of the virion polypeptides, analysis of their organization in the virion , their biosynthesis and intracellular transport; determining the structure of the influenza helical nucleocapsid, demonstration that the influenza viral lipids are organized in a bilayer structure, and defining the function of the viral neuraminidase. Extensive studies were carried out on the use of influenza virus as a system for investigating the determinants of protein sorting and polarized virus release in epithelial cells. More recent studies have shown that the M1 and M2 proteins are important determinants of the morphology of the virion (spherical vs. filamentous). 

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