Christiane Wobus

Christiane E. Wobus, M.S., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

5622A MSII



Dr. Christiane Wobus is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. She joined the department in 2007 and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. In 2014, she was also awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation in Germany. Before joining the University of Michigan, Dr. Wobus was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where she co-discovered murine norovirus and subsequently developed the first cell culture system for noroviruses. She received her undergraduate training in Germany before moving to Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, where she obtained her M.Sc. in 1997 studying the plant virus pea enation mosaic virus. She then returned to Germany for her doctoral studies on adeno-associated viruses at the German Cancer Research Institute, Heidelberg, and obtained her Ph.D. degree in 2000. Currently, Dr. Wobus’ research focuses on norovirus and astrovirus – host interactions. Her long-term goal is to identify conserved features between enteric viruses and across species that may ultimately lead to the development of effective prevention and control strategies for human noroviruses and astroviruses, major causes of non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. During the COVID pandemic, her lab also engaged in collaborative studies investigating SARS-CoV-2. At the national and international level, Dr. Wobus is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Virology, an editor for Journal of General Virology and associate editor for PLoS Pathogens. She currently serves on the American Society of Virology Travel Award committee and NIH VIRA study section.

Areas of Interest

The Wobus lab is interested in mechanisms of norovirus and astrovirus - host interactions. Noroviruses and astroviruses are major causes of viral gastroenteritis worldwide resulting in substantial morbidity and economic loss. However, little information is available about the biology of these viruses and no directed disease prevention and control strategies exist. With our discovery of the first murine norovirus (MNV-1) and hence the availability of a small animal model, the development of the first in vitro culture system and reverse genetics system for a norovirus, we have a unique system to undertake a detailed analysis of different aspects of norovirus biology. More recently, we have expanded our studies to human intestinal organoid systems to study human noroviruses and human astroviruses to compare and contrast human vs murine noroviruses and define shared features of enteric viruses, respectively. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are also performing collaborative studies with infectious SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture.

Published Articles or Reviews

Kolawole, A.O., Wobus, C.E.: Gastrointestinal organoid technology advances studies of enteric virus biology. (2020) PLoS Pathogens 16 (1): e1008212.

Graziano, V.R., Walker, F.C., Kennedy, E.A., Wei, J., Ettayebi, K., Strine, M.S., Filler, R.B., Hassan, E., Hsieh, L.L., Kim, A.S., Kolawole, A.O., Wobus, C.E., Lindesmith, L.C., Baric, R.S., Estes, M.K., Orchard, R.C., Baldridge, M.T., Wilen, C.B. (2020) CD300lf is the primary physiologic receptor of murine norovirus but not human norovirus. PLoS Pathogens 16 (4): e1008242. 

Rockey, N., Young, S., Kohn, T., Pecson, B., Wobus, C.E., Raskin, L., Wigginton, K.R. (2020) UV Disinfection of Human Norovirus: Evaluating Infectivity Using a Genome-Wide PCR-Based Approach. Environmental Science and Technology 54 (5): 2851-2858.

Grau, K.R., Zhu, S., Peterson, S.T., Helm, E.W., Philip, D., Phillips, M., Hernandez, A., Turula, H., Frasse, P., Graziano, V.R., Wilen, C.B., Wobus, C.E., Baldridge, M.T., Karst, S.M. (2020) The intestinal regionalization of acute norovirus infection is regulated by the microbiota via bile acid-mediated priming of type III interferon. Nature Microbiology 5 (1): 84-92. 

Kolawole, A.O., Mirabelli, C., Hill, D.R., Svoboda, S.A., Janowski, A.B., Passalacqua, K.D., Rodriguez, B.N., Dame, M.K., Freiden, P., Berger, R.P., Vu, D.L., Hosmillo, M., O'Riordan, M.X.D., Schultz-Cherry, S., Guix, S., Spence, J.R., Wang, D., Wobus,C.E. (2019) Astrovirus replication in human intestinal enteroids reveals multi-cellular tropism and an intricate host innate immune landscape. PLoS Pathogens 15 (10): e1008057.

Passalacqua, K.D., Purdy, J.G., Wobus, C.E. (2019) The inert meets the living: The expanding view of metabolic alterations during viral pathogenesis. PLoS Pathogens 15 (7): e1007830.  

Passalacqua, K.D., Lu, J., Goodfellow, I., Kolawole, A.O., Arche, J.R., Maddox, R.J., Carnahan, K.E., O'Riordan, M.X.D., Wobus, C.E. (2019) Glycolysis Is an Intrinsic Factor for Optimal Replication of a Norovirus. mBIO 10, e02175-18. Featured under “research highlights” in Nature Microbiology

Turula, H., Bragazzi Cunha, J., Mainou, B.A., Ramakrishnan, S.K., Wilke, C.A., Gonzalez-Hernandez, M.B., Pry, A., Fava, J., Bassis, C.M., Edelman, J., Shah, Y.M., Corthesy, B., Moore, B.B., Wobus, C.E. (2018) Natural Secretory Immunoglobulins Promote Enteric Viral Infections. Journal of Virology 92, e00826-18.

Kolawole, A.O., Rocha-Pereira, J., Elftman, M.D., Neyts, J., Wobus, C.E. (2016) Inhibition of human norovirus by a viral polymerase inhibitor in the B cell culture system and in the mouse model. Antiviral Research 132: 46-9.

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