Dr. Vincent Racaniello is the Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT before joining the faculty at Columbia. In addition to his academic research career, Vincent is also a co-creator of BioCrowd (a social network for scientists), he runs the Virology Blog at virology.ws, and he hosts the fantastic “This Week in Virology”, “This Week in Parasitism”, and “This Week in Microbiology” podcasts. Vincent is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Vincent Racaniello has done laboratory research on viruses for over 30 years. After postdoctoral work with Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1982 he joined the Columbia University faculty. Dr. Racaniello is the recipient of an Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award, the Searle Scholars Award, the Eli Lilly Award of the American Society for Microbiology in 1992, and an NIH Merit Award. He was a Harvey Society Lecturer, University Lecturer at Columbia University, the First Lamb Professor at Vanderbilt University and presented the Hilleman Lecture at the University of Chicago. Dr. Racaniello has served as an editor for the Journal of Virology, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and PLoS Pathogens. He was a member of the WHO Steering Committee on Hepatitis/Polio, Chair of the Virology Study Section of the NIH, and Co-Chair of the Gordon Conference on Viruses and Cells. The research in Dr. Racaniello’s laboratory has focussed on the mechanisms of poliovirus replication and pathogenesis. His work produced the first infectious clone of an RNA virus, the discovery of the cell receptor for poliovirus, and the establishment of a transgenic mouse model for poliomyelitis. Following his belief that scientists must communicate their work to the public, he has co-authored a virology textbook, taught virology, distributed videocasts of his lectures online, written a blog about viruses, and produced podcasts on viruses, parasites, and bacteria. His goal is to be Earth’s virology Professor.