Alexander Freiberg, PhD

Director, Robert E. Shope Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory (BSL4)

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Strategic Pillar

Dr. Randall Urban, VP and Chief Research Officer, has determined that UTMB research should be prioritized into six health communities. This researcher has received the following badge(s):

Research interests

One main research interest is in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which emerging RNA viruses cause encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever diseases. We are characterizing the host innate immune response and activation of cellular signaling pathways following viral infection, with a major interest on infections caused by Nipah and Hendra viruses, Tick-borne encephalitis viruses, as well as Rift Valley fever virus. The goal is to better understand the role that the host cell-mediated immune response may play in development of encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever diseases. These studies are being performed in BSL-2, BSL-3E and BSL-4 containment facilities. In addition, another project focuses on understanding the structure and assembly of high-containment classified viruses, with a major focus on bunyaviruses using cryo-electron microscopy and biophysical techniques. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of Rift Valley fever virus, and are analyzing the arrangement and interaction of the two viral glycoproteins within the virus particle. This information can be utilized to develop structure-based vaccines and antivirals. In collaboration with partners in academia and in biotechnology, we are also working on the identification and characterization of broad spectrum antivirals and on testing novel vaccine platforms against Filo-, Bunya-, Henipa-, Arena- and Flaviviruses.

Education/Academic qualification

Arbovirology, Structural Virology, Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX


Physical Biochemistry, PhD, University of Potsdam, Germany

… → 2005

Biochemistry, Diploma, University of Potsdam, Germany

… → 2000

Research Strategic Pillar Keywords

  • Infectious/ Immunological Health


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