HMS Virology

Virology Faculty Member - George Church

George Church

Harvard Medical School
Genetics, NRB, Rm. 238D
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-432-7562
Lab Members: 38 postdoctoral fellows, 26 graduate students, 3 undergraduate students
Visit my lab page here.

Our lab works on AAV therapeutic vectors, including evasion of innate immunity, capsid design via machine learning with large synthetic libraries for multiplex testing of tissue tropism and evasion of cell/humoral immunity. We study variation in human populations to various viruses including rare neutralizing antibodies for HIV. We are interested in near-extinction-scale Elephant and Swine Viruses (EEHV and ASFV). We also study the effects of inactivating all endogenous viral-like elements (e.g. ERVs and LINEs).  We have projects to make any cell or organism resistant to all viruses (all horizontal transfers) by changing the host genetic code.  We have done this for one bacterial genome and are working on pig, mouse and human cells. We harness viral and anti-viral mechanisms (e.g. recombinases, CRISPR, deaminases) to develop new editing technologies.

Last Update: 8/10/2020


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Ogden PJ, Kelsic ED, Church GM (2019) Comprehensive AAV capsid fitness landscape reveals a viral gene and enables machine-guided design. Science. 366: 1139–1143  
Niu D, et al.  (2017) Inactivation of porcine endogenous retrovirus in pigs using CRISPR-Cas9. Science 357: 1303–1307.
Ostrov N, et al. (2016) Design, Synthesis and Testing Towards a 57-Codon Genome. Science 353:819-22.
Vigneault F, et al. (2010) Transcriptional profiling of CD4 T cells identifies distinct subgroups of HIV-1 elite controllers. J.Virol. 85:3015-9. 

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