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Alan L. Schmaljohn

Alan L. Schmaljohn Ph.D.

Academic Title: Professor
Primary Appointment: Microbiology and Immunology
Location: HSF-I, 322B
Phone: (240) 626-3704

Personal History:

Dr. Alan Schmaljohn is known principally as a virologist, with breadth of knowledge and expertise in vaccine discovery, immune responses, and antibody-based therapies for hazardous and emerging arboviruses and viral zoonoses. Currently a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Dr. Schmaljohn retired in 2007 from a 21-year civilian career with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, MD. There, he served principally as leader of research and development teams, much of it in the capacity of Chief, Viral Pathogenesis and Immunology Branch. Before USAMRIID, Dr. Schmaljohn had been an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, this after postdoctoral positions at UMB and Johns Hopkins. In graduate school, he had transformed his undergraduate degree in Medical Technology (from the University of Nebraska) into a passion for infectious diseases, which flourished at Colorado State University (CSU) in a scientific milieu that included the veterinary school and the nearby arbovirology branch of the CDC. Dr. Schmaljohn received his PhD in Microbiology from CSU in 1981. His laboratory interests and published works have spanned several viral genera (filoviruses, orthopoxviruses, alphaviruses, hantaviruses, bunyaviruses, arenaviruses); immunologic niches (cytotoxic T lymphocytes, humoral immunity including monoclonal antibodies, peptides, anti-idiotypes, dendritic cells); virologic topics (isolation and characterization of new viruses, receptors, antibody escape mutants, epitope mapping, reassortants, envelope structure/function, pathogenesis); and vaccine strategies (alphavirus replicons, DNA vaccines, adenovirus, baculovirus recombinants, vaccinia virus recombinants, classical live or killed vaccines, virus-like particles). Seminal scientific contributions have included a candidate vaccine for Marburg virus, isolation of an American hantavirus now called Sin Nombre virus, and establishment of the importance of non-neutralizing antibodies in resistance to viral infections. Schmaljohn is an inventor on several patents, including new vaccines or treatments for poxviruses, Marburg, and Ebola viruses.


Schmaljohn A.L. (2013) Protective Antiviral Antibodies that Lack Neutralizing Activity: Precedents and Evolution of Concepts. Curr HIV Res. 2013 Jul 1;11(5):345–53.

Mohamadzadeh, M., Chen, L., and Schmaljohn, A. L. (2007). How Ebola and Marburg viruses battle the immune system. Nat Rev Immunol 7:556-567

Lofts, L.L., Ibrahim, M.S., Negley, D.L., Hevey, M.C. & Schmaljohn, A.L. Genomic differences between guinea pig lethal and nonlethal Marburg virus variants. J Infect Dis 196 Suppl 2, S305-312 (2007).

Hooper, J. W., Thompson, E., Wilhelmsen, C., Zimmerman, M., Ichou, M. A., Steffen, S. E., Schmaljohn, C. S., Schmaljohn, A. L., and Jahrling, P. B. (2004). Smallpox DNA vaccine protects nonhuman primates against lethal monkeypox. J Virol 78(9), 4433-43

Bosio CM, Aman MJ, Grogan C, Hogan R, Ruthel G, Negley D, Mohamadzadeh M, Bavari S, Schmaljohn A. Ebola and Marburg viruses replicate in monocyte-derived dendritic cells without inducing the production of cytokines and full maturation. J Infect Dis. 2003 Dec 1;188(11):1630-8

Wilson JA, Hevey M, Bakken R, Guest S, Bray M, Schmaljohn AL, Hart MK. Epitopes involved in antibody-mediated protection from Ebola virus. Science 2000;287:1664-1666.

Hevey M, Negley D, Pushko P, Smith J, Schmaljohn A. Marburg virus vaccines based upon alphavirus replicons protect guinea pigs and nonhuman primates. Virology 1998;251:28-37.

Schmaljohn AL, Li D, Negley DL, Bressler DS, Turell MJ, Korch GW, Ascher MS, Schmaljohn CS. Isolation and initial characterization of a newfound hantavirus from California. Virology 1995;206:963-972.

Schmaljohn AL, Johnson ED, Dalrymple JM, Cole GA. Non-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies can prevent lethal alphavirus encephalitis. Nature 1982;297:70-72.