Emilio Ortiz-Riaño


  • October 1, 2012 - September 30, 2014 - Awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship for Diversity & Academic Excellence from the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity at the University of Rochester http://www.rochester.edu/diversity/faculty/visitingpostdoc.html

    February 2012 - 10th American Society of Microbiology Biodefense & Emerging Disease Research Meeting, Washington, DC


Emilio Ortiz-Riaño obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Chile in 2007.  During that year, he was awarded with a Fullbright/Conicyt felloEmilio Ortiz-Riano Biowship for graduate studies in the Unites States.

Upon entering the PhD program in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Emilio joined the laboratory of Dr. Luis Martinez-Sobrido, obtaining his Master of Science degree in the fall of 2010.


Research Description

Arenaviruses merit significant interest as clinically important human pathogens, including several causative agents of hemorrhagic fever disease. Using Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV), the prototype member in the family, we found that the viral nucleoprotein (NP) inhibits the interferon (IFN) response in infected cells. This was the first arenavirus protein described to block IFN as well as the first viral-encoded NP that counteracts the IFN response. Durant last 2 years, Emilio's work focused on characterizing the LCMV-NP domains required for self-association (NP-NP interaction) and interaction with the matrix (Z) protein (NP-Z interaction). We identified that the N-terminal domain of LCMV-NP is required for self-association while the C-terminal domain is involved in interaction with LCMV-Z, overlapping with the previously described anti-IFN domain. Currently, we are developing new reverse genetics approaches for, both, the identification of antivirals to treat arenavirus infections and the generation of recombinant arenavirus for vaccine production in FDA-approved cell lines to prevent arenavirus infections in humans.


Articles Published

  1. Acuña G, Ortiz-Riaño E, García L, Kettlun AM, Puente J, Collados L, Valenzuela MA. Application of capillary electrophoresis for the identification of Atlantic salmon and Rainbow trout under raw and heat-treatment; J Capill Electrophor Microchip Technol. 2008;10(5-6):93-9.

  2. Maldonado H, Ortiz-Riaño E, Krause B, Barriga A, Medina F, Pando ME, Alberti C, Kettlun AM, Collados L, García L, Cartier L, Valenzuela MA. Microtubule proteins and their post-translational forms in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with paraparesis associated with HTLV-I infection and in SH-SY5Y cells: an in vitro model of HTLV-I-induced disease; Biol Res. 2008;41(3):239-59

  3. Dezerega A, Pozo P, Hernández M, Oyarzún A, Rivera O, Dutzan N, Gutiérrez-Fernández A, Overall CM, Garrido M, Alcota M, Ortiz-Riaño E, Gamonal J. Chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-3 in progressive periodontal lesions in patients with chronic periodontitis. J Periodontol. 2010 Feb;81(2):267-76.

  4. Ortiz-Riaño E,  Cheng BY, de la Torre JC, Martínez-Sobrido L. The C-Terminal Region Of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Nucleoprotein Contains Distinct And Segregable Functional Domains Involved In NP-Z Interaction And Counteraction Of The Type I IFN Response. J Virol. 2011 Dec;85(24):13038-48.

  5. Ortiz-Riaño E, Cheng BY, de la Torre JC, Martínez-Sobrido L. Self-association of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Nucleoprotein is mediated by its N-terminal region and is not required for its anti-interferon function. J Virol. 2012 Mar;86(6):3307-17.

  6.  Rodrigo WWSI, Ortiz-Riaño E, Pythoud C, Kunz S, de la Torre JC, Martínez-Sobrido L. Arenavirus nucleoproteins prevent activation of nuclear factor kappa b. In press.J Virol. 2012.
  7. Ortiz-Riaño E, Pythoud C, Kunz S, de la Torre JC, Martínez-Sobrido L  Arenavirus Nucleoproteins Prevent Activation of Nuclear Factor Kappa B. J Virol. 2012 May 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 22623788
  8. Ortiz-Riaño E, Cheng BY, de la Torre JC, Martínez-Sobrido L. Arenavirus Reverse Genetics for Vaccine Development. Manuscript in preparation.

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