Medical Scientist Training Program    Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Campus Address CHB 107
Phone  (205) 996-7762
Other websites

Undergraduate  University of Arizona    1972  BA 
Medical School  University of Arizona    1976  MD 
Residency  McGill University Montreal Children's Hospital    1977  Intern 
Residency  University of Minnesota Hospital    1978  Residency 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor Distinguished
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor Distinguished
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Professor Distinguished
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Professor Distinguished
Center  Neurology   Ctr Neurodegeneration & Exp Ther (CNET) Professor Distinguished
Center  Civitan International Research Center  Civitan International Research Center Professor Distinguished
Center  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med Professor Distinguished
Primary  Pediatrics   Ped - Infectious Disease Professor Distinguished
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor Distinguished
Secondary  Neurobiology  Neurobiology Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Hughes Med-Grad Fellowship Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
William Britt graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1976 and following Pediatric internship (McGill University) and residency training (University of Minnesota), he joined the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Chesebro (NIH, NIAID, LPVD) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1978. He moved to UAB in 1982 and completed an Infectious Disease fellowship. He joined the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics in 1983. In 2002 he was named the Charles Alford Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
The American Academy of Microbiology  Fellow   

Research/Clinical Interest
Human Herpesviruses, Molecular Virology and Pathogenesis
Our laboratory has focused its efforts on two important aspects of the biology of herpesviruses; virus assembly and the pathogenesis of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. We have developed several in-vitro assay systems that permit the identification and characterization of critical protein interactions that take place during virus assembly. These studies have focused on both viral protein:protein interactions and interactions between viral proteins and cellular proteins critical for intracellular trafficking. Using BAC derived infectious clones, we have utilized virus genetics combined with imaging and biochemistry to understand the role of different viral proteins in the assembly of an infectious particle. Our results indicate that interactions between viral tegument and envelope proteins and in some cases host cell proteins are essential for infectious particle assembly. Inhibition of these interactions limit envelopment and virus assembly and therefore represent potential targets for the design of antiviral agents. A second major focus of our laboratory is the development of a small animal model of CNS disease associated with cytomegalovirus infections. We have exploited a finding that newborn mice infected with murine CMV develop CNS infection that leads to maldevelopment of the CNS, including abnormalities in cellular migration and development of the auditory system. This system has provided insight into the role of host inflammatory responses in altered CNS development that contribute the disease phenotype observed in both mice and humans.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Ross SA, Novak Z, , Pati, S, Patro RK, Blumenthal, J, Danthuluri, VR, Ahmed A, Michaels MG, Sanchez PJ, Bernstein DI, Tolan RW, Palmer AL, Britt, WJ, Fowler, KB, Boppana SB. Mixed infection and strain diversity in congenital cytomegalovirus infection. J Infect Dis. 2011 Oct 1;204(7):1003-7,   21881114 
Shimamura M.,Saunders, U, George, J, Britt WJ. Ganciclovir transiently attenuates murine cytomegalovirus associated renal allograft inflammation, Transplantation, 2011 Oct. 15;92(7):759-66,
Boppana S., Ross S., Shimamura M., Palmer A., Ahmed A., Michaels M., Sanchez P., Bersntein D., Tolan R., Novak Z., Chaudhury N., Britt WJ., Fowler K. Utility of Saliva Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays to Screen Newborns for Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 2;364(22):2111-8.
Slavuljica I, Busche A, Babić M, Mitrović M, Gašparović I, Cekinović D, Markova CE , Pugel EG, Ciković A, Juranić Lisnić V, Britt WJ, Koszinowski U, Messerle M , Krmpotić A, Jonjić S, A ligand for the NKD2D receptor expressed by mouse CMV attenuates the virus, changes virus distribution and improves vaccine properties, J Clin Invest. 2010 Dec 1;120(12):4532-45. doi: 10.1172/JCI43961. Epub 2010 Nov 22.   21099111 
Boppana SB, Ross SA, Novak Z, Shimamura M, Britt WJ, Tolan R, Palmer A, Michaels M, Sanchez P, Bernstein D, Fowler KB. Evaluation of Dried Blood Spot PCR in Screening Newborns for Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection. JAMA. 2010 14;303(14):1375-82.
Indran SV, Ballestas ME, Britt WJ.Bicaudal D1-Dependent Trafficking of Human Cytomegalovirus Tegument Protein Pp150 In Virus infected Cells J Virol. 2010 Jan 20. Apr;84(7):3162-77.   20089649 
Yamamoto AY, Mussi-Pinhata MM, Boppana SB, Novak Z, Wagatsuma VM, Oliveira
PD, Duarte G, Britt WJ. Human Cytomegalovirus reinfection is associated with intrauterine transmission in a highly cytomegalovuris-immune maternal population. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;202(3):297.e1-8.
Ross SA, Arora N, Novak Z, Fowler KB, Britt WJ, Boppana SB. Cytomegalovirus Reinfections in healthy seroimmune women. J Infect Dis. 2010 Feb 1;201(3):386-

Wang Z, Martinez J, Zhou W, LaRosa C, Srivastava T, Dasgupte A, Rawal R, Li Z, Britt WJ, Diamond D, Modified H5 promoter improcess stability of insert genes while maintaining immunogenicity during extended passage of genetically engineered MVA Vaccines, 2010 Feb 10;28(6):1547-57.

cytomegalovirus, perinatal infections, virus assembly