University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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MICaB Faculty

Craig J Bierle

Assistant Professor,
Department of Pediatrics
University of Washington, 2012, Ph.D.

Campus Mail Address: LRB/MTRF 2-426
2001 6th St SE
Office Phone: 612-624-3226
Office Address: MTRF 3-210
Lab Phone: 612-626-6060
Web Page:

Research Interests:

Perinatal virology and reproductive immunology
Infections are the leading preventable cause of stillbirth, premature birth, and developmental disability in children. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus and the most common viral infection of pregnancy. HCMV is vertically transmitted in between 0.5 to 2% of pregnancies, and the virus kills or disables an estimated 8000 children annually in the United States. By combining emerging technologies such as genome engineering and next generation sequencing with traditional molecular biology, we study host-pathogen interactions at the maternal-fetal interface and utilize in vitro and in vivomodels of CMV infection to understand how viruses infect the placenta and transmit to the fetus. By elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for perinatal viral infection, we aim to identify new targets for CMV vaccine and drug development.

Selected Recent Publications:

NCBI Profile

  • Bierle CJ, Fernandez-Alarcon C, Hernandez-Alvarado N, Zabeli JC, Janus BC, Putri DS, Schleiss MR. Assessing Zika virus replication and the development of Zika-specific antibodies after a mid-gestation viral challenge in guinea pigs. PLoS ONE. 12(11): e0187720.
  • Anderholm KM, Bierle CJ, Schleiss MR. Cytomegalovirus Vaccines: Current Status and Future Prospects. Drugs. 2016; 76:1625-1645.
  • Boldenow E, Gendrin C, Ngo L, Bierle C, Vornhagen J, Coleman M, Merillat S, Armistead B, Whidbey C, Alishetti V, Santana-Ufret V, Ogle J, Gough M, Srinouanprachanh S, MacDonald JW, Bammler TK, Bansal A, Liggitt HD, Rajagopal L, Adams Waldorf KM. Group B Streptococcus Circumvents Neutrophils and Neutrophil Extracellular Traps During Amniotic Cavity Invasion and Preterm Labor. Science Immunology. 2016; Oct 14. 1(4).
  • McVoy MA, Wang JB, Dittmer DP, Bierle CJ, Swanson EC, Fernandez-Alarcon C, Hernandez-Alvarado N, Zabeli JC, Schleiss MR. Repair of a Mutation Disrupting the Guinea Pig Cytomegalovirus Pentameric Complex Acquired during Fibroblast Passage Restores Pathogenesis in Immune-Suppressed Guinea Pigs and in the Context of Congenital Infection. J Virol. 2016; 90:7715-7727.