Thomas Briese, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology (in the Center for Infection and Immunity)
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Dr. Briese's research interests include the molecular epidemiology of emerging viral diseases, virus-host cell interactions, and innovative approaches to pathogen diagnosis and discovery. He obtained his scientific education at the Free University Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, and the University of California at Irvine. He pioneered state-of-the-art methods in molecular biology to study the involvement of infectious agents in chronic and neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as in acute diseases. Dr. Briese was responsible for cloning the genome of Borna disease virus, a novel infectious agent potentially linked to some mental disorders. His achievements have been recognized by receipt of an Albertson Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. Another successful application of these powerful molecular techniques was the identification of the flavivirus responsible for the New York City encephalitis epidemic in 1999. In 2003, Dr. Briese participated in the investigation of the SARS epidemic, during which he visited and collaborated with Beijing research institutions by invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. He also served as an adviser to WHO. Current research efforts include the advancement of molecular detection tools for the rapid identification of potential bio-threat agents. In addition, Dr. Briese is involved in multi-center and birth cohort studies using molecular methods to assess the potential role of infection in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology (in the Center for Infection and Immunity)

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MS, 1983 Freie Universitat Berlin
  • PhD, 1987 Freie Universitat Berlin


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Research Interests

  • Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications

Briese T, Palacios G, Kokoris M, Jabado O, Liu Z, Renwick N, Kapoor V, Casas I, Pozo F, Limberger R, Perez-Brena P, Ju J, and Lipkin WI Diagnostic system for rapid and sensitive differential detection of pathogens Emerging Inf Dis 11 310-313 2005

Briese T, Rambaut A, and Lipkin WI Analysis of the medium (M) segment sequence of Guaroa virus and its comparison to other orthobunyaviruses J Gen Virol 85 3071-3077 2004

Zhai J, Briese T, Dai E, Wang X, Pang X, Du Z, Liu H, Wang J, Wang H, Guo Z, Chen Z, Jiang L, Zhou D, Han Y, Jabado O, Palacios G, Lipkin WI, and Yang R Real-time PCR detection of SARS coronavirus during the 2003 Beijing outbreak Emerging Inf Dis 10 300-303 2004

Briese, T., A. Rambaut, M. Pathmajeyan, J. Bishara, M. Weinberger, S. Pitlik and W. I. Lipkin Phylogenetic analysis of a human isolate from the 2000 Israel West Nile virus epidemic Emerging Inf Dis 8 528-531 2002

Briese T, Glass WG and Lipkin WI Detection of West Nile virus sequences in cerebrospinal fluid Lancet 355 1614-1615 2000

Jia XY, Briese T, Jordan I, Rambaut A, Chi HC, Mackenzie JS, Hall RA, Scherret J and Lipkin WI Genetic analysis of West Nile New York 1999 encephalitis virus Lancet 354 1971-1972 1999

Briese T, Jia XY, Huang C, Grady LJ and Lipkin WI Identification of a Kunjin/West Nile-like flavivirus in brains of patients with New York encephalitis Lancet 354 1261-1262 1999

Briese T, Schneemann A, Lewis AJ, Park Y, Kim S, Ludwig H and Lipkin WI Genomic organization of Borna disease virus Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A 91 4362-4366 1994

Briese T, de la Torre JC, Lewis A, Ludwig H and Lipkin WI Borna disease virus, a negative-strand RNA virus, transcribes in the nucleus of infected cells Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A 89 11486-11489 1992

Briese T and Hakenbeck R Interaction of the pneumococcal amidase with lipoteichoic acid and choline Eur J Biochem 146 417-427 1985