Positions

Professor and Interim Chief, Section of Infectious Diseases
Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States
John S. Dunn Research Foundation Clinical Professorship in Infectious Diseases Honoring Temple W. Williams, Jr., M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States

Education

Advanced Training from Baylor College Of Medicine Affiliate Hospitals
Advanced Training from Methodist Hospital
Advanced Training from Baylor College Of Medicine Affiliate Hospitals
Advanced Training from Baylor College Of Medicine
MD from Baylor College Of Medicine
BS from Texas A&M University

Professional Interests

  • Respiratory viral pathogens
  • Enteric viruses and environmental virology

Professional Statement

Dr. Atmar research interests include the study of enteric viruses, respiratory viruses and vaccine evaluation. The principal focus of his enteric virus work has been on noroviruses. These viruses are the most common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis and the largest identified cause of foodborne disease. His laboratory has pursued the development of molecular methods to detect these viruses in environmental samples (e.g., water) and in foodstuffs. Other studies have sought to understand the pathogenesis of norovirus-associated disease, including the human response to vaccination, and to evaluate strategies for the prevention of infection and disease.

Dr. Atmar also has a longstanding interest in the study of respiratory viral pathogens, including their epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The emphasis of his research is on the role of these pathogens in persons with chronic respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive lung disease. This includes the role of respiratory viruses as precipitants of asthma and exacerbations of chronic obstructive lung disease and the interaction of respiratory viral infections with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in patients with chronic bronchitis.

Dr. Atmar is a member of the Baylor Vaccine Research Center and the federally funded Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit (VTEU). This research group performs Phase I to Phase IV studies of experimental and licensed vaccines, and Dr. Atmar serves as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for the clinical trials. Dr. Atmar and the research group have been involved in important studies that led to the licensure of live attenuated and high dose inactivated influenza virus vaccines. They also have performed many studies evaluating vaccines targeting pandemic influenza, including H5N1, H9N2 and H7N9 viruses, and they have evaluated methods to improve vaccine immunogenicity, including delivery of vaccine by different routes of administration, different dosages, and with different adjuvant preparations. The group has also evaluated vaccines targeting other pathogens, including those with importance to biodefense.