Alexander G. Pletnev, Ph.D., D.Sci.

Senior Investigator

Neurotropic Flaviviruses Section


Building 33, Room 3W10A
33 North Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892


Research Topics

Flaviviruses, such as mosquito-borne West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, and Japanese encephalitis viruses and tick-borne encephalitis viruses, are important neurotropic human pathogens, causing a devastating and often fatal neuroinfection. During the past two decades, both mosquito- and tick-borne flaviviruses have emerged in new geographic areas of the world where they were not previously endemic and have caused outbreaks of diseases in humans and domestic animals. Despite many attempts, licensed, safe, and effective live virus vaccines against these neurotropic viruses are not available.

The main goal and objective of our research projects is the development of safe live, attenuated virus vaccines that will be effective in preventing diseases caused by the highly virulent neurotropic viruses of the Flaviviridae family: tick-borne encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and St. Louis encephalitis virus.


Dr. Pletnev earned his Ph.D. in 1983 in chemistry from the Russian Academy of Sciences, studying RNA polymerases. Following postdoctoral research at the Novosibirsk Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, he served as chief of the laboratory of radiochemistry and the laboratory of molecular virology from 1984 to 1993 and became a professor in molecular biology in 1993. In 1990, he received his doctorate of sciences degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences. He joined the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases in 1993 as a visiting scientist and became a senior investigator in 2005.

Selected Publications

This page was last updated on May 23rd, 2017