Marshall Elliott Bloom, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Biology of Vector-Borne Viruses Section


Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Building 28, Room 1A130
903 South 4th Street
Hamilton, MT 59840


Research Topics

The laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of viruses belonging to the tickborne encephalitis (TBE) virus complex of flaviviruses. Endemic throughout much of the northern hemisphere, these viruses can cause severe encephalitis, meningitis, or hemorrhagic fevers with relatively high mortality rates. Our research utilizes in vitro and animal models (mouse and tick) to examine the biology of acute and persistent infection in mammalian and arthropod systems. Understanding these aspects of virus biology will increase understanding of these important pathogens and may provide targets for the design of countermeasures. Methods employed include confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, electron cryotomography, immunohistochemistry, microarray analysis, nucleic acid sequencing, and molecular virology.


Dr. Bloom received his M.D. in 1971 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MI, and then joined the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) of NIAID in 1972 as a research associate. From 1975 to 1977, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the NIAID Laboratory of the Biology of Viruses on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. He returned to RML as a tenured investigator in 1977 and was a charter member of the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases. He is a world expert in the molecular biology and pathogenesis of parvoviruses and is considered an authority in biocontainment. In 2004, Dr. Bloom’s research group changed its focus to the pathogenesis of tickborne flaviviruses. In 2002, Dr. Bloom was appointed associate director for RML in NIAID’s Division of Intramural Research, and among his duties have been program supervision of the permitting, construction, and staffing of NIAID's first biosafety level-4 facility. In 2008, Dr. Bloom was named associate director for science management for RML in NIAID’s Division of Intramural Research. He has also served as acting chief of the NIAID new Laboratory of Virology and acting chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis.

Selected Publications

  1. Paules CI, Marston HD, Bloom ME, Fauci AS. Tickborne Diseases - Confronting a Growing Threat. N Engl J Med. 2018;379(8):701-703.
  2. Mlera L, Meade-White K, Saturday G, Scott D, Bloom ME. Modeling Powassan virus infection in Peromyscus leucopus, a natural host. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(1):e0005346.
  3. Grabowski JM, Tsetsarkin KA, Long D, Scott DP, Rosenke R, Schwan TG, Mlera L, Offerdahl DK, Pletnev AG, Bloom ME. Flavivirus Infection of Ixodes scapularis (Black-Legged Tick) Ex Vivo Organotypic Cultures and Applications for Disease Control. mBio. 2017;8(4).
  4. Offerdahl DK, Dorward DW, Hansen BT, Bloom ME. A three-dimensional comparison of tick-borne flavivirus infection in mammalian and tick cell lines. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47912.
  5. Scroggs SLP, Offerdahl DK, Stewart PE, Shaia C, Griffin AJ, Bloom ME. Of Murines and Humans: Modeling Persistent Powassan Disease in C57BL/6 Mice. mBio. 2023;14(2):e0360622.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, August 11, 2023