Nihal Altan-Bonnet, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Laboratory of Host-Pathogen Dynamics


50 South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet heads the Laboratory of Host-Pathogen Dynamics at the National Institutes of Health in the USA. Her lab is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of cell biologists, virologists, environmental engineers, and computational biologists who apply their talents to understand how viruses transmit themselves effectively among hosts and establish successful infections. Dr. Altan-Bonnet and her team have made groundbreaking discoveries that include:


Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet received her B.A. in biology and chemistry from Hunter College, New York, and her Ph.D. in cellular biophysics from The Rockefeller University. After her postdoctoral research with Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz at the NIH, she became an Assistant Professor in the department of biological sciences at Rutgers University. In 2013, Dr. Altan-Bonnet returned to the NIH as an Earl Stadtman Investigator, becoming head of the Laboratory of Host-Pathogen Dynamics at the NHLBI and was promoted to tenured Senior investigator in 2017. Dr. Altan-Bonnet has been recognized several times for her outstanding research. She has received the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), both Kavli and Scialog Fellowships and been elected as Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiology. She is an Associate editor at Science Advances, Molecular Biology of the Cell and mBio journals.

Selected Publications

  1. Ghosh S, Kumar M, Santiana M, Mishra A, Zhang M, Labayo H, Chibly AM, Nakamura H, Tanaka T, Henderson W, Lewis E, Voss O, Su Y, Belkaid Y, Chiorini JA, Hoffman MP, Altan-Bonnet N. Enteric viruses replicate in salivary glands and infect through saliva. Nature. 2022;607(7918):345-350.
  2. Ghosh S, Dellibovi-Ragheb TA, Kerviel A, Pak E, Qiu Q, Fisher M, Takvorian PM, Bleck C, Hsu VW, Fehr AR, Perlman S, Achar SR, Straus MR, Whittaker GR, de Haan CAM, Kehrl J, Altan-Bonnet G, Altan-Bonnet N. β-Coronaviruses Use Lysosomes for Egress Instead of the Biosynthetic Secretory Pathway. Cell. 2020;183(6):1520-1535.e14.
  3. Santiana M, Ghosh S, Ho BA, Rajasekaran V, Du WL, Mutsafi Y, De Jésus-Diaz DA, Sosnovtsev SV, Levenson EA, Parra GI, Takvorian PM, Cali A, Bleck C, Vlasova AN, Saif LJ, Patton JT, Lopalco P, Corcelli A, Green KY, Altan-Bonnet N. Vesicle-Cloaked Virus Clusters Are Optimal Units for Inter-organismal Viral Transmission. Cell Host Microbe. 2018;24(2):208-220.e8.
  4. Chen YH, Du W, Hagemeijer MC, Takvorian PM, Pau C, Cali A, Brantner CA, Stempinski ES, Connelly PS, Ma HC, Jiang P, Wimmer E, Altan-Bonnet G, Altan-Bonnet N. Phosphatidylserine vesicles enable efficient en bloc transmission of enteroviruses. Cell. 2015;160(4):619-630.
  5. Hsu NY, Ilnytska O, Belov G, Santiana M, Chen YH, Takvorian PM, Pau C, van der Schaar H, Kaushik-Basu N, Balla T, Cameron CE, Ehrenfeld E, van Kuppeveld FJ, Altan-Bonnet N. Viral reorganization of the secretory pathway generates distinct organelles for RNA replication. Cell. 2010;141(5):799-811.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 9, 2022