Nihal Altan-Bonnet, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Host-Pathogen Dynamics


50 South Dr
Bethesda, MD 20814
United States


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 in 1992 and her Ph.D. in cell biology from The Rockefeller University in 1998. She then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz at the National Institute of Child Health and Development at the NIH from 1999 to 2005 before receiving a faculty position 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, receiving the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) in 2012, being named the John J. Holland lecturer at the American Society of Virology in 2017, and receiving the Norman Salzman Mentor Award in Virology in 2018. Dr. Altan-Bonnet was also named a Kavli Fellow and Scialog Fellow from 2013-2016. She is an Associate editor at the Molecular Biology of the Cell and is a member of the American Societies for Virology, Microbiology, and Cell Biology.

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 Thursday, February 9, 2023