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IMV Executive Assistant


tel. (612) 624-1926

fax. (612) 625-1108


18-242 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

General Questions:

Michael Murtaugh,

Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine

Phone: (612) 625-6735



Ph.D., Ohio State University
Post-Doctoral, University of Texas Medical School, Houston

Research Interests

The Murtaugh laboratory seeks a comprehensive understanding of porcine immune responses to infectious pathogens, particularly at mucosal surfaces. We have established an oral immunization model for the induction of mucosal immune responses in swine and have explored the role of cytokines in mediating mucosal adjuvanticity. Cholera toxin is a potent oral adjuvant for both local and distant mucosal, and for systemic responses, and elicits both antibody and cell-mediated immunity. These effects are associated with induction of IL-1, IL-12 and costimulatory molecule expression on macrophages. Currently, we are using gene discovery approaches and Salmonella as a model pathogen to identify the complete catalog of molecular responses to intestinal infection. The overall goal of this investigation is to elucidate the initiating molecular and cellular responses in the small intestine that are crucial in determining the outcome of enteric infection and the extent to which they are modified by opioid drugs.

A second programmatic interest is to understand the evolution of PRRSV and its interaction with pigs. This positive, single-stranded RNA virus recombines at a high rate to produce chimeric genomes and novel subgenomic RNAs. Understanding the biochemistry and molecular biology of recombination will provide insights into fundamental mechanisms of viral evolution and radiation that may be related to the appearance of novel diseases in swine and other species. The results of our research will help the development of novel approaches for treatment of enteric illness and disease, and also will help to identify new pharmacological and immunologic targets capable of enhancing the efficacy of drugs and vaccines. We also are involved in collaborative studies to examine the effect of HIV infection on patterns of gene expression in mucosal immune tissues, and to study the patterns of cytokine and cytolytic T cell effector molecule expression associated with engraftment and rejection of islet xenotransplants between pigs and monkeys.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Yuan S, Murtaugh MP, Schumann FA, Mickelson D, Faaberg KS. 2003. Characterization of heteroclite subgenomic RNAs associated with PRRSV infection. Virology.
  • Wijkstrom M, Kirchhof N, Harmon JV, Clemmings SM, Hardstedt M, Gebauer B, Trexler A, Finnegan C, Nakano M, Sawada T, Szot GL, Kandaswamy R, Sutherland DER, Murtaugh MP, Bluestone JA, Hering BJ. 2003. Effect of combined immunotherapy and pretransplant donor splenocyte transfusion on islet allograft survival in nonhuman primates. Transplantation.
  • Foss DL, Bennaars A, Pennell CA, Moody MD, Murtaugh MP. 2003. Differentiation of porcine dendritic cells by granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor expressed in Pichia pastoris. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 91:205-215.
  • Murtaugh MP, Xiao Z, Zuckermann F. 2002. Immunological responses of swine to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection. Viral Immunol. 15:533-547.
  • Murtaugh MP, Foss DL. 2002. Inflammatory cytokines and antigen presenting cell activation. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 87:109-122.
  • Foss DL, Zilliox MJ, Meier W, Zuckermann F, Murtaugh MP. 2002. Adjuvant danger signals increase the immune response to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Viral Immunol. 15:557-566.
  • Chang CC, Yoon K-J, Zimmerman JJ, Harmon KM, Dixon PM, Dvorak CMT, Murtaugh MP. 2002. Evolution of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus during sequential passages in pigs. J. Virol. 76:4750-4763.


Featured News & Events

'Wisc-e-sota', a Joint UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium was first held on Friday, Sepbember 20th, 2013 at the Uniiversity of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cartwright Center. This was the inaugural collaborative symposium of the NIH T32-supported virology training programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Talks and poster sessions were presented by students, postdocs and faculty. The second UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium will be held in the Fall 2014. Details to follow.

The 2014 IMV Symposium will be held on May 12, 2014 and Mark Denison (Vanderbilt) and Bert Semler (UC-Irvine) will be the Keynote Speakers. Click on the link below to register and submit abstracts.

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