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email: virology@umn.edu

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UMN Virology Timeline

Jump to: 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

 

1930s

University of Minnesota

  • 1936: John Bittner discovers the "Bittner milk agent", which causes mammary cancer in mice, while working at the Jackson Labs in Bar Harbor, Maine (Science 84:162). Bittner would continue his research at the University of Minnesota and help to prove the virus etiology of the disease - mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). This was one of the first cancer-causing viruses discovered.

Virology Worldwide

  • Crystallization of tomato bushy stunt virus by Bawden and Pirie.
  • Yellow fever vacine tests successful. (Theiler, 1939).
  • Bacteriophage one step growth curve (Ellis and Delbruck).

World Events

  • 1933: Four years after the start of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected and creates the New Deal.
  • 1937: Japan attacks China, beginning the Second World War.
  • In 1939, Germany invades Poland.

 

1940s

University of Minnesota

  • 1941: John Bittner and colleagues show that MMTV can be cryopreserved (Science 93:527-528).
  • 1944: Bittner and colleagues show that hormones influence cancer development (Science 99:83-85) and show the pH and temperature sensitivity of MMTV (Science 100:575-576).
  • 1945: John Bittner and colleagues show that MMTV can be transferred between mice and can be grown in chick embryos (Science 101:95-97).

Virology Worldwide

  • Tomato bushy stunt virus and tobacco mosaic virus show clear X-ray diffraction patterns (Bernal & Fankuchen, 1941).
  • An X-ray diffraction pattern is obtained on a single crystal of necrosis virus (Crowfoot & Schmidt, 1945).
  • Enders, Weller and Robbins culture poliovirus in human embryonic tissues, 1949.

World Events

  • 1945: successful test of the atomic bomb, which is used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 1945: The end of the Second World War
  • 1947: The beginning of the Cold War

 

1950s

University of Minnesota

  • 1952: Jerome Syverton propagates poliovirus in monkey and human cells in cell culture. J. Exp. Med. 96:355-367.
  • 1959: John J. Holland conducts fundamental experiments on the nature of poliovirus replication (J Exp Med 109:475-485 & 109:487-504). Later, Holland will move to UCSD and become a leader in RNA virus quasispecies theory.
  • 1959: John J. Holland, Leroy McClaren and Jerome T. Syverton show that poliovirus nucleic acid can be used to infect nonsusceptible cells. (J Exp Med.110:65-80).

Virology Worldwide

  • Discovery of transduction by bacteriophage (Zinder & Lederberg, 1952).
  • X-ray diffraction patterns of TBSV show high degree of symmetry (Caspar, 1956).
  • Infectivity of TMV RNA reported by Frankel-Conrat and Gierer in 1956.
  • Interferon discovered by Isaacs and Lindenmann, 1957.

World Events

  • 1953: The death of Joseph Stalin
  • 1954: Brown vs. the Board of Education begins desegregation in the public schools.
  • 1956: Nationalization of the Suez canal precipitates the Suez Crisis.
  • 1957: Sputnik launched.

 

1960s

University of Minnesota

  • 1966: Bacteriophage phi29 is identified by Bernard Reilly and Dwight Anderson from soil sample obtained on St. Paul Campus (J Bacteriol. 1966 May; 91(5): 2081-2089).
  • 1966: Peter Plagemann develops methods to propagate lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus in cell culture.

Virology Worldwide

  • First deciphering of the genetic code, Nirenberg and Matthaei, 1961.
  • Principles of icosahedral virus structure are published by Caspar and Klug in 1962.
  • Polio RNA shown to be translated from a single initiation site and proteolytically processed (Summers & Maizel, Jr, 1968; Jacobson and Baltimore, 1968).

World Events

  • 1963: Assasination of President John F. Kennedy.
    March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom helps pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the National Voting Rights Act (1965).
  • 1964: Escalation of American involvement in Vietnam, following a slow build-up from 1954.
    Assassination of Malcolm X.
  • 1968: A year of many globally-significant events, among them the assassination of Martin Luther King, the Prague Spring movement and the Tet Offensive.

 

1970s

University of Minnesota

  • 1977: Anthony Faras and colleagues describe the R regions of retroviral DNA Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 June; 74(6): 2389-2393).
  • 1978: Ashley Haase begins the use of in situ hybridization for the analysis of lentiviral infections which he will later continue at the University of Minnesota. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.1978 Dec;75(12):6125-9).

Virology Worldwide

  • Discovery of reverse transcriptase (Baltimore, 1970; Temin & Mizutani, 1970).
  • Structure of tomato bushy stunt virus at 2.8 angstroms resolution (Harrison et al., 1970).

World Events

  • 1974: In Chile, Pinochet leads coup deposing Salvador Allende; Pinochet will rule until 1990.
  • 1974: Nixon resigns.
  • 1975: The end of the Vietnam war.

 

1980s

University of Minnesota

  • 1984: Anthony Faras and colleagues show the cellular transformation of human papillomavirus in vitro (Science. 1984 Aug 10;225(4662):634-6).
  • 1987: ph29 pRNA is discovered by Dwight Anderson and colleagues (Science. 1987 May 8;236(4802):690-4).
  • 1988: Robert Vince and collaborators publish an article describing the anti-HIV activity of carbovir (Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1988 Oct 31;156(2):1046-53).

Virology Worldwide

  • Structure of southern bean mosaic virus at 2.8 angstroms (Abad-Zapatero et al, 1980).
  • Founding of the American Society for Virology, 1981.
  • Identification of HIV as the cause of AIDS, 1983.
  • Structure of the common cold virus published (Rossman et al, 1985).

World Events

  • 1986: Iran-Contra scandal becomes public knowledge.
  • 1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall.

 

1990s

University of Minnesota

  • 1990: Ashley Haase and colleagues develop the methods for PCR amplification and detection of lentiviral DNA inside cells (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Jul;87(13):4971-5).
  • 1993: Ashley Haase and colleagues discover high levels of HIV replication in solid lymph tissue (Nature. 1993 Mar 25;362(6418):359-62).
  • 1996: Perry Hackett proposes that Rous sarcoma virus Gag expression can regulate whether retroviral RNA is translated or packaged into virus particles (J Virol. 1996 Oct;70(10):6642-52).
  • 1997: Discovery of the elimination of HIV-1 from secondary lymphoid tissue reservoir during anti-retroviral therapy by Ashley Haase and colleagues (Science. 1997 May 9;276(5314):960-4).
  • 1997: Perry Hackett and colleagues reconstruct the Sleeping Beauty transposon from fish (Cell. 1997 Nov 14;91(4):501-10).

Virology Worldwide

  • First (approved) human gene therapy procedure was carried out in 1990 on a child with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), using a retrovirus vector. Although not successful, this was the first attempt to correct human genetic disease.
    Through the nineties, the number of confirmed cases of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide reaches 33 million. The AIDS pandemic continues to grow. Confirmed cases are an underestimate of the true total worldwide.
  • 1999: Nucleotide sequence of the largest known virus genome completed: Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus 1. This 330,742 bp sequence represents the technical advances in sequencing which have occurred since the first genome sequence was completed in 1977.

World Events

  • 1990: The first Gulf War.
  • 1991: The collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • 1992: Bill Clinton is elected president; late in his administration, Clinton doubles the NIH budget.

 

2000s

University of Minnesota

  • 2001: Measurement of phi29 motor strength by Dwight Anderson, Carlos Bustamante and colleagues (Nature. 2001 Oct 18;413(6857):748-52).
  • 2003: Peter Plagemann hypothesizes that a mutant closely related to lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus, an arterivirus of mice, infected wild boars in Europe and is the origin of PRRSV in domestic pigs (Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Aug;9(8):903-8).
  • 2003: Institute for Molecular Virology founded.

Virology Worldwide

  • Development of hepatitis C infectious clones.
  • Worldwide, over 40 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS

World Events

  • 2001: September 11 attacks on the United States.
    2003: Beginning of the second Gulf War in a climate of global controversy.

 

 

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Please let us know of other virology events which should appear on this timeline by emailing virology@umn.edu.

 

Featured News & Events

'Wisc-e-sota', the 1st Joint UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium will be held on Friday, Sepbember 20th, 2013 at the Uniiversity of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cartwright Center. This is 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 will be presented by students, postdocs and faculty.

The 2013 IMV Symposium was held in May, 2013 and featured Vincent Racaniello as the Keynote Speaker as well as the recording of an episode of 'This Week in Virology'. Pictures from the IMV Symposium can be found on the IMV Facebook page and a videotape of the TWiV podcast can be viewed at www.twiv.tv

About the IMV icon

Read about bacteriophage phi 29 and why it matters.

IMV Timeline

Explore nearly a century's worth of discovery in the field of virology at the University of Minnesota.

TWiV

"This Week in Virology" from professor Vincent Racaniello.