Back to Directory

Dr. Maria S Salvato

Adjunct Professor

Adjunct Professor

Veterinary Medicine S520 Medical Research Facility College Park, MD 20742-3711


  • BA in Biology, 1972, summa cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles
  • PhD in Molecular Virology, 1977 with Dr. H Fraenkel-Conrat, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Post-doctoral (1978-80) with Dr. Christine Guthrie, then with Howard M Goodman, Univ. of Calif, San Francisco.
  • Staff Scientist (1980-85) MRC Cambridge, UK in the lab of Dr. Sydney Brenner.
  • Assistant Member (1985-90) Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, LaJolla, Calif, with Dr. Michael Oldstone.
  • Asst. Professor to full Professor (1990-2000) University of Wisconsin, Dept of Pathology.
  • Professor (2000-2022) University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Institute of Human Virology.
  • Adjunct Professor (2022-present) University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Veterinary Medicine.

Since 1985, my research has been on the arenaviruses like LCMV and Lassa fever virus. I completed the first arenavirus sequence in 1989, discovering a new viral protein with a zinc-binding motif.  The "Z" protein proved to be the viral matrix protein needed for virus assembly. My laboratory used different animal models to study the immunology and diseases elicited by mild and virulent arenavirus isolates.  We were one of the first labs to do transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of infected primates to predict the development of hemorrhagic fever.  In collaboration with Drs. Igor Lukashevich, Juan Carlos Zapata, Dmitry Moshkoff, Mahmoud Djavani, Juan Rodas, and Yida Yang, my lab tested the live-attenuated Lassa vaccine, ML29, in murine, guinea pig and primate models. Although most of my research involved the arenaviruses, I also collaborated on studies of HIV, SIV and SHIV to co-author ~30 publications with Dr. C. David Pauza.  I have served on NIH study sections, taxonomic committees, and WHO workshops to discuss virus classification, vaccine candidates and pandemic threats.  It is currently a privilege to be on the UMD-College Park Campus, in the Dept of Veterinary Medicine, where young investigators are learning to navigate their own scientific careers, and where cutting edge science is occurring every day.