Professor Emeritus of Molecular Microbiology

PubMed Publications: for schlesinger + S

Office Address:
Departments of Molecular Microbiology

Email: sondra [at]

1956 B.S. Chemistry University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1960 Ph.D. Biochemistry University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Academic Positions:

2001 – present Professor Emeritus, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Microbiology, St. Louis, MO
1977 – 2001 Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Microbiology, St. Louis, MO
 2003 – 2005  Visiting Scholar University of California, Berkeley
1995 – 1996, 1989 – 1990 Visiting Scholar in the laboratory of Professor S.C. Harrison Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1972 – 1977 Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Microbiology, St. Louis, MO
1974 – 1975 Visiting Scientist, Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, Department of RNA Tumor Virus Genetics & Viral                         Oncology, London, England
1964 – 1972 Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Medicine Department of Molecular Microbiology, St. Louis, MO
1961 – 1964 Research Associate, Department of Biology, Massachusetts, Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
1960 – 1961 Guest Research Investigator, Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy
1953 – 1956 Part-time Assistant, Biological Effects of Irradiation Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

National and International Professional Activities (Since 1990 only):

1990-1996 Advisory Council, Virology Division, IUMS
1991-1992 President-elect, American Society for Virology
1992-1993 President, American Society for Virology
1994-1996 Chair, Experimental Virology Study Section, NIH
1994- 1997 Member Review Panel for Postdoctoral Fellowships, Howard Hughes Inst.
1994- 2006 Finance Committee, American Society for Virology
1998 – 2006 Chair of Committee
2006 – Chair of the Archives Committee of the American Society for Virology          
1995- American Society for Microbiology Committee on International Activities in Microbiology
1996 -1998 AAAS Electorate Nominating Committee, Section of Medical Sciences
1999 Chair-elect AAAS Medical Sciences Section
2000 Chair AAAS Medical Sciences Section
2001 Retiring Chair Medical Sciences Section
2002-2005 AAAS Program Committee
2005-2006 AAAS Nominating Committee for President and Board (elected office)
2006 – AAAS Secretary of the Medical Sciences Section

Representative Publications (Since 1990 only):

Levis, R., Schlesinger, S., and Huang, H. (1990). The Promoter for Sindbis virus RNA-dependent subgenomic RNA transcription. J. Virol. 64: 1726-1733.

Schlesinger, S. and Schlesinger, M.J. (1990) Replication of Togaviridae and Flaviviridae in VIROLOGY (eds. B.N. Fields and D.M. Knipe). Raven Press, N.Y.

Geigenmüller-Gnirke, U., Weiss, B., Wright, R. and Schlesinger, S. (1991). Complementation between Sindbis viral RNAs produces infectious particles with a bipartite genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 88: 3253-3257.
Weiss, B.G. and Schlesinger, S. (1991). Recombination between Sindbis virus RNAs J. Virol65: 4017-4025.
Harrison, S.C., Schlesinger, S., Schlesinger, M.J. and Strong, R.K. (1992) Crystallization of Sindbis virus and its nucleocapsid. J. Mol.Biol. 226: 277-280.

Buzan, J. and Schlesinger S., (1992) Expression and biological activity of the nonstructural proteins of Sindbis virus in an Autographa californica vector. Virus Research 23: 209-222.
Geigenmüller-Gnirke, U., Nitschko, H. and Schlesinger, S. (1993) Deletion Analysis of the Capsid Protein of Sindbis Virus: Identification of the RNA Binding Region. J. Virol. 67: 1620-1626.

Schlesinger, S., (1993) Alphaviruses Vectors for the Expression of Heterologous Proteins. Trends in Biotechnology 11: 18-22.

Bredenbeek, P.J., Frolov, I. , Rice, C.R., and Schlesinger, S. (1993) Sindbis Virus Expression Vectors: Packaging of RNA Replicons by Using Defective Helper RNAs. J. Virol. 67: 6439-6446

Olivo, P., Frolov, I. and Schlesinger, S. (1994) A cell line that expresses a reporter gene in response to infection by Sindbis virus: A prototype for detection of positive strand RNA viruses. Virology 198: 381-384.

Schlesinger, S., Makino, S and Linial, M.L. (1994) Cis-Acting genome elements and trans-acting proteins involved in the assembly of RNA viruses. Seminars in Virology 5: 39-49.

Frolov, I. and Schlesinger, S. (1994) Comparison of the effects of Sindbis virus and Sindbis virus replicons on host cell protein synthesis and cytopathogenicity in BHK cells J. Virol. 68: 1721-1727.

Weiss, B., Geigenmuller-Gnirke, U. and Schlesinger, S. (1994) Interactions between Sindbis virus RNAs and a 68 amino acid derivative of the viral capsid protein further define the capsid binding site. Nucleic Acids Research 22: 780-786.

Schlesinger, S. (1994) Women Scientists in Vietnam. AWIS Magazine 23: 10,13.

Schlesinger, S. (1995) RNA viruses as vectors for the expression of heterologous proteins. Molecular Biotechnology 3: 155-165.

Schlesinger, S. and Schlesinger, M.J. Replication of Togaviridae in FIELDS VIROLOGY, third edition pp 825 – 841 (eds. B.N. Fields, D.M. Knipe and P.M. Howley et al.) Lipincott – Raven Press, Philadelphia

Frolov, I. and Schlesinger, S. (1994) Translation of Sindbis virus mRNA: Effects of sequences downstream of the initiating codon. J. Virol. 68: 8111-8117.

Herweijer, H., Latendresse, J.S., Williams, Ph., Zhang, G., Danko, I., Schlesinger, S. and Wolff, J. A. (1995) A Plasmid-Based Self-Amplyfying Sindbis Virus Vector. Human Gene Therapy 6:1161-1167.

Frolov, I. and Schlesinger, S. (1996) Translation of Sindbis virus mRNA: Analysis of sequences downstream of the initiating AUG codon that enhance translation. J. Virol. 70: 1182-1190.

Frolov, I, Hoffman, T.A., Pra´gai, B.M., Dryga, S.A., Huang, H.V., Schlesinger, S. and Rice, C.M. (1996) Alphavirus-based expression vectors: strategies and applications. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93: 11371 – 11377.

Frolova, E., Folov, I. and Schlesinger, S. (1997) Packaging Signals in Alphaviruses. J. Virol: 71: 248- 258.

Dryga, S.A., Dryga, O.A. and Schlesinger, S. (1997) Identification of mutations in a Sindbis virus variant able to establish persistent infection in BHK cells: the importance of a mutation in the nsP2 gene. Virology 228: 74-83.

Frolov, I., Frolova, E. and Schlesinger, S. (1997) Sindbis virus replicons and Sindbis virus: assembly of chimeras and of particles deficient in virus RNA. J. Virol. 71:2819-2829

Schlesinger, S. (1997) Bernard N. Fields – a biographical memoir. in Biographical Memoirs, 1997 The National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. in press.

Agapov, E.V. Frolov, I., Lindenbach, B.D., Pragal, B.M., Schlesinger, S. and Rice, C.M. (1998) Noncytopathic Sindbis virus RNA vectors for heterologous gene expression. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95: 12989-112994.

Olivo, P.D., Collins, P.L., Peeples, M.E. and Schlesinger, S. (1998) Detection and quantitation of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) using minigenome cDNA and a Sindbis virus replicon: a prototype assay for negative-strand RNA viruses. Virology 251: 198-205.

Ivanova, L., Schlesinger, S. and Olivo, P.D. (1999) Regulated expression of a Sindbis virus replicon by herpesvirus promoters. J. Virol. 73: 1998-2005.

Frolov, I., Agapov, E., Hoffman, T.A. jr., Pragai, B.M., Lippa, M., Schlesinger, S. and Rice, C.M. (1999) Selection of RNA replicons capable of persistent non-cytopathic replication in mammalian cells. J. Virol. 73: 3854-3865.

Polo JM, Belli BA, Driver DA, Frolov I, Sherrill S, Hariharan MJ, Townsend K, Perri S, Mento SJ, Jolly DJ, Chang SM, Schlesinger S, Dubensky TW, Jr. (1999) Stable alphavirus packaging cell lines for Sindbis virus and Semliki Forest virus-derived vectors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96:4598-4603.

Ehrengruber MU, Lundstrom K, Schweitzer C, Heuss C, Schlesinger S, Gähwiler BH: (1999) Recombinant Semliki Forest virus and Sindbis virus efficiently infect neurons in hippocampal slice cultures. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96:. 7041-7046.

Schlesinger, S. (1999) Alphavirus expression systems -promises and problems. ASM News 65: 688-695.

Schlesinger, S and Dubensky, T.W. Jr. (1999) Alphavirus vectors for gene expression and vaccines, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 10: 434-439.

Schlesinger, S. (2000) Alphavirus expression vectors in Advances in Virus Research 55: 565-577.

Schlesinger, S. and Schlesinger M. J. (2000) Viruses, Overview Encyclopedia of Microbiology vol. 4 second edition Academic Press. pp V-30-44.

Schlesinger, S. and Schlesinger, M.J. Replication of Togaviridae in FIELDS VIROLOGY, fourth edition Lipincott – Raven Press, Philadelphia. 2001

Boorsma MSaudan PPfruender HBailey JESchlesinger SRenner WABachmann MF. (2003) Alphavirus cDNA-based expression vectors: effects of RNA transcription and nuclear export. Biotechnol Bioeng. 81(5):553-562.

Kim JDittgen TNimmerjahn AWaters JPawlak VHelmchen FSchlesinger SSeeburg PHOsten P. (2004) Sindbis vector SINrep(nsP2S726): a tool for rapid heterologous expression with attenuated cytotoxicity in neurons. J Neurosci Methods. 133(1-2):81-90.

Ketola ASchlesinger SWahlfors J. (2005) Properties of Sindbis virus vectors produced with a chimeric split helper system. Int J Mol Med.15(6): 999-1003.

Schlesinger, M. J. And Schlesinger, S. Togaviruses in Virology textbook edited by Nicholas Acheson 2006.

Schlesinger, S. (2007) Emil Unanue A Life in Immunology Conversations with Sondra Schlesinger


Sindbis virus vectors: Patent number 5, 091,309 – with Henry V. Huang, Robin Levis, Barbara Weiss and Manuel Tsiang
Infectious Sindbis virus vectors: Patent number 5,2217,879 – with Henry V. Huang, Robin Levis, Charles M. Rice, Ping Shen and Cheng Xiong

Indicator Cell lines for detecting RNA viruses: Patent number 5,591,579 – with Paul Olivo

Recombinant alphavirus-based vectors with reduced inhibition of cellular macromolecular synthesis: patent number 6,391,632- with Thomas W. Dubensky Jr., John M. Polo, Barbara A. Belli, Sergey A. Dryga and Ilya Frolov

Silent inducible virus replicons and uses thereof: Patent number 6,136,538 – with Paul Olivo

Detection of negative-strand RNA viruses – patent number 6,270,958- with Paul Olivo, Mark Peeples and Peter Collins

Web Publications: