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Robert Webster, PhD
Robert G. Webster, PhD

Robert G. Webster, PhD

Emeritus, St. Jude Faculty



MSc – Otago University, New Zealand
PhD – Australian National University, Canberra
DSc – Otago University, New Zealand


  • 2010 Received the Mendel Medal from Villanova University
  • 2010 Received the Leeuwenhoek Medal from The Royal Society of London
  • 2002 Awarded the Twelfth Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Diseases
  • 1998 National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1990 Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Honorary)
  • 1989 Fellow of the Royal Society, London

Research Interests

  • The emergence and control of influenza viruses
  • Viral immunology

Dr. Webster’s interests include the structure and function of influenza virus proteins and the development of new vaccines and antivirals; the importance of influenza viruses in wild birds as a major reservoir of influenza viruses and their role in the evolution of new pandemic strains for humans and lower animals. His curriculum vitae contains over 600 original articles and reviews on influenza viruses. He has mentored many individuals who have been successful in contributing to our knowledge of influenza as an emerging pathogen.

Selected Publications

Selected from more than 750 publications:

Diskin ER, Friedman K, Krauss S, Nolting JM, Poulson RL, Slemons RD, Stallknecht DE, Webster RG, Bowman AS. Subtype Diversity of Influenza A Virus in North American Waterfowl: a Multidecade Study. J Virol. May 18;94(11):e02022-19, 2020. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02022-19. PMID: 32188732.

Barman S, Turner JCM, Hasan MK, Akhtar S, El-Shesheny R, Franks J, Walker D, Seiler P, Friedman K, Kercher L, Jeevan T, McKenzie P, Webby RJ, Webster RG, Feeroz MM. Continuing evolution of highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses in Bangladeshi live poultry markets. Emerg Microbes Infect. 8(1):650-661, 2019. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2019.1605845. PMID: 31014196; PMCID: PMC6493222.

El-Shesheny R, Franks J, Marathe BM, Hasan MK, Feeroz MM, Krauss S, Vogel P, McKenzie P, Webby RJ, Webster RG. Genetic characterization and pathogenic potential of H10 avian influenza viruses isolated from live poultry markets in Bangladesh. Sci Rep. Jul 16;8(1):10693, 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29079-1. PMID: 30013138; PMCID: PMC6048039.

Seiler P, Kercher L, Feeroz MM, Shanmuganatham K, Jones-Engel L, Turner J, Walker D, Alam SMR, Hasan MK, Akhtar S, McKenzie P, Franks J, Krauss S, Webby RJ, Webster RG. H9N2 influenza viruses from Bangladesh: Transmission in chicken and New World quail. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. Nov;12(6):814-817, 2018. doi: 10.1111/irv.12589. Epub 2018 Sep 8. PMID: 29989679; PMCID: PMC6185884.

Krammer F, Smith GJD, Fouchier RAM, Peiris M, Kedzierska K, Doherty PC, Palese P, Shaw ML, Treanor J, Webster RG, García-Sastre A. Influenza. Nat Rev Dis Primers. Jun 28;4(1):3, 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41572-018-0002-y. PMID: 29955068; PMCID: PMC7097467.

Li C, Wang S, Bing G, Carter RA, Wang Z, Wang J, Wang C, Wang L, Wu G, Webster RG, Wang Y, Sun H, Sun Y, Liu J, Pu J. Genetic evolution of influenza H9N2 viruses isolated from various hosts in China from 1994 to 2013. Emerg Microbes Infect. Nov 29;6(11):e106, 2017. doi: 10.1038/emi.2017.94. PMID: 29184157; PMCID: PMC5717095.

Webster RG. Mammalian-transmissible H5N1 influenza: the dilemma of dual-use research. MBio 3, 2012.

Pascua PN, Song MS, Lee JH, Baek YH, Kwon HI, Park SJ, Choi EH, Lim GJ, Lee OJ, Kim SW, Kim CJ, Sung MH, Kim MH, Yoon SW, Govorkova EA, Webby RJ, Webster RG, Choi YK. Virulence and transmissibility of H1N2 influenza virus in ferrets imply the continuing threat of triple-reassortant swine viruses. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109:15900-5, 2012.

Krauss S, Webster RG. Predicting the next influenza virus. Science 337:644, 2012.

Negovetich NJ, Feeroz MM, Jones-Engel L, Walker D, Alam SM, Hasan K, Seiler P, Ferguson A, Friedman K, Barman S, Franks J, Turner J, Krauss S, Webby RJ, Webster RG. Live bird markets of Bangladesh: H9N2 viruses and the near absence of highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza. PLoS One 6:e19311, 2011.

Yen HL, Liang CH, Wu CY, Forrest HL, Ferguson A, Choy KT, Jones J, Wong DD, Cheung PP, Hsu CH, Li OT, Yuen KM, Chan RW, Poon LL, Chan MC, Nicholls JM, Krauss S, Wong CH, Guan Y, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Peiris M. Hemagglutinin-neuraminidase balance confers respiratory-droplet transmissibility of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in ferrets. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:14264-9, 2011.

Kayali G, El-Shesheny R, Kutkat MA, Kandeil AM, Mostafa A, Ducatez MF, McKenzie PP, Govorkova EA, Nasraa MH, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Ali MA. Continuing threat of influenza (H5N1) virus circulation in Egypt. Emerg Infect Dis 17:2306-8, 2011.

Vijaykrishna D, Smith GJ, Pybus OG, Zhu H, Bhatt S, Poon LL, Riley S, Bahl J, Ma SK, Cheung CL, Perera RA, Chen H, Shortridge KF, Webby RJ, Webster RG, Guan Y, Peiris JS. Long-term evolution and transmission dynamics of swine influenza A virus. Nature 473:519-22, 2011.

Kim JK, Kayali G, Walker D, Forrest HL, Ellebedy AH, Griffin YS, Rubrum A, Bahgat MM, Kutkat MA, Ali MA, Aldridge JR, Negovetich NJ, Krauss S, Webby RJ, Webster RG. Puzzling inefficiency of H5N1 influenza vaccines in Egyptian poultry. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:11044-9, 2010.

Barber MR, Aldridge JR Jr, Webster RG, Magor KE.Association of RIG-I with innate immunity of ducks to influenza. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:5913-8, 2010.

Aldridge JR Jr, Moseley CE, Boltz DA, Negovetich NJ, Reynolds C, Franks J, Brown SA, Doherty PC, Webster RG, Thomas PG. TNF/iNOS-producing dendritic cells are the necessary evil of lethal influenza virus infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Mar 31;106(13):5306-11, 2009.

Salomon R, Webster RG. The influenza virus enigma. Cell Feb 6;136(3):402-10, 2009.

Pereira HG, Tumova B, Webster RG. Antigenic relationship between influenza A viruses of human and avian origins. Nature 215:982 983, 1967.

Fazekas de St Groth S, Webster RG. Disquisitions on original antigenic sin. I. Evidence in man. J Exp Med 124:331 345, 1966.

Fazekas de St Groth S, Webster RG, Datyner A. (Discovery of Coomassie Blue Stain). Two new staining procedures for quantitative estimation of proteins on electrophoresis strips. Biochim Biophys Acta 71:377-391, 1963.

Last update: June 2020