Steven M. Varga, PhD

Steven M. Varga, PhD

phone: 319-335-7784


Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Graduate Student Development
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor of Pathology
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Iowa


3-532 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242



BS, Biology, University of Notre Dame
PhD, Immunology, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Post Doctorate, Pulmonary Immunology, Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research, University of Virginia

Research interests:

My laboratory studies the role of virus-specific T lymphocytes in mediating immunity and immunopathology during virus infections. The laboratory uses mouse models to study several respiratory viruses including, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A virus (IAV) and (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A major focus of the lab is examining the host response to RSV infection. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in young children worldwide. An experimental formalin-inactivated (FI) RSV vaccine developed in the United States during the 1960’s led to exacerbated disease in vaccinated infants upon a subsequent natural infection. It is believed that the immune system was largely responsible for the enhanced disease exhibited by the children that received the FI-RSV vaccine. My laboratory is interested in understanding the underlying immunological causes that resulted in the development of RSV vaccine-enhanced disease. We are currently working on a nanoparticle-based RSV vaccine.

department website
lab website
Google Scholar profile