Sheela Ramamoorthy

Associate Professor

Van Es 160
701 231 8504

Open Postdoctoral Associate Position


  • Ph.D. in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences/Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology from Virginia Tech (2006)
  • M.S in Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology from Oklahoma State University (2002)
  • BVSc (DVM) in Veterinary Medicine from Madras Veterinary College, India (1991)

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Virology at University of Georgia (2010-2012)
  • Serology Clinician at Iowa State University (2008-2010)
  • Postdoctoral Associate at Virginia Tech (2006-2008)

Research Interests

Although vaccines were discovered over 200 years ago, vaccine development has largely been based on hit-or-miss strategies. Even now, a majority of the commercially available vaccines are ‘conventional’ vaccines containing the entire microorganism in a killed or live form. With the advent of the genomic era, there has been an explosion of information about the pathogen and host immune mechanisms involved in infection. However, the development of effective vaccines against complex pathogens for which vaccines are either suboptimal or unavailable is not proportional. Therefore, the broad focus of my research is the rationalization of vaccine design. My efforts are focused on identifying and targeting key pathogen or host related factors or mechanisms that are critical for protection in the context of the porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). PRDC provides a fascinating ecological niche at a mucosal surface where multiple viral and bacterial pathogens interact to induce disease. The four central viral pathogens under study are porcine circovirus strain 2 (for which vaccines are effective), swine influenza virus (SIV-vaccines are suboptimal), porcine reproductive and respiratory disease syndrome virus (PRRSV- effective vaccines are not available) and torque teno viruses (which are highly prevalent in coinfections but whose biological significance is unknown). Our current efforts include understanding the immune response to these viruses at the epitope level and deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the immune cross-talk between the viruses and the host. We achieve these objectives using a variety of methods, including recombinant DNA/protein techniques, virological and immunological methods, gene expression analysis, epidemiology, bioinformatics and animal models to test vaccine efficacy and immune responses. The overarching and concurrent goal is to translate the basic research findings into novel and rationally designed vaccines and diagnostics.

Recent Publications

A complete list of publications can be found at the following location

  1. Ramamoorthy S, Woldemeskel M, Ligett A, Snider R, Cobb R, Rajeev S. Brucella suis Infection in Dogs, Georgia, USA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;17(12):2386-7. Manuscript PDF
  2. Ilha MR, Coarsey M, Whittington L, Rajeev S and Ramamoorthy S. The occurrence of Bovine viral diarrhea virus in hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the state of Georgia, southeastern United States. Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc. 2012 Nov;24(6):1052-6. PubMed PMID: 23019244
  3. Magtoto RL, Vegi. A, Wang. C, Johnson. J. K and Ramamoorthy. S. Evaluation and use of a serological assay for the detection of antibodies to Lawsonia intracellularis in swine. Int J of Vet Sci Med. 2014;2(2):109–13.
  4. Constans M, Ssemadaali M, Kolyvushko O and Ramamoorthy S. Antigenic Determinants of Possible Vaccine Escape by Porcine Circovirus Subtype 2b Viruses. Bioinform Biol Insights. 2015;9 (Suppl 2):1-12. PubMed PMID: 26339187. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4550186. Epub 2015/09/05. eng.
  5. Singh P and Ramamoorthy S. Lack of strong anti-viral immune gene stimulation in Torque Teno Sus Virus1 infected macrophage cells. Virology. 2016 Aug;495:63-70. PubMed PMID: 27179346. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4912913.
  6. Singh P and Ramamoorthy S. Immune gene expression in swine macrophages expressing the Torque Teno Sus Virus1 (TTSuV1) ORF-1 and 2 proteins. Virus research. 2016 Jul 15;220:33-8. PubMed PMID: 27059616. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4899169.
  7. Ssemadaali MA, Ilha M, Ramamoorthy S. Genetic diversity of porcine circovirus type 2 and implications for detection and control. Research in veterinary science. 2015 Dec;103:179-86. PubMed PMID: 26679815.
  8. Song Y, Singh P, Nelson E and Ramamoorthy S. A Computationally Designed Serological Assay for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. Journal of clinical microbiology. 2016 Aug;54(8):2039-46. PubMed PMID: 27225413.
  9. Ssemadaali MA, Effertz K, Singh P, Kolyvushko O and Ramamoorthy S. Identification of heterologous Torque Teno Viruses in humans and swine. Scientific reports. 2016;6:26655. PubMed PMID: 27222164. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4879562.
  10. Afghah Z, Weeb B, Meng X.J and Ramamoorthy S. Ten years of PCV2 vaccines and vaccination: Is eradication a possibility? Vet. Micro. 2017; 206:21-28
  11. Singh. G and Ramamoorthy S. Potential for the cross-species transmission of swine torque teno viruses.