Associate Director, Center for Infection and Immunity
Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology 

Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Phone: 212.342.9035
Fax: 212.342.9044


  • Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, MS, 1983
  • Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, Ph.D., Biology, 1987
  • Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik, Berlin, Germany, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1987-88
  • Institute of Virology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-90
  • Institute of Virology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, Assistant Researcher, 1991-92
  • University of California, Irvine, CA, Visiting Assistant Researcher, Department of Neurology, 1992-94
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, Assistant Researcher, Institute of Virology, 1994-95
  • Bundesforschungsanstalt f Viruskrankheiten d. Tiere, Researcher, Institute of Microbiology, Tübingen, Germany, 1995-96
  • University of California, Irvine, CA, Assistant Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Neurology, 1997-2002


Thomas Briese, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He obtained his scientific education at the Freie University in Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, and the University of California at Irvine. He pioneered state-of-the-art methods in molecular biology to study the involvement of infectious agents in chronic and neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as in acute diseases.


Dr. Briese's research interests include the molecular epidemiology of emerging viral diseases, virus-host cell interactions, and innovative approaches to pathogen diagnosis and discovery. Dr. Briese was responsible for cloning the genome of Borna disease virus, a novel infectious agent potentially linked to some mental disorders. His achievements have been recognized by receipt of an Albertson Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. Another successful application of these powerful molecular techniques was the identification of the flavivirus responsible for the New York City encephalitis epidemic in 1999. In 2003, Dr. Briese participated in the investigation of the SARS epidemic, during which he visited and collaborated with Beijing research institutions by invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. He also served as an adviser to WHO. Current research efforts include the advancement of molecular detection tools for the rapid identification of potential bio-threat agents. In addition, Dr. Briese is involved in multi-center and birth cohort studies using molecular methods to assess the potential role of infection in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.


  • Briese, T., N. Mishra, K. Jain, I. S. Zalmout, O. J. Jabado, W. B. Karesh, P. Daszak, O. B. Mohammed, A. N. Alagaili, W. I. Lipkin (2014) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus quasispecies that include homologues of human isolates revealed through whole-genome analysis and virus cultured from dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia. MBio.5, e01146 - 14.
  • Alagaili, A. N., T. Briese, N. Mishra, V. Kapoor, S. C. Sameroff, P. D. Burbelo, E. de Wit, V. J. Munster, L. E. Hensley, I. S. Zalmout, A. Kapoor, J. H. Epstein, W. B. Karesh, P. Daszak, O. B. Mohammed, W. I. Lipkin (2014) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia. MBio. 5, e00884 - 14.
  • Chowdhary, R., C. Street, A. Travassos da Rosa, M. R. Nunes, K. K. Tee, S. K. Hutchison, P. F. Vasconcelos, R. B. Tesh, W. I. Lipkin, T. Briese (2012) Genetic characterization of the Wyeomyia group of orthobunyaviruses and their phylogenetic relationships.  J. Gen. Virol. 93, 1023 – 34.
  • Epstein, J. H., P.-L. Quan, T. Briese, C. Street, O. J. Jabado, S. Conlan, S. Ali Khan, D. Verdugo, M. J. Hossain, S. K. Hutchison, M. Egholm, S. P. Luby, P. Daszak and W. I. Lipkin (2010) Identification of GBV-D, a Novel GB-like Flavivirus from Old World Frugivorous Bats (Pteropus giganteus) in Bangladesh. PLoS Pathog. 2010 Jul 1;6:e1000972
  • Briese, T., J. T. Paweska, L. K. McMullan, S. K. Hutchison, C. Street, G. Palacios, M. L. Khristova, J. Weyer, R. Swanepoel, M. Egholm, S. T. Nichol and W. I. Lipkin (2009) Genetic Detection and Characterization of Lujo Virus, a New Hemorrhagic Fever–Associated Arenavirus from Southern Africa.  PLoS Pathog 4(5), e1000455. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000455
  • Briese, T., N. Renwick, M. Venter, R. G. Jarman, D. Ghosh, S. Köndgen, S. K. Shrestha, A. M. Hoegh, I. Casas, E. V. Adjogoua, C. Akoua-Koffi, K. S. Myint, D. T. Williams, G. Chidlow, R. van den Berg, C. Calvo, O. Koch, G. Palacios, V. Kapoor, J. Villari, S. R. Dominguez, K. V. Holmes, G. Harnett, D. Smith, J. S. Mackenzie, H. Ellerbrok, B. Schweiger, K. Schønning, M. S. Chadha, F. H. Leendertz, A. C. Mishra, R. V. Gibbons, E. C. Holmes and W. I. Lipkin (2008) Global distribution of a novel rhinovirus genotype.  Emerg. Infect. Dis. 14, 944 – 947
  • Briese T., B. Bird, V. Kapoor, S. T. Nichol and W. I. Lipkin (2006) Batai and Ngari viruses: M-segment reassortment and association with severe febrile disease outbreaks in East Africa.  J. Virol. 80, 5627-5630
  • Zhai J, Briese T, Dai E, Wang X, Pang X, Du Z, Liu H, Wang J, Wang H, Guo Z, Chen Z, Jiang L, Zhou D, Han Y, Jabado O, Palacios G, Lipkin WI, and Yang R (2004) Real-time PCR detection of SARS coronavirus during the 2003 Beijing outbreak Emerging Inf Dis 10 300-303
  • Briese T, Jia XY, Huang C, Grady LJ and Lipkin WI (1999) Identification of a Kunjin/West Nile-like flavivirus in brains of patients with New York encephalitis Lancet 354 1261-1262
  • Briese T, Schneemann A, Lewis AJ, Park Y, Kim S, Ludwig H and Lipkin WI (1994) Genomic organization of Borna disease virus Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A 91 4362-4366
  • Briese T and Hakenbeck R (1985) Interaction of the pneumococcal amidase with lipoteichoic acid and choline Eur J Biochem 146 417-427