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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
A legacy of life-saving research and humane animal care

Eva Rakasz, PHD

kukogSenior Scientist


Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Contact Information

Eva Rakasz’s email

Other Web Pages

WNPRC Immunology & Virology/UW-Madison AIDS Vaccine Research Laboratory

Aligned research focus

Nonhuman primate models of major human infectious diseases

Organ system/disease focus

Immune system/AIDS, Dengue fever, Zika infection

Research description

I have a broad background in immunology with special expertise in the measurement of cellular immune responses using flow cytometry-, and elispot-based assays. I have been serving as the unit head of Immunology Services at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center since 1998. In this role I have supported numerous vaccination and pathogenesis studies for outside investigators using nonhuman primates as large animal models of major human diseases. I also oversee the introduction of novel immune assays to develop the repertoire of Immunology Services. My goal is to improve the nonhuman primate models by exploring the ontogeny, phenotype and function of the cellular immune system in rhesus macaques.

Selected references

Weisgrau, K.L., Ries, M., Pomplun, N., Evans, D.T., Rakasz, E.G. OMIP-035: Functional Analysis of NK Cell Subsets in macaques. Cytometry A. 2016. 89(9): 799-802.

Dudley, D.M., Aliota, M.T.,Mohr, E., Weiler, A.M., Lehrer-Brey, G., Weisgrau, K.L., Mohns, M.S., Breitbach, M.E., Rasheed, M.N., Newman, C.M., Gellerup, D.D.,       Moncla. L.H., Post, J., Schultz-Darken, N., Eudailey, J.A., Moody, M.A., Permar, S.R., O’Connor, S.L., Rakasz, E.G., Simmons, H., Capuano, S. III, Golos, T.G., Osorio, J.E.,Friedrich, T.C., O’Connor, D.H. Natural history of Asian lineage Zika virus infection in macaques. Nature Communications 2016. Jun 28; 7:12204.

Miles, B., Miller, S., Folkvord, J.M., Kimball, A., Chamanian, M., Meditz, A.L., Arends, T., McCarter, M.D., Levy, D.N., Rakasz, E.G., Skinner, P.J. Connick, E. Follicular Regulatory T Cells Expand and Impair Follicular T Helper Cell Function in HIV and SIV Infection. Nature Communications. 2015. Oct 20; 6: 8608.

Pomplun, N., Weisgrau, K.L., Evans, D.T., Rakasz, E.G. Activation panel for Rhesus macaque NK Cell Subsets. Cytometry A. 2015. 87(10): 890-893.

Sanders, R.W., van Gils, M.J., Derking, R., Sok, D., Ketas, T.J., Burger, J.A., Ozorowski, G., Cupo, A., Simonich, C., Goo, L., Arendt, H., Kim, H.J., Lee, J.H., Williams, M., Debnath G., Moldt, B., van Breemen, M.J., Isik, G., Medina-Ramirez, M., Back, J.W., Koff, W., Julien, J.-P., Rakasz, E.G., Klasse, P.J., LaBranche, C., Schief, W.R., Wilson, I.A., Overbaugh, J., Burton, D.R., Ward, A.B., Montefiori, D., Dean, H., Moore, J.P. HIV Neutralizing Antibodies Induced by a Native-like Envelope Trimer. Science. 2015. 10: 349(6244). pii: aac4223.

Moldt, B., Rakasz, E.G., Schultz, N., Chan-Hui, P., Kristian, S., Weisgrau, K.L., Piaskowski, S.M., Bergman, Z., Watkins, D.I., Poignard, P., Burton, D.R. Highly potent HIV-specific antibody neutralization in vitro translates into effective protection against mucosal virus challenge in vivo. PNAS. 2012. 109(46): 18921-18925.

Mudd, P., Martins, M.M., Ericsen, A.J., Power, K.A., Bean, A.T., Piaskowski, S.M., Duan, L., Seese, A., Gladden, A.D., Tully, D.C., Weisgrau, K.L., Furlott, J.R., Kim, Y., de Santana, M.G.V., Bonaldo, M.C., Rakasz, E., Capuano III, S., Wilson, N.A., Galler, R., Allison, D.B., Piatak, M., Haase, A.T., Lifson, J.D., Allen, T.A. and D.I. Watkins. Vaccine-induced CD8+ T cells control AIDS virus replication. Nature. 2012. 491(7422): 129-133.

Budde, M.L., Lhost, J.J., Dudley, D.M., Rakasz, E.G., and D.H. O’Connor Integrin α4β7 is down-regulated on the surfaces of SIVmac239 infected cells. J. Virol. 2010. 84(13): 6344-6351.

Friedrich, T.C., Piaskowski, S.M., Furlott, J.R., S.M., Leon, E.J., Maness, N.J., Weisgrau, K.L., Weinfurter, J., Weiler, A.M., Mac Nair, C., Reynolds, M.R., Wilson, N.A., and Rakasz, E.G. High viremia is associated with high levels of in vivo MHC-I down-regulation in Rhesus macaques infected with SIVmac239. J. Virol. 2010. 84(10): 5443-5447.

Reynolds, M.R., Piaskowski, S.M., Weisgrau, K.L., Weiler, A.M., Friedrich, T.C., and E.G. Rakasz. Ex Vivo Analysis of SIV infected cells by Flow cytometry. Cytometry part A. 2010. 77(11): 1059-1066.