Bernard Moss, M.D., Ph.D.

National Institutes of Health

Bernard Moss was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and received a B.A. and an M.D. from New York University. Following internship at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, he earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1966, Moss joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as an investigator in the National Institute for Allegy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), where he is currently NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Genetic Engineering Section of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases. Moss developed an interest in understanding the regulation of gene expression at MIT, but his introduction to virology research occurred at NIH, leading to a life-long study of poxviruses. Early work by his group included purification and characterization of the poxvirus early transcription system, which led to the discovery and enzymology of cap structures at the 5’ ends of viral and cellular mRNAs, as well as the sequence around internal N6-methyadenosines. The Moss laboratory was first to apply recombinant DNA and sequencing technologies to delineate the basic organization of the poxvirus DNA genome. By combining genetics and molecular biology, his group made key contributions to every aspect of poxvirus biology, from entry to virion assembly, and developed poxviruses as expression vectors for vaccine development. The Moss laboratory has been a training ground for numerous students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. Moss served as President of the American Society for Virology and received many honors including election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, the Taylor International Prize in Medicine and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research.