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John S. L. Parker, BVMS, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Virology

Work in John Parker’s laboratory is focused on how viruses take control of cellular metabolism and biosynthesis.

  • Viruses know how cells work. Can they help us understand too? Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot generate energy or synthesize new proteins. They rely on the cells they infect to do these things for them. Using mammalian reoviruses, the Parker lab is working to understand how the cellular translational machinery responsible for decoding the genetic code and turning it into protein is usurped during viral infection. They have found that mammalian reoviruses compartmentalize the translational machinery within viral “factories” in the cytoplasm. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which reoviruses achieve this compartmentalization will provide critical insights into viral pathogenesis, as well as the basic regulatory mechanisms that control cellular translation. This work is supported by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Training and development:

Dr. Parker directs two programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine that are helping to train the next generation of veterinary scientists.

  • Comparative Medicine Training Program. This training program supports DVMs who are undertaking PhD training in comparative medicine. The program is supported by an NIH training award that provides funding for up to 3 years for six students. This program supports US-born DVMs throughout the College of Veterinary Medicine that are undertaking advanced scientific training leading to PhD Degree.
  • The Cornell Leadership Program for Veterinary Students. Dr. Parker directs the Cornell Leadership Program for Veterinary Students. This internationally recognized program provides a summer research experience for highly talented DVM students who are interested in a career as a veterinarian in research and discovery. The program has existed for more than 25 years and more than 600 students have participated from veterinary schools throughout the world. Nearly 50% of participants have entered careers in research and discovery.


Links and abstracts for all of Dr. Parker's publications can be found at NCBI.

1. Fraser, DR.; Parker, JS; McGregor, DD. (2016). Vocational choices made by alumni of the Leadership Program for Veterinary Students at Cornell University. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 249(7), 759-764.

2. Desmet, EA; Anguish, LJ; Parker, JS. (2014). Virus-Mediated Compartmentalization of the Host Translational Machinery. mBio, 5(5).

3. Dermody, T.S., Parker, J.S.L., (2013). Orthoreoviruses. In Racaniello, Knipe, and Howley (Eds.), Fields Virology(6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

4. Kaufer, S; Coffey, CM; Parker, JS. (2012). The cellular chaperone hsc70 is specifically recruited to reovirus viral factories independently of its chaperone function. Journal of Virology, 86(2), 1079-89.

5. Kim, JW; Lyi, SM; Parrish, CR; Parker, JS. (2011). A proapoptotic peptide derived from reovirus outer capsid protein {micro}1 has membrane-destabilizing activity. Journal of Virology, 85(4), 1507-16.

6. Wisniewski, ML; Werner, BG; Hom, LG; Anguish, LJ; Coffey, CM; Parker, JS. (2010). Reovirus Infection or Ectopic Expression of Outer Capsid Protein μ1 Induces Apoptosis Independently of the Cellular Proapoptotic Proteins Bax and Bak. Journal of Virology, 85(1), 296-304.

7. Ossiboff, RJ; Zhou, Y; Lightfoot, PJ; Prasad, BV; Parker, JS. (2010). Conformational changes in the capsid of a calicivirus upon interaction with its functional receptor. Journal of Virology, 84(11), 5550-64.