Sankar Swaminathan, M.D.



Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases

Department of Medicine

University of Utah School of Medicine

30 N. 1900 E., Room 4B319 SOM

Salt Lake City, UT  84132



Dr. Swaminathan graduated from Harvard University in 1979 with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He received an M.S. degree in Microbiology and Immunology for work on the immune recognition of virus-infected cells, and an M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine, graduating in 1984. He completed an internship and Medical residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center in 1987 and became board-certified in the specialty of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Swaminathan obtained subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases at Harvard University Medical School and performed clinical work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, becoming board-certified in Infectious Diseases in 1990. He continued his research training in the laboratory of Dr. Elliott Kieff, a leader in research on Epstein-Barr virus and lymphocyte transformation. Dr. Swaminathan, along with others at this time, developed novel methods to generate EBV recombinants which significantly advanced the ability to study the molecular genetics of EBV.

Dr. Swaminathan’s research has more recently focused on the role of a protein expressed by EBV during lytic replication known as SM. His group has shown that SM is a post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression that interacts with cellular proteins, binds messenger RNA and translocates from nucleus to cytoplasm. They are currently applying microarray technology to characterize other effects of SM on the host cell and are identifying additional cellular proteins that interact functionally with SM. Recombinant molecular genetics has been applied to produce an SM-deleted Epstein-Barr virus. Another major focus of research in Dr. Swaminathan’s laboratory is lytic replication in Kaposi’ sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). This work is funded by two research grants from the National Cancer Institute of the NIH. His clinical interests are in the areas of viral infections and infections in immunosuppressed hosts.
Dr. Swaminathan has served on the AARR4 (AOIC) study section of the NIH and on several other special emphasis panels and study sections for the NIH, reviewing grant applications in the field of virology. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Virology, and Future Microbiology. He is currently Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah.