Atsu Okumura, PhD, DVM

Associate Research Scientist
Phone: 212.342.9031
Fax: 212.342.9044




Azabu University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tokyo, Japan, Ph.D., 1992
Azabu University, School of Veterinary Medicine Tokyo, Japan, MS.  D.V.M, 1989
Azabu University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tokyo, Japan Bsc. (Veterinary Medicine), 1987


In-vivo and in vitro experimental model development for highly pathogenic viruses
Antiviral mechanisms of host response to highly pathogenic virus infection
Host innate, cell mediated and humoral immune response to highly pathogenic viruses
Diagnostic imaging and clinical diagnosis


Dr. Okumura is a clinical research veterinarian and virologist studying host immune response. He is a resident researcher at NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana and works in the high containment laboratory as a special volunteer. His research interests are antiviral mechanisms and other host responses to infection, particularly the interactions between highly pathogenic virus infections and host innate immune response.

Dr. Okumura developed a model of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Collaborative Cross (CC) mice and found factors involved in the pathogenesis of Ebola virus infection. His current projects involve evaluation of cell-specific transcriptional pathways controlled by host innate immune factors and the innate immune signaling used to control Ebola infection by performing transcript profiling in target organs.


  • Safronetz D, Rosenke K, Westover JB, Martellaro C, Okumura A, Furuta Y, Geisbert J, Saturday G, Komeno T, Geisbert TW, Feldmann H, Gowen BB. The broad-spectrum antiviral favipiravir protects guinea pigs from lethal Lassa virus infection post-disease onset. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 12;5:14775

  • Muthumani K, Falzarano D, Reuschel EL, Tingey C, Flingai S, Villarreal DO, Wise M, Patel A, Izmirly A, Aljuaid A, Seliga AM, Soule G, Morrow M, Kraynyak KA, Khan AS, Scott DP, Feldmann F, LaCasse R, Meade-White K, Okumura A, Ugen KE, Sardesai NY, Kim JJ, Kobinger G, Feldmann H, Weiner DB. A synthetic consensus anti-spike protein DNA vaccine induces protective immunity against Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in nonhuman primates.  Sci Transl Med. 2015 Aug 19;7(301):301-132.

  • Okumura A, Rasmussen AL, Halfmann P, Feldmann F, Yoshimura A, Feldmann H, Kawaoka Y, Harty RN, Katze MG. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 is an inducible host factor during Ebola virus infection that regulates virus egress. J Virol. 2015 Aug 89:10399-10406.

  • Rasmussen AL*, Okumura A*, Ferris MT, Green R, Feldmann F, Kelly SM, Scott DP, Safronetz D, Haddock E, LaCasse R, Thomas MJ, Sova P, Carter VS, Weiss JM, Miller DR, Shaw GD, Korth MJ, Heise MT, Baric RS, Manuel de Villena FP, Feldmann H, Katze MG.Host genetic diversity enables Ebola hemorrhagic fever pathogenesis and resistance. Science. 2014 Nov 21;346(6212):987-91.

  • Falzarano D, de Wit E, Feldmann F, Rasmussen AL, Okumura A, Peng X, Thomas MJ, van Doremalen N, Haddock E, Nagy L, LaCasse R, Liu T, Zhu J, McLellan JS, Scott DP, Katze MG, Feldmann H, Munster VJ.  Infection with MERS-CoV causes lethal pneumonia in the common marmoset. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Sep;10(9):e1004431

  • de Wit E, Rasmussen AL, Feldmann F, Bushmaker T, Martellaro C, Haddock E, Okumura A, Proll SC, Chang J, Gardner D, Katze MG, Munster VJ, Feldmann H. Influenza virus A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) replicates efficiently in the upper and lower respiratory tracts of cynomolgus macaques. MBio. 2014 Aug 12;5(4). pii: e01331-14.

  • Safronetz D, Prescott J, Feldmann F, Haddock E, Rosenke R, Okumura A, Brining D, Dahlstrom E, Porcella SF, Ebihara H, Scott DP, Hjelle B, Feldmann H. Pathophysiology of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in rhesus macaques. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 13;111(19):7114-9.

  • de Wit E, Rasmussen AL, Falzarano D, Bushmaker T, Feldmann F, Brining DL, Fischer ER, Martellaro C, Okumura A, Chang J, Scott D, Benecke AG, Katze MG, Feldmann H, Munster VJ.  Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes transient lower respiratory tract infection in rhesus macaques. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 8;110(41):16598-16603.

  • Falzarano D, de Wit E, Rasmussen AL, Feldmann F, Okumura A, Scott DP, Brining D, Bushmaker T, Martellaro C, Baseler L, Benecke AG, Katze MG, Munster VJ, Feldmann H. Treatment with interferon-α2b and ribavirin improves outcome in MERS-CoV-infected rhesus macaques. Nat Med. 2013 Oct;19(10):1313-1317. doi: 10.1038/nm.3362. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

  • Okumura A, Pitha PM, Yoshimura A, and Harty RN. Interaction Between Ebola Virus Glycoprotein and Host TLR-4 Leads to Induction of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines and SOCS1. J.Virology: 2010 Jan;84(1):27-33.