Center for Respiratory Virus Research and Response

Welcome to the Michigan Center for Respiratory Virus Research and Response. The Center brings together a group of scientists working on elements leading to the understanding of the spread, clinical characteristics and impact of respiratory infections with the goal of prevention and control. The work mainly focuses on influenza, Covid-19 and RSV, but involves other viral respiratory diseases as well, using laboratory and analytic tools to develop and evaluate new and existing response strategies.

The science of respiratory viruses has a unique place in epidemiology. Our fundamental knowledge of respiratory illnesses comes to us from centuries of investigations and traditions all over the world, yet these viruses continue to surprise us. Our field’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to the fast pace of evolution of influenza viruses has had to content with this pairing by learning from the past while recognizing how much we still have to learn. 

The historical heart of our center is our longitudinal cohort studies, much of which is based on Southeastern Michigan. This area has been home to foundational work in respiratory virus epidemiology, beginning with community-based projects in Tecumseh, Michigan. This important work continues to this day with studies of the impact of respiratory viruses and the effectiveness of vaccines as experienced over many years by the participants. Our work, while straightforward in terms of our surveillance of viruses, integrates with cutting edge science looking at immune responses and how the sequence of viruses change over time. We have extended from this platform of cohort studies to become core participants in national efforts for vaccine effectiveness surveillance. In addition, we have an active research program focused on transmission of viruses in households and in community settings such as child care facilities that we hope will lead to new interventions in these areas.

We have a dedicated and diverse team, from phlebotomists to laboratorians to coordinators to programmers to couriers to students and trainees who are all committed to advancing this science together. We are most fortunate to have dedicated participants, who answer our surveys and swab their noses and participate in blood draws and any range of tests and tasks. We extend our gratitude to all of the participants in the center’s studies, and hope that this site is a portal through which you will be able to see how your contributions to science have benefitted all.


Dr. Emily T Martin                             Dr. Arnold S. Monto
Center Co-Director                           Center Co-Director