The primary purpose of a University of California (UC) Organized Research Unit (ORU) is to foster scholarship, training and research across many disciplines represented on a single UC campus.

The Center for Virus Research (CVR) ORU at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) campus is to develop interdisciplinary collaborations and studies founded in molecular virology.  The CVR provides both the administrative infrastructure as well as training and common facilities needed for this type of investigation.

With the growing worldwide threat imposed by emerging viruses,  interest in virus research at all levels has intensified and taken on a new global perspective; thus, there is a need at the international level to become more knowledgeable about viruses and viral diseases.  As a consequence, previously separate disciplines such as molecular biology, evolutionary biology, immunology, pathogenesis, neurology, biochemistry, structural biology, proteomics and biomedical engineering can now be readily linked by virus research.

Such integrated research pathways provide the highly interdisciplinary character to the Center for Virus Research.


Current Director
Bert L. Semler, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Founding Director (2000 to 2010)
Professor Emeritus, Luis P. Villarreal, Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

External Advisory Committee
Professor Irvin Chen – UC Los Angeles
Professor Charles E. Samuel – UC Santa Barbara
Professor Deborah H. Spector – UC San Diego

Internal Oversight Committee Chair
Michael J. Buchmeier, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

The Center for Virus Research reports to Pramod Khargonekar, Ph.D, Vice Chancellor for Research at UCI