James A. Elkins Professor in the Life Sciences
Co-Director, Programs in Global Health and Health Policy
Thomas Shenk, Ph.D., is the James A. Elkins Professor of Life Sciences in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. He is a virologist, who has investigated gene functions and pathogenesis of adenovirus, a DNA tumor virus, and, more recently, human cytomegalovirus, a member of the herpes family of viruses. Cytomegalovirus is the leading known infectious cause of birth defects, it is responsible for significant morbidity in people who become immunosuppressed, and there is suggestive evidence that it contributes to certain cancers and immune senescence. His laboratory’s current areas of focus include the use of genetic and proteomic approaches for the dissection of cytomegalovirus gene functions and the cellular response to infection, as well as the development and analysis of models for study of viral latency. Professor Shenk is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Institute of Medicine. He is a past president of the American Society for Virology and the American Society for Microbiology, and he served on the board of directors of Merck & Company for 11 years. He currently serves as a member of the boards of directors of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, The Hepatitis B Foundation and Origen Therapeutics.