John Burand


Research areas include the use of viruses as bionanoparticles for the delivery of biologically active materials including DNA, RNA and proteins.

Current Research
Viruses are natural bionanoparticles which have evolved to deliver their genomes to target cells. Using a baculovirus system in insect cells to produce and assemble virus capsids tagged biologically active molecules can be directed into the virion in place of the viral genome. This results in a non-infectious, bionanoparticle that can deliver its cargo to specific target cells.

The use of viruses as bionanoparticles has application to solving problems of pest and disease control in agriculture as well as in diseases control human and animal systems. We are currently developing this approach for the control of pests and diseases in bees as a proof of concept for this technology.

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Academic Background

  • BS Defiance College, 1972
  • MS Miami University, 1974
  • PhD Microbiology, Washington State University, 1979
  • Postdoctoral Training: Boyce Thompson Institute; Texas A&M University
Burand JP, Hunter WB. 2012. RNAi: Future in insect management. J Invertebr Pathol.
Burand JP, Kim W, Afonso CL, Tulman ER, Kutish GF, Lu Z, Rock DL. 2012. Analysis of the genome of the sexually transmitted insect virus Helicoverpa zea nudivirus 2.. Viruses. 4(1):28-61.
Burand JP, Kim W, Welch A, Elkinton JS. 2011. Identification of a nucleopolyhedrovirus in winter moth populations from Massachusetts. J Invertebr Pathol. 108(3):217-9.
Burand JP, Tan W, Kim W, Nojima S, Roelofs W. 2005. Infection with the insect virus Hz-2v alters mating behavior and pheromone production in female Helicoverpa zea moths.. J Insect Sci. 5:6.
Burand JP, Rallis CP, Tan W. 2004. Horizontal transmission of Hz-2V by virus infected Helicoverpa zea moths.. J Invertebr Pathol. 85(2):128-31.
Burand JP, Rallis CP. 2004. In vivo dose-response of insects to Hz-2V infection. Virol J. 1:15.
Contact Info

Department of Microbiology
202A Fernald Hall
270 Stockbridge Road
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-3629