Matthew Aliota, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Matthew Aliota

Contact Info

[email protected]

Office Phone 612-625-3769

Fax 612-625-0204

Office Address:
235C Animal Science Veterinary Medicine Building
1988 Fitch Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55108

Additional Locations

[email protected]

PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison

BS University of Wisconsin-Madison



Arbovirus virology, vector biology, animal model development, emerging infectious diseases, and host-pathogen interactions.

Awards & Recognition

  • Foward Under 40 Award, UW Alumni Association
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease
  • Richard F. Marsh Outstanding Graduate Student Award 

Professional Associations


Research Summary/Interests

Many arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are resurgent, are spreading to new environments, and are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality around the globe as climate change and urbanization enhance opportunities for spread and interspecies transmission. My primary research goals are to understand commonalities in patterns of arbovirus population evolution, how these features account for their success in emergence and epidemics, and how these evolutionary processes can be exploited to prevent disease. The underlying factors that promote (re)emergence are poorly understood; therefore, my team utilizes basic and applied research that emphasizes understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in establishing and maintaining the host-pathogen relationship, the role of host-specific and pathogen-specific evolutionary pressures in defining these relationships, and understanding the mechanisms of inter-species transmission. These areas primarily focus on Zika virus; however, four other arboviruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti- dengue, yellow fever, Mayaro, and chikungunya- remain circulating in the Americas, and my research interests align with all of these viruses. If the current Zika virus situation has taught us anything, it is that arbovirus emergence/re-emergence is the “new normal” in the Americas. Future outbreaks are unpredictable but likely are inevitable. Therefore, our overall goal is to develop strategies to interrupt transmission or predict a zoonotic pathogen’s adaptability or evolvability.

Research Funding Grants

  • NIH/NIAID Exploratory/Development Research Grant R21
  • NIH/NIAD Research Project Grant R01
  • NIH/NIAID Program Project Grant P01
  • NIH/NIAID High Priority, Short-term Project Award R56 


Academic Interests and Focus

Vector Biology; Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases; Emerging Infectious Diseases

Teaching Areas

DVM, Graduate, and Undergraduate courses


CFAN 3334, Parasites and Pestilence