Dr. Robert Ralston, PhD, is a professor at the University of Missouri. His research interests include virus-host interactions and the impact of direct-acting antivirals on innate and adaptive immunity. Prior to returning to academia, Dr Ralston lead research teams in biotech and pharma working on small molecule antivirals, vaccines and immunotherapies. Most recently, Dr Ralston was head of virology discovery research at Schering-Plough Corp and was site lead for infectious disease discovery research following the merger with Merck & Co. His work on HCV began at Chiron Corp with evaluation of the HCV envelope proteins as vaccine antigens in collaboration with Dr Michael Houghton and colleagues and has ranged from exploratory studies of an immunomodulatory therapy in HCV+ chimpanzees to analysis of resistance to the NS3/4A protease inhibitors boceprevir and narlaprevir in clinical studies. Dr Ralston received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska and did his postdoctoral training on retroviruses and oncogenes with Dr J Michael Bishop at the University of California - San Francisco. He has authored 60 scientific publications and is an inventor on 9 issued US patents and 10 published patent applications.