St. Cloud State University

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SCSU internship launches career in virology research

Wade Bresnahan research immunologist and educator

A summer internship through St. Cloud State helped Wade Bresnahan become a research immunologist and educator.

Wade Bresnahan ’92 is the principal investigator in a laboratory dedicated to understanding human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), the most common cause of viral-induced birth defects in the United States. “It’s a very mysterious virus that we don’t know much about, even today,” Bresnahan said. A summer internship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, following his junior year at St. Cloud State, sparked his interest in HCMV research.

The fact that an HCMV infection affects immunocompromised individuals such as transplant recipients and AIDS patients, in addition to neonates, will motivate him to pursue answers for years to come. Bresnahan is an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Microbiology, where he teaches an advanced microbiology lab, lectures graduate classes and supervises four students in his laboratory.

The St. Cloud native earned a bachelor's degree in biology from SCSU and a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He also did a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University.