Alex Compton, Ph.D.

Alex Compton, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Work in the Antiviral Immunity and Resistance Section, led by Alex Compton, Ph.D., is guided by integrative approaches combining experimental virology, cell biology, and evolutionary biology to reveal dynamic host-virus interactions important for public health.  A focus is placed on mechanisms of host protection mediated by the cell-intrinsic innate immune response, as well as the strategies employed by HIV and emerging viruses to evade or overcome these immune barriers.

Areas of Expertise

1) innate immunity 2) molecular biology 3) retroviruses 4) host-pathogen interactions 5) virus evolution


Selected Key Publications

Rapalogs downmodulate intrinsic immunity and promote cell entry of SARS-CoV-2

Shi G, Chiramel AI, Li T, Lai KK, Kenney AD, Zani A, Eddy AC, Majdoul S, Zhang L, Dempsey T, Beare PA, Kar S, Yewdell JW, Best SM, Yount JS, Compton AA
J Clin Invest. 2022.
Full-Text Article

IFITM3 reduces retroviral envelope abundance and function and is counteracted by glycoGag

Ahi YS, Yimer D, Shi G, Majdoul S, Rahman K, Rein A, Compton AA
mBio. 2020.
Full-Text Article

mTOR inhibitors lower an intrinsic barrier to virus infection mediated by IFITM3

Shi G, Ozog S, Torbett BE, Compton AA
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018.
Full-Text Article


Alvin Cao
Summer Student, 2017
Currently: Undergraduate Student at George Mason University
Charles Coomer, Ph.D.
PhD Student (NIH-OxCam), 2018-2021
Currently: MD/PhD Student at University of Kentucky
Tirhas Dempsey, B.S.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow, 2020-2021
Currently: Emergency Medical Technician at Howard University Hospital
Selena Ding
Summer Student, 2019
Currently: Research Technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Erin Markle, B.S.
Summer Student, 2017
Currently: PhD Student at UC-Davis
Alexis Schirling, B.S.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow, 2019-2020
Currently: Scientific Resource Specialist at NIH