Picture of Diana Pastrana at her desk

Diana V. Pastrana, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Cellular Oncology


Dr. Pastrana's projects in the LCO have explored protective antibody responses against small DNA tumor viruses, a group that includes papillomaviruses and polyomaviruses. She has developed tests to determine the virus-neutralizing potency of antibody responses elicited by vaccines.  Her findings in this area led to the development and licensing of polyomavirus vaccine technologies. A vaccine against BK and JC polyomaviruses is currently progressing toward clinical trials that will examine its utility for preventing polyomavirus-induced kidney damage in organ transplant recipients. Dr. Pastrana has also led virus-discovery efforts uncovering dozens of previously unknown DNA tumor viruses and other previously unknown viruses. Her other contributions to the field include findings that have elucidated host/pathogen interactions and characterization of the receptors different polyomavirus strains use to infect cells.

Areas of Expertise

Cancer And Viruses
Virus Neutralization
Virus Discovery


Selected Recent Publications

Adintoviruses: a proposed animal-tropic family of midsize eukaryotic linear dsDNA (MELD) viruses.

Gabriel J Starrett, Michael J Tisza, Nicole L Welch, Anna K Belford, Alberto Peretti, Diana V Pastrana, Christopher B Buck
Virus Evolution. 7(1): veaa055, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Host-Pathogen Interactions in Human Polyomavirus 7‒Associated Pruritic Skin Eruption.

Rachel K.Rosenstein, Diana V.Pastrana, Gabriel J.Starrett, Matthew R.Sapio, Natasha T.Hill, Jay-HyunJo, Chyi-Chia R.Lee, Michael J.Iadarola, Christopher B.Buck, Heidi H.Kong, IsaacBrownell, Edward W.Cowen
Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 141(5): 1344-1348.e8, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Metagenomic Discovery of 83 New Human Papillomavirus Types in Patients with Immunodeficiency

Diana V. Pastrana, Alberto Perettia, Nicole L. Welch, Cinzia Borgogna, Carlotta Olivero, Raffaele Badolato, Lucia D. Notarangelo, Marisa Gariglio, Peter C. FitzGerald, Carl E. McIntosh, Jesse Reeves, Gabriel J. Starrett, Valery Bliskovsky, Daniel Velez, Isaac Brownell, Robert Yarchoan, Kathleen M. Wyvill, Thomas S. Uldrick, Frank Maldarelli, Andrea Lisco, Irini Sereti, Christopher M. Gonzalez, Elliot J. Androphy, Alison A. McBride, Koenraad Van Doorslaer, Francisco Garcia, Israel Dvoretzky, Joceline S. Liu, Justin Han, Philip M. Murphy, David H. McDermott, Christopher B. Buck
mSphere. 3(6): e00645-18, 2018.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

A Multivalent Polyomavirus Vaccine Elicits Durable Neutralizing Antibody Responses in Macaques

Alberto Peretti, Diana G. Scorpio, Wing-Pui Kong, Yuk-Ying S. Pang, Michael McCarthy, Kuishu Ren, Moriah Jackson, ProfileBarney S. Graham, Christopher B. Buck, Patrick M. McTamney, Diana V. Pastrana
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

A phase 3 randomized crossover trial of plerixafor versus G-CSF for treatment of WHIM syndrome

David H. McDermott, Daniel Velez, Elena Cho, Edward W. Cowen, John J. DiGiovanna, Diana V. Pastrana, Christopher B. Buck, Katherine R. Calvo, Pamela J. Gardner, Sergio D. Rosenzweig, Pamela Stratton, Melissa A. Merideth, H. Jeffrey Kim, Carmen Brewer, James D. Katz, Douglas B. Kuhns, Harry L. Malech, Dean Follmann, Michael P. Fay, and Philip M. Murphy
The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Full-Text Article