Michael Gale, Jr. to become Director of the Institute on Infectious Diseases at University of Minnesota

Prof. Michael Gale Jr.
Michael Gale, Jr., Ph.D. is headed to the University of Minnesota in September.

In October, Prof. Michael Gale, Jr. to head University of Minnesota’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology and become Director of the Institute on Infectious Diseases

Michael Gale Jr., PhD, is a Professor at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle Wa., USA. In October 2024 he will assume the role of head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI) and director of the University of Minnesota Institute on Infectious Diseases (UMIID). Dr. Gale and his research team will bring their expertise in immunology, virology, and systems biology of infectious diseases to DMI and UMIID. 

Dr. Gale received his training in pathobiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He then served on the faculty in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where his group determined how hepatitis C virus (HCV) controls innate immunity to mediate persistent infection, revealing RIG-I and the role of the RIG-I pathway pathogen sensing and innate immune activation of regulation of HCV and other RNA viruses. He then joined the University of Washington in 2007 where his group identified the nature of the HCV pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP) in the viral RNA, leading to development of the PAMP RNA molecule now formulated for antiviral treatment applications against respiratory viruses. At UW, he founded and serves as the director of the Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease (CIIID), as an Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Microbiology, and as an Affiliate Investigator of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He also co-founded the UW Institute for Translational Immunology. 

Dr. Gale’s primary research focuses on revealing the innate immunity mechanisms of the body’s response to infections caused by emerging RNA viruses, HIV, and other microbial pathogens. His efforts are also directed toward translational research aimed at enhancing vaccine efficacy, developing novel vaccine adjuvants, and creating effective antiviral and antimicrobial therapies. He has mentored and trained 42 scientists, all of whom are current leaders in academic, clinical, and pharmaceutical research in the areas of infection and immunity. 

Dr. Gale serves as one of the principal investigators (PI) of the Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Disease (CREID), also known as the United World Antiviral Research Network/UWARN. This center, part of the 10 CREID networks globally supported by the NIH, focuses on combating emerging viruses. Additionally, he is the Chief of the Infectious Disease and Translational Medicine unit at the Washington National Primate Research Center. He is PI of multiple grants and contracts related to interferon and cytokine research including the NIH-funded Functional Genomics Core Laboratory for SIV/HIV Vaccine Development, grants focused on innate immunity against RNA viruses, HIV vaccine development, and RIG-I-targeted antiviral therapeutics and vaccine adjuvants. 

Among all cited microbiology researchers worldwide, Dr Gale has ranked in the top 1% cited for nearly a decade, as ranked by Thompson-Reuters, Clarivate, and Web of Science. He has received many honors and awards in including the ICIS Milstein Award. In 2019, he received the UW School of Public Health Distinguished Alumni Award, the School’s highest honor, recognizing distinguished achievement and impact in public health.