Center for Vaccines and Immunology
Graduate Research Assistant, Ross Lab


Thomas Rowe received his Master’s in Applied Biology from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and has a broad experience of over 25 years in developing animal models for emerging infectious disease research.  He has worked with mouse (both lab adapted and wild), rat, cotton rat, rabbit, nonhuman primate and ferret models. He has developed and refined animal models for emerging infectious diseases including: Highly-pathogenic avian influenza, SARS-coronavirus, and tuberculosis.

In 2016, Thomas joined the University of Georgia Comparative Biomedical Sciences Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine and is conducting his research in the Ross lab. He currently works at the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thomas’ primary focus and greatest breadth of experience lies with developing and refining the ferret model for use in pathogenesis and vaccine development for emerging respiratory pathogens.  His graduate research focuses on understanding the innate immune responses to influenza B virus in order to develop better vaccines and therapeutics.

Research Interests


  • Developing In vitro tools to understand mechanisms of innate immune responses to influenza and emerging diseases using primary ferret respiratory epithelial cell cultures.
  • Refining the ferret influenza model for understanding the innate immune responses to influenza infection and vaccination.

Educational Background

  • MS (1999) – Applied Biologic, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • BS (1986) – Molecular Genetics, University of Georgia

Selected Publications

  • Mabry Jan E., Thomas Rowe, Elisabeth G. Blanchard, and Xiyan Xu.  Development of a HEPA-Filtered Caging System for Ferrets: Thinking outside the Metal Box.  Laboratory Animal Science Professional. 1(3):41 – 44 (2013).


  • Cameron Mark J., Alyson A. Kelvin, Alberto J. Leon, Cheryl M. Cameron, Longsi Ran, Luoling Xu, Yong-Kyu Chu, Ali Danesh, Yuan Fang, Qianjun Li, Austin Anderson, Ronald C. Couch, Stephane G. Paquette, Ndingsa G. Fomukong, Otfried Kistner, Manfred Lauchart, Thomas Rowe, Kevin S. Herrod, Colleen B. Jonsson, and David J. Kelvin.  Lack of Innate Interferon Responses during SARS Coronavirus Infection in a Vaccination and Reinfection Ferret Model. PLoS ONE 7(9): e45842.doi:10:1371/journal.pone.0045842 (2012).


  • Yuan Fang, Dave Banner, Alyson Kelvin, Stephen Huang, Christopher Paige, Steven Corfe, Kevin Kane, Chris Bleackley, Thomas Rowe, Alberto Leon, and David Kelvin. Seasonal H1N1 infection induces cross protective pandemic H1N1 immunity through a CD8 independent, B cell dependent mechanism. Journal of Virology 86(4):2229-2238 (2012).


  • Danesh A, Cameron CM, Leon AJ, Ran L, Xu L, Fang Y, Kelvin AA, Rowe T, Chen H, Yi G, Jonsson CB, Cameron MJ, and Kelvin DJ. Early gene expression events in ferrets in response to SARS coronavirus infection versus direct interferon-alpha2b stimulation. Virology 409:102-112 (2011).


  • Fang Y, Rowe T, Leon AJ, Banner D, Danesh A, Xu L, Ran L, Bosinger SE, Guan Y, Chen H, Cameron CC, Cameron MJ, and Kelvin DJ. Molecular characterization of In vivo adjuvant activity in ferrets vaccinated against influenza virus.  J. Virol. 84:8369-8388 (2010).


  • Thomas Rowe, Alberto Leon, Corey Crevar, Donald Carter, Luoling Xu, Longsi Ran,Yuan Fang, Cheryl Cameron, Mark Cameron, David Banner, Ran Ran, Heather Weirback, Clayton Wiley, David Kelvin, and Ted Ross. Modeling host responses in ferrets during A/California/07/2009 influenza infection. Virology 401:257-265 (2010).