Wilen Lab

We use CRISPR screens, mouse models, and molecular biology to discover how SARS-CoV-2 and norovirus interact with the host and other microbes to cause disease.

About the Lab


The Wilen lab is located at the Yale School of Medicine in the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Immunobiology. We are interested in how viruses, particularly SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19) and norovirus, interact with the host epithelium and immune system to cause disease. Our goals are to elucidate mechanisms of viral transmission and pathogenesis to promote development of novel drugs and vaccines to tackle these major human pathogens.

CRISPR cover modified 120120

Craig B. Wilen,


Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Immunobiology


Dr. Wilen received his A.B in Biology and Economics at Washington University in St. Louis, his MD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. His residency training was in clinical pathology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. His postdoctoral studies were conducted in the laboratory of Herbert "Skip" Virgin in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine where he studied the pathogenesis of norovirus, the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis globally.



COVID-19 Pathogenesis - SARS-CoV2 is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are leveraging CRISPR screens, single-cell sequencing, organoid culture, and mouse models to understand how the virus causes disease and how it can be therapeutically targeted with drugs and vaccines.

Viral Immune Evasion - Evolutionarily successful viruses must overcome the host innate and adaptive immune responses.

Norovirus Pathogenesis - Human norovirus causes a gastrointestinal illness characterized by profuse diarrhea and vomiting.

Tuft cell biology - Tuft cells are named after their long tuft of microvilli that protrudes into the intestinal lumen.


COVID-19 Pathogenesis


Tuft Cell Biology

14pi colon CR6 SL paper outset

Viral Immune Evasion


Norovirus pathogenesis