Rachel Fearns, PhD

Associate Professor, Microbiology

Rachel Fearns
72 E. Concord St Housman (R)


Expertise in paramyxovirus genome transcription and replication mechanisms.

Other Positions

  • Faculty, National Emerging Infectious Disease Lab, Boston University
  • Member, Pulmonary Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University


  • University of St Andrews, PhD
  • University of Leeds, BS

Classes Taught

  • GMSFC764
  • GMSMI823


  • Published on 11/7/2019

    Pan J, Qian X, Lattmann S, El Sahili A, Yeo TH, Jia H, Cressey T, Ludeke B, Noton S, Kalocsay M, Fearns R, Lescar J. Structure of the human metapneumovirus polymerase phosphoprotein complex. Nature. 2020 01; 577(7789):275-279. PMID: 31698413.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/6/2019

    Ludeke B, Fearns R. The respiratory syncytial virus polymerase can perform RNA synthesis with modified primers and nucleotide analogs. Virology. 2020 Jan 15; 540:66-74. PMID: 31739186.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/28/2019

    Fearns R. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus Polymerase: A Multitasking Machine. Trends Microbiol. 2019 12; 27(12):969-971. PMID: 31672264.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/8/2019

    Deflubé LR, Cressey TN, Hume AJ, Olejnik J, Haddock E, Feldmann F, Ebihara H, Fearns R, Mühlberger E. Ebolavirus polymerase uses an unconventional genome replication mechanism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 04 23; 116(17):8535-8543. PMID: 30962389.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/28/2019

    Noton SL, Tremaglio CZ, Fearns R. Killing two birds with one stone: How the respiratory syncytial virus polymerase initiates transcription and replication. PLoS Pathog. 2019 02; 15(2):e1007548. PMID: 30817806.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/28/2018

    Badolo A, Burt F, Daniel S, Fearns R, Gudo ES, Kielian M, Lescar J, Shi Y, von Brunn A, Weiss SR, Hilgenfeld R. Third Tofo Advanced Study Week on Emerging and Re-emerging Viruses, 2018. Antiviral Res. 2019 02; 162:142-150. PMID: 30597184.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/11/2018

    Cox RM, Toots M, Yoon JJ, Sourimant J, Ludeke B, Fearns R, Bourque E, Patti J, Lee E, Vernachio J, Plemper RK. Development of an allosteric inhibitor class blocking RNA elongation by the respiratory syncytial virus polymerase complex. J Biol Chem. 2018 10 26; 293(43):16761-16777. PMID: 30206124.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/27/2018

    Cressey TN, Noton SL, Nagendra K, Braun MR, Fearns R. Mechanism for de novo initiation at two sites in the respiratory syncytial virus promoter. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 07 27; 46(13):6785-6796. PMID: 29873775.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/27/2018

    Yoon JJ, Toots M, Lee S, Lee ME, Ludeke B, Luczo JM, Ganti K, Cox RM, Sticher ZM, Edpuganti V, Mitchell DG, Lockwood MA, Kolykhalov AA, Greninger AL, Moore ML, Painter GR, Lowen AC, Tompkins SM, Fearns R, Natchus MG, Plemper RK. Orally Efficacious Broad-Spectrum Ribonucleoside Analog Inhibitor of Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Viruses. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 08; 62(8). PMID: 29891600.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/3/2018

    Atienza BJP, Jensen LD, Noton SL, Ansalem AKV, Hobman T, Fearns R, Marchant DJ, West FG. Dual Catalytic Synthesis of Antiviral Compounds Based on Metallocarbene-Azide Cascade Chemistry. J Org Chem. 2018 07 06; 83(13):6829-6842. PMID: 29663810.

    Read at: PubMed

View 37 more publications: View full profile at BUMC

View all profiles