Rachel Fearns, PhD

Professor, Virology, Immunology & 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
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


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

Classes Taught

  • GMSMI701
  • GMSMI911
  • GMSMI912


  • Published on 11/10/2022

    Donovan-Banfield I, Milligan R, Hall S, Gao T, Murphy E, Li J, Shawli GT, Hiscox J, Zhuang X, McKeating JA, Fearns R, Matthews DA. Direct RNA sequencing of respiratory syncytial virus infected human cells generates a detailed overview of RSV polycistronic mRNA and transcript abundance. PLoS One. 2022; 17(11):e0276697. PMID: 36355791.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/22/2022

    Cressey TN, Shareef AM, Kleiner VA, Noton SL, Byrne PO, McLellan JS, Mühlberger E, Fearns R. Distinctive features of the respiratory syncytial virus priming loop compared to other non-segmented negative strand RNA viruses. PLoS Pathog. 2022 06; 18(6):e1010451. PMID: 35731802.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/22/2021

    Conley MJ, Short JM, Burns AM, Streetley J, Hutchings J, Bakker SE, Power BJ, Jaffery H, Haney J, Zanetti G, Murcia PR, Stewart M, Fearns R, Vijayakrishnan S, Bhella D. Helical ordering of envelope-associated proteins and glycoproteins in respiratory syncytial virus. EMBO J. 2022 02 01; 41(3):e109728. PMID: 34935163.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/16/2021

    Shareef AM, Ludeke B, Jordan P, Deval J, Fearns R. Comparison of RNA synthesis initiation properties of non-segmented negative strand RNA virus polymerases. PLoS Pathog. 2021 12; 17(12):e1010151. PMID: 34914795.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/18/2021

    Braun MR, Noton SL, Blanchard EL, Shareef A, Santangelo PJ, Johnson WE, Fearns R. Respiratory syncytial virus M2-1 protein associates non-specifically with viral messenger RNA and with specific cellular messenger RNA transcripts. PLoS Pathog. 2021 05; 17(5):e1009589. PMID: 34003848.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/15/2021

    Rhodin MHJ, McAllister NV, Castillo J, Noton SL, Fearns R, Kim IJ, Yu J, Blaisdell TP, Panarese J, Shook BC, Or YS, Goodwin B, Lin K. EDP-938, a novel nucleoprotein inhibitor of respiratory syncytial virus, demonstrates potent antiviral activities in vitro and in a non-human primate model. PLoS Pathog. 2021 03; 17(3):e1009428. PMID: 33720995.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/8/2020

    Blanchard EL, Braun MR, Lifland AW, Ludeke B, Noton SL, Vanover D, Zurla C, Fearns R, Santangelo PJ. Polymerase-tagged respiratory syncytial virus reveals a dynamic rearrangement of the ribonucleocapsid complex during infection. PLoS Pathog. 2020 10; 16(10):e1008987. PMID: 33031461.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2020

    Kleiner VA, Fearns R. RSV M2-1 Protein in Complex with RNA: Old Questions Are Answered and a New One Emerges. Structure. 2020 09 01; 28(9):977-978. PMID: 32877647.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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 01 15; 540:66-74. PMID: 31739186.

    Read at: PubMed

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