Practice Locations

UCHealth Neurosciences Center - Anschutz Medical Campus
1635 Aurora Ct 4th Floor, Aurora, CO 80045


Ravi Mahalingam, PhD


Practice Locations

UCHealth Neurosciences Center - Anschutz Medical Campus
1635 Aurora Ct, 4th Floor, Aurora, CO 80045


Interests & Activities

Personal Interests

Cultural aspects of medicine including eastern traditional medicine.

Volunteer Activities

I am a member of the Honors Program Advisory Board, Metropolitan State University, Denver, CO. I am Board member in the Colorado Fine Arts Association

Education & Training

Graduate Schools

MS, Indian Institute of Technology (1977)

MS, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1981)

PhD, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1983)

Professional Memberships

American Society of Virology, Member

BMC Infectious Diseases, Editorial Board Member

Frontiers in Virology, Associate Editor

International Society for Neurovirology, Member

Journal of NeurovVirology, Editorial Board Member

Research & Grants


Mechanisms of varicella virus-induced multisystem disease using a primate model (2019)

Research Interests for Patients

Currently, my laboratory is involved in identification of cell types that transport varicella to skin and ganglia during varicella. During the past 10 years, I have been characterizing the phenotype of the T-cells that respond to varicella reactivation and have been identifying signaling molecules that recruit T cells to ganglia. Because (varicella zoster virus) VZV and (simian varicella virus) SVV are highly species-specific, my laboratory is also involved in the preparation of a VZV-SVV chimeric virus to enable direct studies of VZV infection in primates and to help identify specific regions of the VZV and SVV genomes that are responsible for species specificity

information for referring providers

Referral Contact Phone


Referral Contact Fax


Research Interest for Referring Providers

My laboratory at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus conducts cutting-edge research on varicella zoster virus (VZV) that has contributed significantly to our current understanding of the pathogenesis of virus latency and reactivation in humans. Having studied VZV for 25 years, I have more than 120 publications addressing important aspects of VZV infection. I was the first to demonstrate the presence of VZV DNA in multiple ganglia in humans along the entire neuraxis, results published in NEJM. Before the advent of real-time PCR, I used competitive PCR to demonstrate the low abundance (as few as 36 copies in 105 cells) of latent VZV DNA in human ganglia. In the next few years, I reported the expression of VZV ORF63 protein in the cytoplasm of human ganglia latently infected with VZV. I also demonstrated the persistence of VZV DNA in blood mononuclear cells from elderly patients with post-herpetic neuralgia. Later, I established an animal model of VZV latency in nonhuman primates infected with simian varicella virus (SVV). By generating SVV expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP), it became possible to identify cells infected with SVV both in vitro and in vivo; this virus is now used by multiple laboratories to study varicella pathogenesis and latency in experimentally infected animals. I later used this model to show that varicella enters ganglia before the appearance of rash. I sequenced the complete 125,000-base pair SVV genome, paving the way for molecular analysis of latency and reactivation. In 2007, I reported reactivation of SVV in immunosuppressed Cynomolgus monkeys, the pathogenic features of which are shared with patients with human VZV infection. Recently, I showed that SVV ORF63 is essential for viral replication in culture. Finally, I have mentored and trained numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in Neurovirology.