A photo of David Bernstein.

Director, Gamble Program and VTEU

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Board Certified

Biography & Affiliation


As a researcher, I am interested in vaccines for common infections that have significant impact on human health. Most of the vaccines I study are related to herpes viruses, rotavirus, norovirus and influenza.

During my fellowship, I became interested in herpes viruses and vaccines. Upon arrival at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, I began investigating the immunobiology of genital herpes infections using animal models. During this time, I also became interested in rotavirus and, along with my colleague Dr. Richard Ward, I examined the epidemiology and immunology of rotavirus infections.

This work led to the development of a live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine, initially named 89-12. After further modification, this vaccine became the GlaxoSmithKline rotavirus vaccine Rotarix, now available in over 100 countries including the United States and the European Union.

Currently, I evaluate vaccines and antivirals for herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus in animals through our National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded contract and industry, as well as in clinical trials through our NIH-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) and industry. We also evaluate vaccines for influenza, avian influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), norovirus and COVID-19 through the VTEU.

As the former Albert Sabin Professor of pediatrics and former director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s, I have published over 300 manuscripts and book chapters on infectious diseases, vaccines and antivirals. The NIH has funded our VTEU site for over 25 years and our animal contract for close to 30 years.

For these accomplishments, I was honored to receive the Stanly Plotkin Award for vaccine research.

Clinical Interests

Rotavirus; herpes simplex virus; cytomegalovirus; preclinical and clinical evaluations of vaccine; immune response to herpes virus

Research Interests

Evaluation of vaccines and antivirals for herpes and rotovirus; development of improved adjuvants and delivery systems for vaccines; treatment and prevention of influenza, norovirus and parvovirus infections

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Infectious Diseases

Blog Posts

Clinical Trial Results: Universal Flu Vax Candidate Reaches 18-Month Milestone

Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Clinical Trial Results: Universal Flu Vax Candidate Reaches 18-Month Milestone

David I. Bernstein, MD, MA, Monica Malone McNeal, MS12/7/2020

‘R2’ Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise

Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

‘R2’ Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise

David I. Bernstein, MD, MA11/9/2020


MA: Microbiology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1973.

MD: State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, Buffalo, NY, 1977.

Residency: Pediatrics, University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA; Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Fellowship: Pediatric Infectious Disease, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.

Certification: American Board of Medical Examiners, 1978; American Board of Pediatrics, 1981; Pediatrics, 1982.


Continued Evidence of the Impact of Rotavirus Vaccine in Children Less Than 3 Years of Age From the United States New Vaccine Surveillance Network: A Multisite Active Surveillance Program, 2006-2016. Staat, MA; Payne, DC; Halasa, N; Weinberg, GA; Donauer, S; Wikswo, M; McNeal, M; Edwards, KM; Szilagyi, PG; Bernstein, DI; et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020; 71:e421-e429.

The R2 non-neuroinvasive HSV-1 vaccine affords protection from genital HSV-2 infections in a guinea pig model. Bernstein, DI; Cardin, RD; Smith, GA; Pickard, GE; Sollars, PJ; Dixon, DA; Pasula, R; Bravo, FJ. npj Vaccines. 2020; 5.

Antibody binding to native cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B predicts efficacy of the gB/MF59 vaccine in humans. Jenks, JA; Nelson, CS; Roark, HK; Goodwin, ML; Pass, RF; Bernstein, DI; Walter, EB; Edwards, KM; Wang, D; Fu, TM; et al. Science Translational Medicine. 2020; 12:eabb3611-eabb3611.

Use of the Guinea pig model of genital herpes to evaluate vaccines and antivirals: Review. Bernstein, DI. Antiviral Research. 2020; 180:104821-104821.

Five Percent Monolaurin Vaginal Gel for the Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Mancuso, AC; Widdice, LE; Hughes, BL; Schlievert, P; Swamy, GK; Stockdale, CK; Bernstein, DI; Winokur, PL. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease. 2020; 24:277-283.

Cytomegalovirus Genetic Diversity Following Primary Infection. Ross, SA; Pati, P; Jensen, TL; Goll, JB; Gelber, CE; Singh, A; McNeal, M; Boppana, SB; Bernstein, DI. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020; 221:715-720.

A vaccine containing highly purified virus particles in adjuvant provides high level protection against genital infection and disease in guinea pigs challenged intravaginally with homologous and heterologous strains of herpes simplex virus type 2. Bernstein, DI; Morello, CS; Cardin, RD; Bravo, FJ; Kraynyak, KA; Spector, DH. Vaccine. 2020; 38:79-89.

Immunogenicity of chimeric haemagglutinin-based, universal influenza virus vaccine candidates: interim results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 1 clinical trial. Bernstein, DI; Guptill, J; Naficy, A; Nachbagauer, R; Berlanda-Scorza, F; Feser, J; Wilson, PC; Solorzano, A; Van der Wielen, M; Walter, EB; et al. Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2020; 20:80-91.

Dynamic Changes in Natural Killer Cell Subset Frequencies in the Absence of Cytomegalovirus Infection. Gyurova, IE; Schlums, H; Sucharew, H; Ambroggio, L; Ochayon, DE; Win, HT; Bryceson, YT; Bernsteins, DI; Waggoner, SN. Frontiers in Immunology. 2019; 10.

Decline in vaccine-type human papillomavirus prevalence in young men from a Midwest metropolitan area of the United States over the six years after vaccine introduction. Widdice, LE; Bernstein, DI; Franco, EL; Ding, L; Brown, DR; Ermel, AC; Higgins, L; Kahn, JA. Vaccine. 2019; 37:6832-6841.