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


Infectious Diseases


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.


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.

Intranasal nanoemulsion-adjuvanted HSV-2 subunit vaccine is effective as a prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine using the guinea pig model of genital herpes. Bernstein, DI; Cardin, RD; Bravo, FJ; Hamouda, T; Pullum, DA; Cohen, G; Bitko, V; Fattom, A. Vaccine. 2019; 37:6470-6477.

Safety and immunogenicity of unadjuvanted subvirion monovalent inactivated influenza H3N2 variant (H3N2v) vaccine in children and adolescents. Munoz, FM; Anderson, EJ; Bernstein, DI; Harrison, CJ; Pahud, B; Anderson, E; Creech, CB; Berry, AA; Kotloff, KL; Walter, EB; et al. Vaccine. 2019; 37:5161-5170.

Evidence for cross-protection but not type-replacement over the 11 years after human papillomavirus vaccine introduction. Covert, C; Ding, L; Brown, D; Franco, EL; Bernstein, DI; Kahn, JA. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. 2019; 15:1962-1969.

Therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine decreases recurrent virus shedding and recurrent genital herpes disease. Bernstein, DI; Flechtner, JB; McNeil, LK; Heineman, T; Oliphant, T; Tasker, S; Wald, A; Hetherington, S. Vaccine. 2019; 37:3443-3450.

Duration of protection from live attenuated vs. Sub unit HSV-2 vaccines in the Guinea pig model of genital herpes: Reassessing efficacy using endpoints from clinical trials. Bernstein, DI; Cardin, RD; Pullum, DA; Bravo, FJ; Kousoulas, KG; Dixon, DA. PLoS ONE. 2019; 14:e0213401-e0213401.