A photo of Ming Tan.

Ming Tan, PhD

  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



After the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the globe, the study of infectious disease became more prevalent than ever before. Researchers rushed toward developing a vaccine to end this disease and save future lives.

The research I’m most interested in includes infectious pathogens, such as the influenza virus causing flu, the norovirus and rotavirus that cause diarrhea, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 infectious disease.

I find that nanotechnology and its use in vaccine development is a remarkable field in modern medicine. My focus is on virus-host interactions and seeking new vaccine strategies against these viral pathogens.

One of our laboratory's most significant achievements is the invention of multiple nanoparticles as platforms to display viral antigens for enhanced immunogenicity for innovative vaccine design. Among these nanoparticles, a novel one, known as the S60 nanoparticle, is equal to the inner shell of a norovirus capsid.

The bioengineered nanoparticle can self-assemble by 60 norovirus shell (S) domains with 60 terminal hinges on the surface. The nanoparticle acts as a versatile platform for presenting antigens in order to design innovative vaccines. When the viral antigen bonds to the “hinge” of the S domain, the fused proteins assemble into pseudo-viral nanoparticles with 60 antigens lying on the surface, resulting in strongly enhanced immunogenicity of the exhibited antigen.

As a proof-of-concept, a pseudo-viral nanoparticle displaying the defusing antigens of rotavirus VP8 has been developed and tested. This S60 nanoparticle was proven to be a powerful vaccine platform to design subunit vaccines against different infectious pathogens and their diseases.

Throughout my career, I have received numerous research awards, such as:

  • COVID-19 Research Innovation and Pilot Grant of $75,000, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, May 2020 to April 2021
  • Innovation Fund of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center of $100,000, July 2019 to June 2020
  • Pilot Collaborative Studies Grant award, Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST), University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center for $60,000, July 2019 to June 2020
  • R56 research grant of $481,910, National Institute of Health, August 2020 to July 2021

I have more than 20 years’ experience in infectious diseases and started working at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2002. My research has been published 110 scientific articles in respected journals, such as ACS Nano, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Biomaterials, Emerging infectious diseases, PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Virology, Vaccine and Pharmaceutics.

PhD: University of Münster, Münster, Germany, 1997.


Norovirus; rotavirus; influenza virus; SARS-CoV-2; viral gastroenteritis; influenza; COVID-19

Research Areas

Infectious Diseases


Pseudovirus Nanoparticles Displaying Plasmodium Circumsporozoite Proteins Elicited High Titers of Sporozoite-Binding Antibody. Xia, M; Huang, P; Vago, F; Jiang, W; Tan, M. Vaccines. 2023; 11:1650.

A bioengineered pseudovirus nanoparticle displaying SARS-CoV 2 RBD fully protects mice from mortality and weight loss caused by SARS-CoV 2 challenge. Xia, M; López, K; Vago, FS; Huang, P; Auguste, DI; Jiang, W; Auguste, AJ; Tan, M. Biotechnology Journal. 2023; 18:e2300130.

The αTSR Domain of Plasmodium Circumsporozoite Protein Bound Heparan Sulfates and Elicited High Titers of Sporozoite Binding Antibody After Displayed by Nanoparticles. Xia, M; Vago, F; Han, L; Huang, P; Nguyen, L; Boons, GJ; Klassen, JS; Jiang, W; Tan, M. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2023; 18:3087-3107.

Combined Live Oral Priming and Intramuscular Boosting Regimen with Rotarix® and a Nanoparticle-Based Trivalent Rotavirus Vaccine Evaluated in Gnotobiotic Pig Models of G4P[6] and G1P[8] Human Rotavirus Infection. Hensley, C; Nyblade, C; Zhou, P; Parreño, V; Ramesh, A; Frazier, A; Frazier, M; Garrison, S; Fantasia-Davis, A; Cai, R; et al. Vaccines. 2023; 11:927.

Mucosal and systemic neutralizing antibodies to norovirus induced in infant mice orally inoculated with recombinant rotaviruses. Kawagishi, T; Sánchez-Tacuba, L; Feng, N; Costantini, VP; Tan, M; Jiang, X; Green, KY; Vinjé, J; Ding, S; Greenberg, HB. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 2023; 120:e2214421120.

A New Gnotobiotic Pig Model of P[6] Human Rotavirus Infection and Disease for Preclinical Evaluation of Rotavirus Vaccines. Nyblade, C; Hensley, C; Parreño, V; Zhou, P; Frazier, M; Frazier, A; Ramesh, A; Lei, S; Degiuseppe, JI; Tan, M; et al. Viruses-Basel. 2022; 14:2803.

The Association between Symptomatic Rotavirus Infection and Histo-Blood Group Antigens in Young Children with Diarrhea in Pretoria, South Africa. Rakau, K; Gededzha, M; Peenze, I; Huang, P; Tan, M; Steele, AD; Seheri, LM. Viruses-Basel. 2022; 14:2735.

A Pseudovirus Nanoparticle-Based Trivalent Rotavirus Vaccine Candidate Elicits High and Cross P Type Immune Response. Xia, M; Huang, P; Tan, M. Pharmaceutics. 2022; 14:1597.

Bovine natural antibody IgM inhibits the binding of human norovirus protruding domain to its HBGA receptors. Han, Q; Xue, Z; Tan, M; Wang, L; Chen, H; Zhang, R. FEBS Open Bio. 2022; 12:1489-1497.

Structural Insight into Terminal Galactose Recognition by Two Non-HBGA Binding GI.3 Noroviruses. Wang, C; Kang, H; Tan, M; Cong, J; Su, D; Li, X; Chen, Y. Journal of Virology. 2022; 96:e0042022.

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Ming Tan, PhD, Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD ...5/26/2020