John Blaho

Director for Industrial-Academic Research

Main Affiliation

Center for Advanced Technology


Marshak 323





John Blaho


John A. Blaho, Ph.D. has over 25 years experience as a successful and well-funded professor at the University of Chicago and in the Department of Microbiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  He is recognized internationally for his research on human viruses and was appointed to the Doctoral Faculty of the City University of New York in 1995.  Dr. Blaho was trained as a Chemical Engineer and performed NSF-supported research on biomass conversion.  His graduate research on nucleic acid biochemistry utilized large scale (500 liter) microbial fermentation of recombinant organisms, a process which served as the nadir of the blossoming biotechnology industry.  Prior to joining CUNY, Dr. Blaho served a full time CSO function at a Biotech company in Princeton, NJ.  In this Executive Industrial position, he was also responsible for expanding the business through development of key partnerships and creating new investment opportunities.  During his tenure in the Biotech sector, Dr. Blaho held a Full Member (Professor) position at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was a Visiting Scholar in Systems Biology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and he remains an Adjunct Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.


Dr. Blaho serves as the CUNY Director for Industrial-Academic Research within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.  He has been responsible for creating/maintaining productive Sponsored Research Projects between Industrial entities and CUNY research faculty and is currently working to increase the amount of faculty entrepreneurial activities.  Dr. Blaho has worked very closely with the university’s traditional entrepreneurial center, the CUNY Center for Advanced Technology (CUNY CAT) serving as its Director for University-Industry Collaborations and continues to function as its Liaison to CUNY for Entrepreneurship.  Dr. Blaho facilitated the rebranding the CUNY CAT and significantly increased its industry sponsored research activities between 2010-2012.  Dr. Blaho was instrumental in the creation of the NSF IUCRC for Metamaterials in 2011 in which CCNY is the Lead and the establishment of the NSF IUCRC for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites in 2012, of which CCNY is a Site.  Since the fall of 2011, Dr. Blaho has personally organized over 6 I-Corps Teams that were approved for funding by the NSF.  He has served as Industrial Mentor for I-Corps Teams at Stanford in spring 2012, Michigan in summer 2012, and in the January 2013 cohort in Arlington, VA; all 3 teams formed NYS companies and received non-diluted investment seed funding.  In fall 2012, he led the NSF I-Corps submission, and serves as coPI and Training Director of the NYC Regional Innovation Node (NYCRIN) which was approved for funding in February 2013.


Manhattan College
B.E., Chemical Engineering, cum laude
Physics Minor
NSF Chem. E. Undergraduate Research Participant, Clarkson College of Technology
Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society
Epsilon Sigma Pi Honor Society

Universitat Wien
Cert, International Relations
Strobl, Austria

University of Alabama School of Medicine
Ph.D., Biochemistry
Phi Lambda Upsilon National Chemistry Honor Society
Bertram Marx Cancer Research Award
Sigma Xi Research Award

University of Chicago
Research Fellowship, Molecular Virology
Marjorie B. Kovler Viral Oncology Laboratories
NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Courses Taught

"Lean LaunchPad and Business Model Generation"

"Translational Medicine Innovation - I-Corps at NIH"

"Systems Biology and Bioinformatics in Industrial Sponsored Research"

"Successful Industry Sponsored University Research"

"Industrial Herpesvirus Research: A Primer on University-Industry Collaborations"

"SBIR 101"

"Alternative Career Options for Ph.D.s"

"Viral Replication and Host Response to Infection"

Research Interests

Chair, American Heart Association, Virology/Immunology Peer Review Panel
Associate Editor, PLoS Pathogens, PLoS ONE
Editorial Board, Journal of Virology
Editorial Board, Virology
Editorial Board, Journal of NeuroVirology
Editorial Board, Oncolytic Virotherapy

Professional Society Memberships: 
American Society for Virology
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Association for the Advancement of Science
New York Academy of Sciences
The Harvey Society



Lopez, M.R., Schlegel, E.F.M., Wintersteller, S., and Blaho, J.A. (2008) The major tegument structural protein VP22 targets areas of dispersed nucleolin and marginalized chromatin during productive herpes simplex virus 1 infection. Virus Res., 136: 175-188. (Transformative Fundamental Research)

Bowles, R.B., Yedowitz, J.C., and Blaho, J.A. (2008) Reconsideration of viral protein immunoblotting for differentiation of human herpes simplex viruses.  Diag. Micro. Infect. Dis. 62:167-176. (Industry Sponsored Research)

Fakioglu, E. Wilson, S., Mesquita, E.H., Cheshenko, N., Blaho, J.A., and Herold, B.C. (2008) Herpes simplex virus down-regulates secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor: A novel immune evasion mechanism, J. Virol. 82: 9337-9344. (Translational Medical Research)

Schlegel, E.F.M. and Blaho, J.A. (2009) A conserved carboxy-terminal domain in the major tegument structural protein VP22 facilitates virion packaging of a chimeric protein during productive HSV-1 infection. Virology 387 :449-458. (Translational Medical Research)

Pena, K.C., Adelson, M.E., Mordechai, E., and Blaho, J.A. (2009) Rapid isolation of HSV-1 and HSV-2 from OneSwab® Cervicovaginal Specimens.  J. Virol. Methods 159: 146-151. (Industry Sponsored Research)

Cotter, C.R., Nguyen, M.L., Yount, J.S., López, C.B., Blaho, J.A., and Moran, T.M. (2010) The virion host shut-off (vhs) protein blocks a TLR-independent pathway of herpes simplex virus type 1 recognition in  human and mouse dendritic cells. PLoS One. 5:e8684. (Translational Medical Research)

Peña, K.C., Adelson, M.E., Mordechai, E., and Blaho, J.A. (2010) Genital herpes simplex virus type 1 in women: detection in cervicovaginal specimens from gynecological practices in the United States. J. Clin. Microbiol. 48:150-153. (Industry Sponsored Research)

Cotter, C.R., Kim, W.K., Nguyen, M.L., Yount, J.S., López, C.B., Blaho, J.A., and Moran, T.M. (2011) The virion host shut-off protein of herpes simplex virus 1 blocks the replication-independent activation of NF-kB in dendritic cells in the absence of type I interferon signaling. J. Virol. 85:12662-126672. (Translational Medical Research)

Bowles, R.N. and Blaho, J.A. (2011) A truncation of the neurovirulence ICP22 protein produced by a recombinant HSV-1 generated by bacterial artificial chromosome technology targets infected cell nuclei. J. NeuroVirology. 16:559-569. (Transformative Fundamental Research)


Ingvarsdottir, K. and Blaho, J.A. (2010) The role of chromatin in the regulation of HSV-1 viral gene expression and replication. Future Microbiology 4:703-12. (Industry Sponsored)

Blaho, J.A. (2010) Oncoapoptosis: A novel molecular therapeutic for cancer treatment. IUBMB Life 62:87-91.

Nguyen, M.L.; Blaho, J.A. (2010) Cellular players in the herpes simplex virus dependent apoptosis balancing act. Viruses, 1, 965-978.

Blaho, J.A. (2010) Human cytomegalovirus infection in pregnant women and neonates: A new risk factor for cardiovascular disease? Arch. Clin. Micro. 1:1-3. doi: 10:3823/204. (Industry Sponsored)

Cotter, C.R. and Blaho, J.A. (2010) Apoptosis modulation during herpes simplex virus replication. in Alpha Herpesviruses: Pathogenesis, Molecular Biology and Infection Control, Weller, S.., Ed. Horizon Scientific.

Nguyen, M.L. and Blaho, J.A. (2011) Telomerase activity during herpesvirus infection. Future Virology, 6:901-904.

Blaho, J.A and Baines, J.D. (2012) From the Hallowed Halls of Herpesvirology, World Scientific Publishing Company, Hackensack, NJ. (Textbook)

Pellicane, C. and Blaho, J.A. (2014) Establishment of the NYC Regional Innovation Network, NCIIA Open.