Udeni Balasuriya, PhD, MS, BVSc

Schlaikjer Professor of Equine Infectious Disease

Phone (859) 218-1124

439, Gluck Equine Research Center
Lexington KY 40546-0099

Professional Profile

The major focus of my laboratory is to definitively characterize the molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of equine arteritis virus (EAV) and equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infections of horses, and to develop improved diagnostic and prophylactic reagents to control these economically important viral diseases. In addition, some of the recent studies in my laboratory are focused on characterizing the virus-host interactions by combining contemporary molecular biology techniques and host genomic analysis using genome-wide association study (GWAS). Specifically, these studies are focused on identifying the cellular factors involved in EAV pathogenesis, as well as studying the interaction between equine CD3+ T lymphocytes and EAV to better understand the establishment of persistent infection in stallions in the presence of high serum neutralizing antibody titers. An additional focus of my research is development of new diagnostic and vaccine technologies, definition of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of other important equine viral diseases, and the recognition of novel and emerging viral diseases of the horse. My long-term goal is to provide a state-of-the-art research resource as well as diagnostic expertise, reagents and technology that are dedicated to the horse, and to facilitate transfer of this technology and expertise to appropriate partners and collaborators, as well as veterinarians, post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate trainees.


PhD, University of California-Davis (Comparative Pathology, molecular virology), 1996; MS, University of California-Davis (Comparative Pathology, diagnostic pathology), 1991; BVSc – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 1985

Areas of Interest

Infectious Diseases