Sean P. J. Whelan Ph. D received his B.Sc. degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry, from the University of Birmingham, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from the University of Reading. Following post-doctoral training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham he started his own laboratory at Harvard Medical School, becoming Professor and Head of the Program in Virology. He joined Washington University in Saint Louis in 2020 as the Marvin A Brennecke Distinguished Professor and Chair of Molecular Microbiology. He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, an Editor of Fields Virology, Virology, PLoS Pathogens and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Virology. He pioneered reverse genetic approaches to manipulate the genome of vesicular stomatitis virus, identified cellular receptors for several emerging viruses including Ebola and Lassa and solved the atomic structures of vesicular stomatitis virus and rabies virus polymerases.