Nicholas Scott Heaton

Nicholas Scott Heaton

Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Our research group is primarily interested in the study of respiratory RNA viruses.  We have published work on viruses of the families: orthomyxoviridae, paramyxoviridae, and coronaviridae.  The research in our laboratory is predominantly focused understanding the mechanisms of viral pathogenesis with the ultimate goal of developing new therapies that can be used to combat both current and future viral diseases.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
  • Associate Professor in Integrative Immunobiology
  • Associate Professor of Cell Biology
  • Member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 3136 MSRB III, Box 3054, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: +1 919 684 1351
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. The University of Chicago, 2012

Courses Taught

  • MGM 701: Foundations of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
  • MGM 593: Research Independent Study
  • MGM 552: Virology
  • IMMUNOL 552: Virology

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Luo, Z; Miranda, HA; Burke, KN; Spurrier, MA; Berry, M; Stover, EL; Spreng, RL; Waitt, G; Soderblom, EJ; Macintyre, AN; Wiehe, K; Heaton, NS, Vaccination with antigenically complex hemagglutinin mixtures confers broad protection from influenza disease., Sci Transl Med, vol 16 no. 745 (2024) [10.1126/scitranslmed.adj4685] [abs].
  • Munir, M; Embry, A; Doench, JG; Heaton, NS; Wilen, CB; Orchard, RC, Genome-wide CRISPR activation screen identifies JADE3 as an antiviral activator of NF-kB-dependent IFITM3 expression., J Biol Chem, vol 300 no. 4 (2024) [10.1016/j.jbc.2024.107153] [abs].
  • Hamele, CE; Spurrier, MA; Leonard, RA; Heaton, NS, Segmented, Negative-Sense RNA Viruses of Humans: Genetic Systems and Experimental Uses of Reporter Strains., Annu Rev Virol, vol 10 no. 1 (2023), pp. 261-282 [10.1146/annurev-virology-111821-120445] [abs].
  • Skavicus, S; Heaton, NS, Approaches for timeline reductions in pathogenesis studies using genetically modified mice., Microbiol Spectr, vol 11 no. 5 (2023) [10.1128/spectrum.02521-23] [abs].
  • Bacsik, DJ; Dadonaite, B; Butler, A; Greaney, AJ; Heaton, NS; Bloom, JD, Influenza virus transcription and progeny production are poorly correlated in single cells., Elife, vol 12 (2023) [10.7554/eLife.86852] [abs].