Nicole McAllister PhD
Joined Seton Hill
Chicora, PA
Contact Info

I earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 and a B.S. in Biology from Gannon University in 2015. My research focuses on virus-host interactions with a special interest in alphaviruses, such as chikungunya virus, and bacteriophages. When I’m not teaching or doing research, I love cooking (and eating) new recipes, baking cookies, reading books about comedians and politicians, and staying active with yoga, spin classes, and nature walks!


  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), 2021
  • B.S., Gannon University (Erie, PA), 2015


  • Lentscher, A.J.*, McAllister, N.*, Griswold, K.A., Martin, J.L., Welsh, O.L., Sutherland, D.M., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S.. (2022) Chikungunya virus vaccine candidate incorporating synergistic mutations is attenuated and protects against virulent virus challenge. Journal of Infectious Disease. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiac066.
  • Rangel, M.V., McAllister, N., Dancel-Manning, K., Noval, M.G., Silva, L.A., Stapleford, K.A. (2022) Emerging Chikungunya Virus Variants at the E1-E1 Interglycoprotein Spike Interface Impact Virus Attachment and Inflammation. Journal of Virology. doi: 0.1128/JVI.01586-21.
  • McAllister, N., Liu, Y., Silva, L.M., Lentscher, A.J., Chai, W., Wu, N., Griswold, K.A., Raghunathan, K., Vang, L., Alexander, J., Warfield, K.L., Diamond, M.S., Feizi, T., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S. (2020) Chikungunya virus strains from each genetic clade bind sulfated glycosaminoglycans as attachment factors. Journal of Virology. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01500-20. [JVI Spotlight]
  • Lentscher, A.J., McCarthy, M.K., May, N.A., Davenport, B.J., Montgomery, S.A., Raghunathan, K., McAllister, N., Silva, L.A., Morrison, T.E., Dermody, T.S. (2020) Chikungunya virus replication in skeletal muscle cells is required for disease development. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 30(3):1466-1478. doi: 10.1172/JCI129893.
  • Ganger, M.T., Hiles R., Hallowell, H., Cooper, L., McAllister, N., Youngdahl, D., Alfieri, J., Ewing, S.J. (2019) A soil bacterium alters sex determination and rhizoid development in gametophytes of the fern Ceratopteris richardii. AoB PLANTS, plz012,
  • Brown, J., Short, S., Stencel-Baerenwald, J., Urbanek, K., Pruijssers, A., McAllister, N., Taylor, G., Aravamudhan, P., Khomandiak, S., Jabri, B., Williams, C., Dermody, T.S. (2018). Reovirus-induced apoptosis in the intestine limits establishment of enteric infection. Journal of Virology. 92(10). doi: 10.1128/JVI.02062-17.
  • Bouziat R.*, Hinterleitner R.*, Brown, J.J.*, Stencel-Baerenwald J.E., Ikizler M., Discepolo V., Meisel M., Kim S.M., Pruijssers A.J., Iskarpatyoti, J.A., Costes L.M.M., Lawrence I., Varma M., Zurenski M.A., Khomandiak S., Ernest J.D., McAllister N., Aravamudhan P., Boehme K.W., Hu F., Samsom J.N., Reinecker H.C., Kupfer S.S., Guandalini S., Semrad C., Barreiro L.B., Xavier R.J., Ng A., Dermody T.S., Jabri B. (2017). Reovirus infection triggers inflammatory responses to dietary antigens and development of celiac disease. Science. 356(6333): 44-50. doi:10.1126/science.aah5298.
  • Baldridge, M.T.*, Lee, S.*, Brown, J.J., McAllister, N., Urbanek, K., Dermody, T.S., Nice, T.J., Virgin, H.W. (2017). Expression of Ifnlr1 on intestinal epithelial cells required for the antiviral effects of IFN-lambda against norovirus and reovirus. Journal of Virology. 91(7). doi: 10.1128/JVI.02079-16.
  • McAllister, N., Swigonski, A.M., Hyman, S. (2015) Gannon University Student Talent Going “Off the Hook.” Campus Activities Programming. 42-43.


  • NIH S-STEM (co-PI) - Improving Self-Efficacy and Retention of Biology, Biochemistry, & Chemistry Majors Through a Mentorship Network and Career Exploration in STEM (2022 - Present)
  • NIH F31 (PI) Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award AI147440 (2019-2021)
  • NIH T32 (PI) Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award AI60525 (2016-2018)
  • Predoctoral Fellow Travel Award from the American Society for Virology (2020)
  • Best Poster Presentation at the University of Pittsburgh Biomedical Graduate Student Association Research Symposium (2019)


  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
  • Center for Integrating Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Alumni Network
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Society for Virology (ASV)
  • Association for Women in Science (AWIS)
  • Women in Bio (WIB)


  • Cicala, D., McAllister, N. (2022, April) Characterization of Novel Bacteriophages in the Greensburg Area Community. Oral presentation at Seton Hill Undergraduate Research Conference, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA.
  • Brzyski, J., McAllister, N., and Rosier, R. (2022, July) Getting to the "root" of the problem: increase plant science appreciation while improving student confidence and achievement. Botany 2022 Conference, Anchorage, AK.
  • McAllister, N. (2022, July) Increased Confidence and Scientific Literacy using a Semester-Long Case Study and Research Project. Selected Ten Minute “Microbrew,” American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Virtual.
  • McAllister, N. Lentscher, A.J., Silva, L.M., Liu, Y., Chai, W., Raghunathan, K., Griswold, K., Feizi, T., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S. (2020, June) Chikungunya virus specifically binds heparan sulfate using residues in domain A of the E2 glycoprotein. (Selected five minute flash talk & poster presentation) Thirty-ninth Annual American Society for Virology Conference, Fort Collins, CO.
  • McAllister, N., Lentscher, A.J., Silva, L.M., Liu, Y., Chai, W., Feizi, T., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S. (2020, Feb) Chikungunya Virus Binds Specific Glycans Using Recently Defined Residues in the E2 Glycoprotein. (Poster presentation) Viruses 2020 Conference, Barcelona, Spain.
  • McAllister, N., Silva, L.M., Liu, Y., Chai, W. Diamond, M.S., Feizi, T., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S. (2019, July) Multiple chikungunya virus strains bind to and depend on glycosaminoglycans for efficient infection. (Selected speaker) Thirty-eighth Annual American Society for Virology Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
  • McAllister, N., Silva, L.M., Liu, Y., Chai, W., Feizi, T., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S. (2019, Oct) Multiple Chikungunya Virus Strains Bind to and Depend on Glycosaminoglycans for Efficient Infection. (Poster presentation) Midwest Virology Symposium, Columbus, OH.
  • McAllister, N., Silva, L.M., Liu, Y., Chai, W., Feizi, T., Silva, L.A., Dermody, T.S. (2019, June) Multiple Chikungunya Virus Strains Bind to and Depend on Glycosaminoglycans for Efficient Infection. (Poster presentation) Keystone Symposium Positive-Strand RNA Viruses, Kerry, Ireland.
  • McAllister, N., Silva, L.A., Khomandiak, S., Heise, M.T., Morrison, T.E., and Dermody, T.S. (2017, June) Engagement of Glycosaminoglycans during Chikungunya Virus Infection. (Poster presentation) Thirty-Sixth Annual American Society for Virology, Madison, WI.


  • Certification in STEM Teaching, University of Pittsburgh CIRTL Network


  • Founder and Officer of the Rangos Research Center Graduate Student Association at University of Pittsburgh (2016-2021)
  • Served as the Graduate Student Representative for the Admissions Committee at University of Pittsburgh (2017-2019)