The Ott Lab publishes novel research on SARS-CoV-2 variants Read More

Our People


Renu is in awe of viruses – tiny entities that can create big havoc in a cell and the world. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley with Britt Glaunsinger researching host shut-off in herpesvirus infections and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Gladstone Institutes with Melanie Ott focused on HCV proteomics and genomics. She has taken a ‘scenic’ path since then – developing antivirals for HBV in industry and leveraging synthetic biology for virology applications at CZ Biohub. Here, Renu is a Scientific Program Manager fostering COVID-related R&D and translating research into products such as viral diagnostics. In her free time Renu loves cooking without recipes, reading novels, and exploring the world through her love of travel.


Graduated from University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Molecular Biology. Currently working on direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 using CRISPR-Cas13. In my free time I love exploring and traveling, basically you will always find me on a new adventure


Institute of Virology

Senior Vice President, Gladstone Institutes

Professor of Medicine, UCSF 

Melanie Ott earned her MD degree from University of Frankfurt in Germany and a PhD from the Picower Graduate School of Molecular Medicine in New York. In 1998, she started her own research group at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, in the department headed by tumor virologist and Nobel laureate Harald zur Hausen, studying HIV pathogenesis and a new emerging pathogen at the time, hepatitis C virus (HCV). 

In 2002, she moved her lab to the Gladstone Institutes, where she continued her work on HIV and HCV, and expanded her research into the host-virus interface in diseases such as Zika, influenza and SARS-CoV-2. She has focused much of her work on the role of reversible protein acetylation in HIV transcription (especially the viral Tat protein), and identifying new molecular targets for treatments and cure, new diagnostics and the potential for pan-viral therapeutics. 

Melanie is the Director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology Institute and Senior Vice President of the Gladstone Institutes, and a professor of medicine at University of California – San Francisco.  She is a recipient of NIH MERIT and DP1 Avantgarde Awards, an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.