Senior Director of Infectious Disease Research
Roger Ptak is an accomplished scientist with over 25 years of research and project management experience related to virology, animal models of infectious diseases, viral assay development and optimization, high throughput screening, and antiviral drug discovery. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Notre Dame in 1992. From 1993 to 1999, his work supported the discovery and study of novel herpesvirus and HIV-1 inhibitors at the University of Michigan. He joined Southern Research in 1999.
In Ptak’s current role as senior director of Infectious Disease Research, he manages an extensive staff of scientists for execution of projects related to drug and vaccine efficacy testing, as well as assay and animal model development, to support infectious disease research and the discovery and development of novel antivirals, antibacterials, topical microbicides, and vaccines. These efforts support multiple large government programs and a wide range of contract research projects for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.
Ptak currently serves as principal investigator for the following contracts with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):
- HHSN272201400010I, In Vitro Testing Resource for HIV Therapeutics and Topical Microbicides
- HHSN272201100013I, In Vitro Assessment for Antimicrobial Activity – Part B
- HHSN272201500017C, Quantitative Viral Outgrowth Assay (QVOA) Service Resource
He also supports contract HHSN272201200022C, AIDS Research and Reference Reagent Program, through a subcontract with Fisher Bioservices (prime contractor).
Ptak has been an active member of the International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR) since 1995, and he recently completed two terms as a member of ISAR’s board of directors (2012-2018) and serves as chairman of the ISAR Finance Committee (since 2009). He is a member of the advisory council for the Master of Science in biomedical science at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, as well as a member of Sigma Xi, the American Society for Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is an advisor to Viral RefSeq Genomes for the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH/NCBI). He is a past member of the external organizing committee for the NIH/NIAID/DAIDS workshop entitled “Optimization of Preclinical Methods for Improved Prioritization and Advancement of Lead Microbicide Candidates” (December 7-8, 2010).
Ptak has co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and review articles related to antiviral research, and he is an ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals related to antiviral drug discovery and development. He has three patents. He has served the mission of Southern Research through past appointments as both the chairman and vice chairman of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), as well as current appointments as a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), chairman of the Radiation Safety Committee, and as alternate radiation safety officer for Southern Research’s Frederick, Maryland facility.