Benjamin N. Bimber, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Oregon National Primate Research Center


Benjamin Bimber, Ph.D. joined OHSU in 2012.  His research focuses on the influence of genetics on infectious disease and the immune response, with an emphasis on using new technologies to drive understanding.  Most of his work is designed to understand how the immune system responds to HIV, a global disease with more than 30 million people actively infected worldwide.  His work has included high-resolution sequencing of HIV, and the study of complex families of immune receptors that associate with protection from HIV infection.  Most recently, Dr. Bimber is focused on understanding non-classical T-cells induced by some candidate HIV vaccines using single-cell sequencing and characterization of T-cell receptor diversity.

As a member of the ONPRC Primate Genetics Program, Dr. Bimber is also involved in efforts to promote genomics research using macaques.  He is a member of a project that is conducting large-scale whole-genome sequencing of the ONPRC macaque colony, ultimately providing data from more than 2000 subjects.  These data, along with clinical histories will be made publically available.  He is very interested in ensuring both the data from this project and infrastructure required to analyze data of this scale are available to a range of scientists, including those who may not be genetics or bioinformatics experts.

Dr. Bimber graduated in 2004 from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Biology, and received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin.  Prior to joining research faculty at OHSU, he led efforts to develop a modern research-oriented health record system at both the Wisconsin and Oregon National Primate Research Centers.  This open source system, based on LabKey Server, is now in use at five NIH Primate Centers and continues to expand.

Areas of interest

  • Infectious Disease
  • Immunogenetics
  • Next-generation Sequencing / Novel Technologies


Selected publications

  • Burwitz BJ, Malouli D, Bimber BN, Reed JS, Ventura AB, Hancock MH, Uebelhoer LS, Bhusari A, Hammond KB, Espinosa Trethewy RG, Klug A, Legasse AW, Axthelm MK, Nelson JA, Park BS, Streblow DN, Hansen SG, Picker LJ, Früh K, Sacha JB. Cross-Species Rhesus Cytomegalovirus Infection of Cynomolgus Macaques. PLoS Pathog. 2016 Nov 9;12(11):e1006014.
  • Bimber BN, Raboin MJ, Letaw J, Nevonen KA, Spindel JE, McCouch SR, Cervera-Juanes R, Spindel E, Carbone L, Ferguson B, Vinson A. Whole-genome characterization in pedigreed non-human primates using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and imputation. BMC Genomics. 2016 Aug 24;17:676. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2966-x.
  • Bimber BN, Evans, DT.  The Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors of Macaques.  Immunol. Reviews.  2015 Sep;267(1):246-58.
  • Alzhanova D, Hammarlund E, Reed J, Meermeier E, Rawlings S, Ray CA, Edwards DM, Bimber B, Legasse A, Planer S, Sprague J, Axthelm MK, Pickup DJ, Lewinsohn DM, Gold MC, Wong SW, Sacha JB, Slifka MK, Früh K.  T cell inactivation by poxviral B22 family proteins increases viral virulence.  PLoS Pathog. 2014 May
  • Moreland AJ, Guethlein LA, Reeves R, Broman KW, Johnson RP, Parham P, O’Connor DH, and Bimber BN.  Characterization of Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor Genetics and Comprehensive Genotyping by Pyrosequencing in Rhesus Macaques. BMC Genomics. 2011 Jun 7;12:295.
  • Bimber BN, Dudley DM, Lauck M, Becker EA, Chin EN, Lank SM, Grunenwald HL, Caruccio NC, Maffitt M, Wilson NA, Reed JS, Sosman JM, Tarosso LF, Sanabani S, Kallas EG, Hughes AL, O'Connor DH. Whole-genome characterization of human and simian immunodeficiency virus intrahost diversity by ultradeep pyrosequencing. J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(22):12087-92.
  • O'Connor SL, Lhost JJ, Becker EA, Detmer AM, Johnson RC, Macnair CE, Wiseman RW, Karl JA, Greene JM, Burwitz BJ, Bimber BN, Lank SM, Tuscher JJ, Mee ET, Rose NJ, Desrosiers RC, Hughes AL, Friedrich TC, Carrington M, O'Connor DH. MHC heterozygote advantage in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected Mauritian cynomolgus macaques. Sci Transl Med. 2010 Mar 10;2(22):22ra18.
  • Wiseman RW, Karl JA, Bimber BN, O’Leary CE, Lank S, Tuscher J, Detmer AM, Bouffard P, Levenkova N, Turcotte C, Szekeres E, Wright C, Harkins T, O’Connor DH. MHC genotyping with massively parallel pyrosequencing. Nature Med. 2009 Oct 11.
  • Bimber BN, Burwitz BJ, O'Connor S, Detmer A, Gostick E, Lank SM, Price DA, Hughes A, O'Connor D. Ultra-deep pyrosequencing detects complex patterns of CD8+ T-lymphocyte escape in SIV-infected macaques. J Virol. 2009 Aug;83(16):8247-53.
  • Bimber BN, Moreland AJ, Wiseman RW, Hughes AL, O'Connor DH. Complete characterization of killer Ig-like receptor (KIR) haplotypes in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques: novel insights into nonhuman primate KIR gene content and organization. J Immunol. 2008 Nov 1;181(9):6301-8.


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