• Portrait of Kevin Coombs.
  • Professor 

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
    Room 795 - 715 McDermot Ave.
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3P4

    Phone: 204-789-3976  


Research themes

Molecular delineation of:

Research interests


Research affiliations

Research scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)

Research groups

Research summary

Our laboratory studies virus structure, function, assembly, and pathogenesis. We use biologic, molecular genetic, and mass spectrometric methods to elucidate how mammalian reoviruses, avian reoviruses, human coronaviruses, Influenza A viruses, and Zika viruses interact with various host cells as models for understanding how multiple proteins and nucleic acids recognize each other and interact to generate a functionally active macromolecular complex, how these complexes interact with host cellular proteins, and how these interactions can be exploited through use of selected anti-viral agents to attenuate virus-induced infection and pathogenesis.


Dr. Kevin Coombs is a professor in medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Coombs’ major research interests are to delineate the protein and nucleic acid interactions in nucleoprotein complexes, using a variety of RNA viruses as models. His lab studies how these interactions change as a result of, and in turn, are modulated by, conformational transitions that occur during macromolecular assembly and disassembly, how these processes can be attenuated by anti-viral compounds, and how these processes in virus infections contribute to pathogenesis in the host. This work, which has been continuously funded by the MRC/CIHR since the year after he moved to Manitoba, is in general areas of:

  • Generation and molecular characterization of assembly-defective virus mutants
  • Inhibition of virus replication using pharmacologic inhibitors
  • Mass spectrometry- and Systems-based analyses of virus and host protein alterations
  • Molecular characterization of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and cofactor proteins
  • Development of non-pathogenic viruses as “bio-indicators” for wastewater and medical instrument disinfection management

Dr. Coombs has served on numerous local, national, and international grant funding panels. He has served in a variety of administrative roles, including as Chair for the CIHR Virology and Viral Pathogenesis panel, as acting and associate head for the department of medical microbiology; as associate dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies; and as associate and assistant dean of research in the Max Rady College of Medicine.



  • Dr. Fred Aoki Career Achievement Award for outstanding service in at least three areas (2018)
  • Faculty of Medicine Ed Kroeger Mentorship Award (2014)
  • University Merit Award for Teaching (1999)
  • Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Association Mentorship Award (1997; inaugural recipient)
  • Manitoba Health Research Council Scholar (1991 – 1994)


Contact us

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 543 - 745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada