Dr. Collins’ laboratory works with paramyxoviruses, which are enveloped, cytoplasmic viruses with single-stranded negative-sense RNA genomes of 13-19 kb. Paramyxoviruses include a number of well-known, important pathogens of humans (e.g., mumps and measles viruses) and animals (e.g., rinderpest and NDV), and also include emerging pathogens (e.g., Nipah and Hendra viruses). Dr. Collins played a pioneering role in sequencing and characterizing the genomes and encoded gene products of several paramyxoviruses, in particular human RSV. Later, he played an important role in developing reverse genetics systems for this type of virus, whereby complete infectious virus can be recovered from transfected cDNAs. This provides the basis for introducing predetermined changes into infectious virus for basic research and for vaccine development.