Arch Virol (2004) 149: 1467–1468
Michael Patrick Kiley (1942–2004)
ichael P. Kiley, a pioneer in the molecular biology
of negative stranded viruses and in both the de-
sign and operation of modern maximum containment
microbiological laboratories, died on January 24 in Olney,
Maryland. Michael (always just Mike to all he met) was born
on May 11, 1942 in Saratoga Springs, New York. His father
was a physician in that famous horseracing town, and Mike
was hooked on the excitement of the running and of the wagering long before he had the
means to test his acumen. He attended Notre Dame University and received a BS in Biology
in 1964. Traveling further west, he completed a Master degree at the University of Missouri,
then doubled back to the University of Virginia for his PhD in microbiology and virology
under the tutelage of Robert Wagner. After ﬁnishing in 1971, Mike spent four years at the
School of Public Health at the University of Michigan where he worked with Fred Payne on
measles virus and with Alan Kendal on inﬂuenza. He moved to University of Nevada, Reno
for three years until I summoned him to Atlanta where he organized molecular studies of
hemorrhagic fever viruses in the Special Pathogens Branch at CDC. Mike and Russ Regnery
were the ﬁrst to do molecular virology in positive pressure suits under BSL-4 conditions. This
duo worked out the structural anatomy of nucleic acid and proteins of Ebola virus. Mike also
studied differential pathogenesis in primates of Lassa virus and a related agent from Africa.
He spent ten years in Special Pathogens and provided critical mentoring to Anthony
Sanchez during the latter’s thesis on the genes of ﬁloviruses and to Heinz Feldmann, a postdoc-
toral fellow who worked on Marburg virus genes. Both of these men are now internationally
recognized scientists in ﬁlovirus research. In recognition of his leadership in this ﬁeld, Dr.
Kiley was asked to chair the ICTV Study Group that came up with the name Filoviridae for
the family that contains Marburg and Ebola viruses.
Exposed to hazardous viruses on a daily basis, Mike Kiley became acutely aware of, and
interested in, problems of laboratory safety in the workplace. He served as Chair of the Safety
Committee of the American Committee on Arboviruses and, in 1984, took on the task of
being the scientiﬁc program representative for a new building at CDC that contained a greatly
expanded BSL-4 laboratory. He personally plastered rolls of duct tape and uncounted tubes
of plastic glue onto joints and other surfaces as the laboratory was constructed and served as
the chief commissioner of the high containment laboratory. After four years of struggle, he
shepherded that suite through all ﬁnal tests and went back to work.
He soon left the laboratory bench to become the Director of Research at the Salk Institute’s
laboratories in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania. In 1993, he moved to the Division of Safety at NIH.