Josep Bassaganya-Riera

Research Professor, Director NIMML


Dr. Bassaganya-Riera directs the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) at Virginia Tech—two large scale research programs focused on improving human health. The NIMML tackles unsolved challenges in complex human diseases with unmet clinical needs. We combine advanced computational technologies with pre-clinical and clinical experimentation to catalyze translation of scientific discoveries into commercial applications that address unmet clinical or consumer needs. The NIMML uses computational models to better understand the immune system’s response to a variety of ailments, including enteric, infectious diseases.


Dr. Bassaganya-Riera and colleague Dr. Raquel Hontecillas founded the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) in 2002 at Iowa State University and NIMML operations at Virginia Tech started in 2003. The NIMML has received funding from the Fralin Life Science Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, commodity groups and Pharma companies. NIMML’s advanced computational modeling and simulation efforts are fully integrated with pre-clinical, translational and clinical human immunology research aimed at discovering novel mechanisms, disease biomarkers, therapeutic targets and identifying safer new medicines to treat infectious diseases.

The NIMML is the house of the Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (MIEP), a $12 program funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The mission of MIEP is to understand the mechanisms of action underlying immune responses to enteric pathogens. The team engages the infectious disease and immunology communities worldwide to disseminate user-friendly advanced mathematical and computational models for the study of human immunity to infection or vaccination.

Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera is a captain of industry, innovator, serial entrepreneur, & thought leader in biotech. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications & patents, and has founded 3 award-winning companies, raising over $127 million in non-dilutive and equity financing rounds. He is the Chief Editor of Frontiers in Nutritional Immunology. Josep was named 2017 Innovator of the Year & received the 2018 Biocomplexity Research Excellence Award. As Founder of three successful companies, Josep has executed large-scale drug development programs by using agile and lean management systems in combination with an efficient use of capital. Under the premise that culture always beats strategy, he has established a corporate culture encapsulated under three primary attributes: 1) Be bold & decisive, 2) Never give up and 3) Do the impossible. Through its culture, the BioHealth ecosystem established by Josep’s science and his entrepreneurial efforts empowers employees to think outside the box & achieve creative and innovative solutions that accelerate the path to cures.