Cancer cell lines have been used widely in cancer biology, and as biological or functional cell systems in many biomedical research fields . These cells are usually defective for many normal activities or functions due to significant genetic and epigenetic changes . Normal primary cell yields and viability from any original tissue specimens are usually relatively low or highly variable . These normal cells cease after a few passages or population doublings due to very limited proliferative capacity . Animal models (ferret, mouse, etc .) are often used to study virus-host interaction . However, viruses usually need to be adapted to the animals by several passages due to tropism restrictions including viral receptors and intracellular restrictions . Here we summarize applications of conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs), long-term cultures of normal airway epithelial cells from human nose to lung generated by conditional cell reprogramming (CR) technology, as an ex vivo model in studies of emerging viruses . CR allows to robustly propagate cells from non-invasive or minimally invasive specimens, for example, nasal or endobronchial brushing . This process is rapid (2 days) and conditional . The CRCs maintain their differentiation potential and lineage functions, and have been used for studies of adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, parvovirus, and SARS-CoV . The CRCs can be easily used for air-liquid interface (ALI) polarized 3D cultures, and these coupled CRC/ALI cultures mimic physiological conditions and are suitable for studies of viral entry including receptor binding and internalization, innate immune responses, viral replications, and drug discovery as an ex vivo model for emerging viruses.