Integrating virus genomics into public health
Virus evolution and diversity can impact outbreak dynamics and control efforts. This has been thoroughly demonstrated during COVID-19 pandemic, in particular with the emergence of variants. Monitoring evolutionary processes can provide answers that are hidden from traditional epidemiology, both on a small scale by investigating the details of transmission chains and uncovering the pathways of spread on a global scale. Genomic data also has the potential to enhance disease forecasting models and has been critical for development of vaccines, therapeutics, and molecular diagnostic assays. The overall goal of our lab is to apply virus sequencing and genomic analysis to better design, apply, and evaluate strategies to mitigate transmission and disease. While our primary interests are mosquito- and tick-borne viruses, like dengue, West Nile, and Powassan, we are broadly interested in genomic epidemiology across many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.