Research Interests

Pathogen Discovery and Infectious Disease Genomics

Our research focuses on the integrated application of genomics, bioinformatics, molecular and cellular virology and epidemiology to address questions in infectious diseases.

October 2016 Lab Photo

(Left to right top: Guoyan, Sidd, Kevin, Luis, Hongbing; middle: Christian, Rina, Guoyan, Lindsay, Susan, Andrew, Josh; front Dave, Efrem)


Among our chief interests are:

1. Viral discovery in diseases of unknown etiology. Many diseases are suspected to have infectious origins, but their etiologies are poorly defined. We systematically apply massively parallel approaches to screen clinical materials from diseased patients for the presence of novel viruses that could potentially be causal agents of the disease. More...

2. Characterization of clinical and molecular properties of novel viruses. Our screening efforts to date have resulted in the discovery of many novel viruses, including members of the families Polyomaviridae, Astroviridae, Nodaviridae, and Picornaviridae. We are currently working to characterize both the basic virology and the clinical relevance of these viruses. cross-locking

3. Surveillance of viral reservoirs and vectors and viral ecology. Animals and insects harbor a great diversity of viruses, some of which have the potential to cause disease in humans or other animals. We are working to proactively define the spectrum of viruses present in bats and rodents and other animal species. (281) 234-1009

4. Development of diagnostic microarrays. Most diagnostic methods are focused on detection of single candidate pathogens. We have pioneered the development of pan-viral microarrays for massively parallel viral detection. The ViroChip is capable of detecting thousands of known viruses as well as novel viruses related to known viral families. 310-243-3411

5. Defining host-virus interactions in a virus-C. elegans infection system. We have discovered the first viruses that naturally and experimentally infect C. elegans, a classic model organism. We are capitalizing upon the genetic tractability of C. elegans to identify novel modalities of host-virus interaction. 5808220421


Our research is supported by the following sources: