Genomes encode the informational blueprint for pathogen infection, viral transmission, and host responses. This operates at two levels: the virus and the host. To understand the genetic components of these phenomena, we assemble, compare and develop viral genomes to resolve their origins, spread, mixing and adaptation to new environments. And we model host immune changes in response to infection and link these to virus features to understand different treatment outcomes.
Our main aim is to improve genomic and multi-omic methods applied to infected hosts and their viruses. This informs our understanding of disease resistance, transmission patterns and viral ancestry.
Our key projects are to:
- study viral phylogenomics and recombination
- track viral origins, spread and population structure
- integrate molecular variation across large multi-omic projects
Deciphering virus genomes helps identify major viral lineages, inform on their geographic spread, and isolate key emerging variants during outbreaks. This also tells us about transmission patterns and the efficacy of existing vaccines and interventions. Linking this to host profiles provides opportunities to quantify how livestock endure infection, respond to vaccination, rates of coinfection, and the mechanisms of viral replication in the associated vectors.