Andersen Lab

We are using infectious disease genomics to investigate the interaction between the human host and highly pathogenic viruses such as Zika, Ebola, and Lassa. Our goal is to understand how these viruses evolve in response to selection pressures imposed by the host immune system. Using a combination of computational biology, experimentation, and field work in West Africa our hope is to change the way we develop vaccines and therapeutics for these and other emerging pathogens.

 

Positions available

Come join us at the beautiful Scripps Research Institute campus in La Jolla, California. We are currently looking to hire wet lab and computational postdocs.

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Roots, Not Parachutes - a call for sustainable research collaborations

Rooted_CollaborationsInfectious disease outbreaks continue to pose challenges to global health and security, prompting reactive countermeasures. Recently, severe outbreaks of Ebola and Zika virus were designated by the World Health Organization as “Public Health Emergencies of International Concern.” Other emerging viral pathogens have warranted similar attention, including virus outbreaks from Lassa, Chikungunya, avian influenza, Nipah, SARS, and MERS. Additionally, endemic human pathogens, such as dengue and West Nile virus, have expanded to new regions due to changing demographics and increased urbanization. Recently there has been a lot of focus on “Parachute Research“, where foreign researchers “parachute” into countries affected by infectious disease outbreaks, such as Zika and Ebola. These researchers then conduct research in isolation, and depart without creating sustainable infrastructure or a lasting impact in the affected countries. In a recent commentary in the journal Cell, we instead advocate for the creation of long-term sustainable collaborations in outbreak-prone areas of the world.

International research collaborations are essential in combating major public health emergencies. Failure to collaborate can delay critical findings, hamper outbreak response, and erode trust between institutions and nations. In the commentary, we draw on our experience establishing the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium and the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Disease in West Africa and show how “rooted” collaborations can assist during public health emergencies. Recognizing that many successful infectious disease research collaborations exist, we highlight their critical and often unheralded role in mitigating and preventing infectious disease outbreaks.

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Publications

34
Total Papers
79
Open Access
26
Glamour Journals

Genomics

59%

Immunology

24%

Other

18%

Computational Work

44%

Experimental Work

24%

Field Work

15%

Reviews/Commentaries

18%

News

Recent Posts / View All Posts

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Zika sequences from Miami mosquitoes

| Data, News | No Comments

Data here. Protocol here. Three pools of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes collected in Miami Beach on August 22nd and 23rd, 2016, were found to be infected with Zika virus. Through our collaborators, Scott Michael and Sharon Isern from Florida Gulf Coast University, we recently received samples of these mosquitoes for sequencing using our amplicon-based protocol for MiSeq.

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Zika sequence from local Florida transmission

| Data, News | No Comments

Data here. Protocol here. In collaboration with Dr. Diogo Magnani in the Watkins Laboratory in the Dept. of Pathology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, we recently received plasma and saliva from two people with Zika virus infections living in the Miami area. Using our amplicon-based approach previously used to sequence Zika virus from travel-related Zika virus cases in Florida, we sequenced the entire coding sequence from the saliva of one individual believed to have been infected in or near Miami.

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Travel-related Zika cases in Florida

| Data, Protocols | No Comments

Data here. Protocol here. In a collaboration with Scott Michael and Sharon Isern from Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Department of Health, we have recently received several travel-related cases detected across Florida. We have now managed to sequence Zika virus genomes from three of these case and the data and analyses can be accessed here.