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

31
Total Papers
84
Open Access
26
Glamour Journals

Genomics

55%

Immunology

26%

Other

19%

Computational Work

39%

Experimental Work

26%

Field Work

16%

Reviews/Commentaries

19%

News

Recent Posts / View All Posts

Zika virus pilot (update)

| Data | No Comments

We have now received several hundred de-identified clinical samples from the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Unfortunately, they all have extremely low viral lows (Ct values > 38 in the few that are positive), so we’re continuing our technology development. We are following a couple of different strategies:

Roots, Not Parachutes

| Publications | No Comments

Infectious 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.

Zika virus pilot

| Data | No Comments

We recently received plasma samples from Zika virus (ZIKV) patients in Colombia. We performed QC on the samples and unfortunately very few had detectable levels of ZIKV by qPCR. We extracted RNA from two of these patient samples (Z184 and Z186), as well as a positive control (seed stock of the Malaysian strain P6-740 passaged once on BHK-21 cells) kindly provided by Nathan Grubaugh and Greg Ebel at Colorado State.