Andersen Lab

We are using infectious disease genomics to investigate how highly pathogenic viruses such as Zika, Ebola, and Lassa emerge and cause large-scale outbreaks. Using a combination of computational biology, experimentation, and field work, our hope is to transform outbreak response and change the way we develop vaccines and therapeutics.

Open Science & Open Data

NatureCover150617As part of a massive international collaboration, we recently published several studies in Nature (Grubaugh et al., Metsky et al., Faria et al.) and Nature protocols (Quick et al.), investigating how Zika virus spread across the Americas. We showed, for example, how the virus established itself multiple times in Florida in the spring of 2016, and how these introductions were linked to the Caribbean. We also demonstrated that mosquito control is a very effective way of preventing human Zika virus infections.

All these studies would have been impossible without open sharing of data and protocols across partners. Instead of trying to ‘race’ each other to publish first, the entire viral genomics field came together to work towards a common goal – understanding how Zika is spreading and what to do about it. We shared our data and protocols directly on this website and other online resources immediately after data generation. Several other groups did the same, with everybody openly sharing data, analyses, and findings. This collaborative spirit undoubtedly made the data more accurate, the studies more compelling, and the findings stronger. The resultant studies – which were coordinated across four manuscripts with hundreds of authors – were initially published as pre-prints on bioRxiv to make the findings available as fast as possible.

Without the spirit of Open Science, none of these collaborations would have come together, and the science would have suffered. Our lab has been a strong believer in the importance of Open Science for a few years now, and in all cases has this boosted the strength of our studies tremendously. For us, free sharing of ideas, data, and findings have only come with positives and absolutely no negatives. We strongly recommend that other researchers consider doing the same – it is without a doubt the future of science.

Lab Tweets



Boss Man


Cat Herder


Cat Herder










Supreme Commander




Recent Posts / View All Posts

PAHO Zika numbers

| Data, News | No Comments
Data here. Permanent Andersen Lab project link is here. Most epidemiological investigations of Zika virus during the current epidemic in the Americas requires temporal human case data. The only place to gather this information is is from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), an arm of the World Health Organization. They present Zika virus case numbers in two ways: spreadsheets of…

Zika papers in Nature

| Publications | No Comments
In a series of papers in the journals Nature and Nature Protocols, we used Zika virus sequencing from patients and mosquitos to show how the virus has spread across South America and into Florida. This work was performed as a large (huge!) collaboration of national and international institutions, which was made possible because of open science and open data. (more…)

Growing bigger

| News | No Comments
The laboratory is still growing steadily. Mark joined us in February coming from Columbia in New York, where he did a short postdoc after having completed his PhD in Belgium. Glenn will officially join us as a graduate student in June, after having worked on multiple projects with us for a while. He's been running the STSI main lab for…