Our research has been to apply computational and experimental methods at the intersection of medicine, epidemiology and population genetics to identify factors that shape the emergence and evolution of rapidly evolving pathogens. To achieve this goal we:
- conduct virus surveillance in animal, humans, and the environment,
- characterise virus genomes and virus-host interactions using next-generation sequencing methods, and
- apply computational methods to integrate the sequence data with clinical, epidemiological and immunological data that are generated from disease surveillance and laboratory experiments.
These include, to investigate factors affecting the diversity and evolution of pathogens in their natural reservoirs such as birds and bats; in livestock production systems; to elucidate origins of human pandemics; and to infer factors affecting the transmission of human pathogens as driven by host innate and adaptive immune systems.
Our primary organism of study is influenza, due to its rapidly evolving small malleable genomes, although we have ongoing projects in gastroenteric pathogens such as Rotavirus and Enterovirus 71, vector-borne pathogens such as Dengue and Ross River, and more recently on the genomics of bacterial pathogens such as Klebsiella pneumoniae
and Pseudomonas aeruginosa