Kristian Andersen

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Job Description

In the arms race between host and pathogen, there can only be one winner. Unfortunately for the human host, when the opponent is a highly severe virus, the result is often in favor of the pathogen. With a primary focus on West Nile, Zika, Ebola, and Lassa viruses, we investigate why this is the case by providing system-wide understandings of the interaction and co-evolution between host and pathogen. We use this knowledge to gain deep insights into how viruses cause outbreaks, how outbreaks develop, and how evolutionary pressures can change the viruses themselves. Our hope is that we can use this knowledge to transform infectious disease outbreak response and change the way we develop vaccines and therapeutics.

Using the same sequencing-based technologies utilized in our virus studies, we also develop computational tools and experimental methods that allow us to perform unbiased surveys of the microbes present in human samples. Leveraging these tools and technologies enables us to get a detailed picture of the viruses and microorganisms infecting the human host. We hope that this research will enable us to develop fast, accurate, and unbiased diagnostic platforms that will help us revolutionize personalized care and precision medicine.

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