Research: I study the evolution of infectious disease using the techniques of molecular phylogenetics, population genetics and protein homology modeling. In particular, I develop and apply computational techniques to study how antigenic proteins on the surfaces of pathogens evolve in response to host immune defenses.
Most of my efforts constitute basic research: I develop and test hypotheses about evolutionary processes. However, I also collaborate with scientists at public health agencies in applying my results to current efforts in disease surveillance, prediction and vaccine development.
My research primarily focuses on the influenza virus, which with subsequent pneumonia is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. I also work on the bacteria Chlamydia, which is the major cause of preventable human blindness and also the leading cause of venereal disease worldwide.