Infectious Diseases

Pathogen Sequencing

Many patients arrive at the hospital with unexplained acute febrile illness (also called ‘fevers of unknown origin’ ). In many cases, clinicians will suspect the presence of a limited subset of potential pathogens. However, in some cases, the pathogen may be undiscovered or the suspected pathogen is not the one causing the illness in the patient. Repetitive rounds of testing can follow, leading to delays in diagnosis and effective treatment, with potential serious consequences to the patient.

Utilizing state-of-the-art sequencing technologies and computational tools, the Pathogen Sequencing (PathSeq) study aims to provide a fast diagnostic platform that will allow testing for all currently known human pathogens and their antibiotic resistance profile with a single test. This will result in reduced costs, faster turnaround times for diagnosis, and improved efficiency with the goal of faster recovery and survival rates for patients. By developing new computational tools, researchers hope to significantly improve their ability to survey and detect known and unknown pathogens infecting humans.

Genomic Investigation of Disease Outbreaks

Recent infectious disease epidemics demonstrate how rapidly local outbreaks can escalate into global infectious threats. With the world growing increasing interconnected, health professionals are in need of better tools to tackle outbreaks of emerging diseases.

Scientists at STSI are using infectious disease genomics to investigate the outbreak dynamics and virus evolution of some of the most devastating human pathogens, such as Zika, Ebola, and Lassa. The goal of this research is to understand how these viruses emerge in new areas, evolve when transmitting in human populations, and spread across country borders.

Using a combination of computational biology, experimentation, and field work, researchers hope to change the way vaccines and therapeutics are developed for these and other emerging pathogens.

By leveraging sequencing-based technologies, computational tools and experimental methods, we aim to obtain a detailed picture of the viruses and microorganisms infecting humans. Our goal is to develop fast, accurate, and unbiased diagnostic platforms that will help transform medicine. Kristian G. Andersen, PhD

Director, Infectious Disease Genomics