Viruses: Molecular Evolution, Phylogenetics and Epidemiology


Research being performed in the group related to the molecular evolution of pathogens, and in particular emerging viral pathogens. A primary aim of this research is to understand the causes and consequences of viral genetic variation, particularly through molecular phylogenetic analysis. In general terms, much of our research time is devoted to understanding the roles played by various evolutionary processes in shaping the structure of pathogen populations, and reconstructing their spread through host populations. In particular, we wish to know how frequently positive natural selection and recombination occur in viruses, and the implications these process have for viral evolution. Such work may allow us to predict how viral populations might respond to future vaccine and drug intervention programs, and what evolutionary processes underpin viral emergence.


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Andrew Rambaut, 2007